Stuck in Plastic is now a recognized LEGO users group or a RLUG for short!
You’re probably wondering what a RLUG is. Here is The LEGO Group’s official definition:
Recognized LEGO User Group
- A group of individuals who are passionate about the LEGO experience and have formed a group. These groups are divided into two subgroups, “Physical LEGO User Group” and “Online LEGO User Group”
- Becoming a Recognized LEGO User Group qualifies the group to gain access to various community support programs
When we where approached last month to apply to be a RLUG the invitation came with the following: “I would love to stimulate your activities and therefore I invite your community to join the LEGO Ambassador Network.” Kim Ellekjær Thomsen
It seems that the powers that be over at The LEGO Group have decided that we “are creating value to and having impact on the AFOL community by providing activities that are meaningful and of interest to the general AFOL community.” – from the LEGO AFOL Relations & Program Overview.
Certainly we’ve always felt that what we do here at Stuck in Plastic has value. Now it’s pretty cool to know that our efforts have not gone unnoticed. All of us here at Stuck in Plastic have tried to share with you our own experiences and knowledge in an effort to inspire our readers to be both proud of this hobby and to be better photographers. We’ve had art shows in galleries, we’ve sponsored toy photography meet-ups and we’ve engaged in a dialog with you nearly everyday. Now as we move forward into another year of amazing toy photography goodness we will have the support of the LEGO Company.
I couldn’t be more proud of this community or humbled by this opportunity.
In my quest to educate myself about what might be in store for us I have been surfing the LEGO Ambassador Network for information. As I was looking at all the other members groups I noticed something amazing: we are the only group focusing on the mini figure and the only group that is creating art, not MOC’s (my own creations). There are other on-line RLUG’s such as Brothers Brick and Blocks Magazine that have been recognized by LEGO and receive support. But we appear to be the only on-line LUG group that focuses on photography. We seem to be breaking new ground for the LEGO Group.
I want to be very clear that this is not only our success; this is your success too. This is something we should all celebrate. A large corporate entity (even one as awesome as LEGO) has decided that by pursuing our passion of toy photography that we have value and they want to help us to continue to grow.
I felt it was important to hare this news with you our wonderful community. AS far as I can tell we will continue to bring you the same awesome content that we always have. We will continue to discuss issues important to the toy photography community and hopefully we will each continue to inspire each other.
Some changes that you may see as we move forward as a RLUG are reviews of LEGO sets. We will keep these reviews focused on sets that pertain to this community. We will review them with an eye towards the mini figure and their story telling capabilities. We may also receive support from LEGO for our upcoming toy photography meet-up. We also have the potential of designating LEGOLAND Billund for an upcoming European toy photography meet-up. For now we’re in a wait and see mode. As I outlined above, I think we’re all in some uncharted waters here and I for one want to move ahead cautiously. As Captain Kaos mentioned yesterday, it doesn’t take much for a good experience to loose its charm. I don’t want that to happen to this community. (I will respond to Captain Kaos’s post directly, no fear.)
None of us here at Stuck in Plastic know where this will take us; but we’re all willing to give it a chance. So thank you for your continued confidence and support as we all take another leap of faith.
I think the future just got a little bit more interesting.
What do you think? Is this a smart move on our part? Or have we just sold our souls for a few pieces of free plastic?
Wow, that’s great 🙂
Thank Keith! I think this is a great honor for not only the group, but all the toy photographers that we represent.
I was planning on lurking around here for the near future. I guess I should go pick up some minifigs.
Thanks so much! I think you should shoot whatever figures you so desire. We all do and I would expect nothing less from our community.
It is wonderful news to know that you will be sticking around. I enjoy your comments and our interactions. 😀
Great news! Even though I don’t comment that often, I love reading the posts. I do hope that the content doesn’t get edited from above though as I love the honesty in the writing.
