So, you’ve got this solid idea for a Lego set based on Nintendo’s popular action-adventure franchise The Legend of Zelda. You fine-tune the project and submit it to Lego Ideas, a section of the company’s website where fans share their own proposals for new sets, but…wait, hold on. Your idea just got rejected, with The Lego Group citing a “license conflict” as the reason. What’s going on here? Well, it turns out this has been happening to several different fan-made projects centered on Nintendo’s fantasy IP.
According to a report from the Lego-obsessed news site Brick Fanatics, The Lego Group is not only rejecting The Legend of Zelda fan ideas but outright banning them. At least eight different projects, from a Breath of the Wild-inspired Hyrule Castle to one featuring Ocarina of Time’s final battle, have seemingly been blocked by the prolific toy maker. Despite these creations receiving some 10,000 votes from fans on Lego Ideas, which typically pushes submissions to the review stage for possible consideration as official products, the company’s board has allegedly rejected every single one of them.
And now, as evidenced by screenshots from Brick Fanatics, you can’t even submit projects based on The Legend of Zelda to the Ideas section anymore. When you try, the site asks if your idea is based on an intellectual property. Selecting “Yes” and typing in “The Legend of Zelda” produces an error message saying the company has “already evaluated this IP and determined that we can’t allow submissions based on it” because of some “license conflict.” How weird.
The reason for this “license conflict” is murky, but Brick Fanatics pegs it to two possibilities. The first is that The Lego Group may already be working with Nintendo to produce sets based on The Legend of Zelda, like the two have done for Super Mario. (Brick Fanatics noted that when submitting ideas for Mario Bros., the message cites a “current 3rd party overlap” in its rejection.) The second is that a possible rival manufacturer might’ve swooped in to make sets centered around Nintendo’s long-running series, which could explain that “license conflict” error you get when trying to submit ideas. (Again, Brick Fanatics noted the same “license conflict” for Pokémon.)
Kotaku has reached out to The Lego Group and Nintendo for comment.
Whether there will be new Lego sets in time for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom remains to be seen, as that game will launch on May 12, 2023.