Thanks Chris! We are all pretty pleased by this turn of events. We have no plans on changing what we do except for trying to push the boundaries. When LEGO asked us to apply they new what they were getting. I’m pretty sure the honesty in writing is what they are looking for. Since LEGO is a company known for co creating with their fans, I think we offer them an amazing built in focus group. I hope we can help them improve their product (at least the part that interests us) so we will all benefit. I want to thank you for being part of this community. I think your work is a wonderful example of the beauty that is toy photography.
Great, an exciting future awaits then! Thank you so much for the kind words Shelly. It means a lot to me especially in a world where it’s sometimes hard to see past the numbers and likes on social media to whether people actually enjoy what you do.
So true! Hopefully we can be a home for toy photographers who are looking for more than likes and popular appeal. We want to appeal to photographers who want to be better technically and begin to question why they do what they do. Only through this can we each grow as artists. Im thrilled you are a part of our “family”. xo
I’m so excited for you and all of us, as Toyphotographers, taking a leap into the unknown journey. This will be truly an amazing and exciting experience! Love this piece you wrote Shelly!
Thank you Ki! I really feel this is a win for the entire community. Thank you for all your support past, present and future. I look forward to seeing you in May!
It’s a great reward for Stuck In Plastic!
Congrats to Shelly and all the other members! 😉
I love this website so much; it’s always good to read your posts and to take parts in your challenges!
You are unique!
I wish you the best of luck for the future!
Thank you for your kind words and thank you so much for being a part of our community! We wouldn’t be here without you! 😀
This is excellent! I’m part of the organising team for a more traditional RLUG here in Adelaide (http://slug.club) and it’s great to have the backing of LEGO for our growing community.
We’ve actually just been talking about supporting photographers in our group so this is very timely.
I believe toy photographs should be recognised as a ‘MOC’ as much as other custom LEGO models are – and it sounds like The LEGO Group also have the same idea.
Well done on this pioneering first-step! I’m happy to throw some ideas in the mix if you’d like any thoughts.
Thank you Ben! It will be awesome to connect with like minded LUG’s to help educate LEGO fans about toy photography. I am ears to any ideas you have. As you know we are an international group and are happy to play in anyone’s backyard. 😀
How awesome! I think it’s great that the photography side of LEGO is being recognised! As great as all the MOCs are, this side of things are where my heart is! I also love the prospect of reviews focusing on minifigures and sets that are great from a storytelling point of view!
Thank you Lizzi for your well wishes! While we have no idea where this will take us, we are open to any and all possibilities. Whatever we do we will always keep our audience in mind. We want keep bring your great content that is focused on the mini figure, great photography and so much more!
Omg! Congratz big time. You deserve this so much for all your time and effort you have put into SiP.
Love and hugs to you all!
Thank you Stefan! Thank you for your continued support! We couldn’t have done any of this without our amazing community! Sending you love and hugs!
Great news! I love the realization that ” we are the only group focusing on the mini figure and the only group that is creating art, not MOC’s”. LEGO photography and MOCs are definitely two distinct realms. Glad that the photography side is getting official recognition!
Thank you Leila! We are definitely the fish out of water, or the elephant in the room. I’m thrilled that LEGO sees the value in what we do. Now we need to keep doing it and helping to grow our world wide community. Thank you for being there from the beginning! xo
Congratulations! Very well deserved! You guys have been doing a tremendous job around photography. Very excited to see you guys take it to the next level with the added support from LEGO!
Thank you very much for your kind words Jay! We hope to keep delivering the fine content you’ve come to know and expect. It will be interesting to see what we can do with LEGO’s support. 😀
That is fantastic! The team at SiP is awesome and love seeing the work of so many toy photographers, hope the recognition from TLG helps the site grow in a greater community direction. Congratulations!
Thank you Margaret! You have been so supportive the past two years, our success is your success. I;m not sure what the future holds, but I’m hopeful! 🙂
That is wonderful Shelly! Congratulations to you and everyone else at Stuck in Plastic 🙂
Thank you so much Lynn! I hope you consider yourself part of the SiP community, because I certainly think of you as one of us. Your work is such an inspiration to so many! 🙂
Aww… thank you very much Shelly! I’m so inspired by all the photos I see here. SiP is a wonderful community 🙂
A most interesting future awaits. Really looking forward where this all is taking us …
Congratulations on your achievement! Good to see the recognition of using a creative platform in an another creative platform. Lego as MOCs, Lego as art, Lego as sculpture and now photography!
Thank you Bearded-Brick and welcome to the family! Lego has always lead other companies by utilizing their fan base. I think this has helped the company continue to grow and thrive. I’m glad that are seeing the toy photography community in this light, because I know that we have always seen ourselves that way. 😀
Sounds like great news to me.
Hoping Shelly and Boris will be able to sit back for a minute or two to enjoy this achievement (one of many so far).
To this I´m raising my pint and would like to declare.
Well done! Skaal!
Thank you Stefan! Where would we be without you?! You’ve always been there for us with your kind words and continuous encourgement. It has been wonderful to watch you blossom as a photographer. Our success is your success. I salut you good sir with my morning tea! xo
Now it seems one of my wish is to join 100% Stuck In Plastic
Any form to fill in? LOL
I can grant that wish! If you’re reading this blog then you’re a member of our community already. 😀
Congrats…. Awesome news.
I love all the MOC’s out there but I’ve always felt that minifig focused work doesn’t always get the same level of recognition, or gets stuck on the sidelines. So to get recognition from LEGO will hopefully open more eyes and get more people interested in this medium.
Thank my friend! This is exactly how we feel and our fondest hope. We will be working towards that end and hopefully this connection will benefit the entire community. 🙂
That’s some really great news!
It feels good to finally see LEGO photography getting the same level of recognition than other LEGO activities, such as MOCs, receive.
Thank you my friend! This is huge news for both sides of the equation. I don’t think we or LEGO knows where this will lead, but it certainly is a step in the right direction. 😀
Congratulations to you all, you all deserve it !
Thank you so much Andy for your kind words and support! 😀
Only just got round to reading this. I think that’s fantastic news – well done! You’ll still be in charge of what you post so I don’t think you’re selling your souls. Here’s to the future!
Thank Alex! We went back to our rep at LEGO to make sure that what we post is still our. We were all concerned about ownership of our photos if we embark on this partnership. The issues of the toy photography community os different that the LUG groups. They partner up for free and discounted LEGO. We don’t have that need and will have to figure out a different end game. Here’s to a future that will benefit us all.
I’m super glad you’re a part of our community.
So much to read on the blog once you stay away for even a (relatively) short period!.. I’ve been quite busy with work and etc.. for some time now and unfortunately I could not keep on shooting photos & being social at the same time!
AsI am desperately trying to read all the great posts by familiar and as well new writers on the blog, the greatest of the news is just in front of me – this is a great achievement in many aspects! And I can’t thank you, Shelly & Boris, to let me be a small part of this journey on several occasions..
Now it’s time for me to better catch up with you all, make up for the time I’ve not been around and enjoy the good news!
Cheers to all!
I was thinking of you the other day, wondering where you had gone off too? I’m glad to hear you are well and simply busy.
Im sorry (not sorry) that we keep publishing great posts for you to read. I say grab a beer, sit back and start moving backward, you never know what you will find!
Thank you for your kind words regarding this huge news. We couldn’t have done it without the support of our extended family. Thank you or being a part of this wonderful community! 🙂
Congratulations! I’m a member of a more traditional LUG (NYCLUG) that focuses on MOCs, organizing community builds for children and adults, and setting up displays for events like the premiere of the Brickumentary film. It’s great to see LUGs take a different form and draw in more people because not everyone lives where there are a critical mass of AFOLs. Here in the New York City metropolitan area, there are two, NYCLUG and ILUGNY, but when I lived upstate, there were none.