Here is the retrospective of the 2018 year, with important moments, stats and future projects.
There were 7 creations (with a small one) this year, because of the big project with Lego Brand. But many of them have received a huge success. Including the compact tracked loader which was very simple and reliable and enabled people to build a 4 functions vehicle easily, which gave a high level of instructions sales. Then the Leaning tricycle which was the first time I made a creation like that, and people were happy with the design of steering and suspensions and color scheme, plus there were building instructions. Then, the Articulated 8×8 Truck, which has a massive success too on rebrickable despite the fact the instructions were not very good, that is why we (me and Kevin Williams) are currently working on a pro building instructions for this. The last, and the most important success was definitively the model c of the 42082, a wheel loader. I had planned to release it at the launch of the 42082 as I had the crane before everyone but some problems on the planning occurred and I have released it in end of the year. But the people were here and the sale of the building instructions, the views on YouTube and the comment were very good, all people say this was a great model, as the original model B should be.
What to remember of that ? That you like the model C very much and the big model. I understand this because the model C enable to enhance the building experience with many other things to build with only a set, and the big model because of the wow effect.
It comforts me in the way to propose more model C of the lego set, because it is fun for me to build with a restricted inventory and enables you to enhance the building experience of the lego set you buy.
Therefore, as the model C of the 42082 has been liked, I will try to do one more D model because I think with 4.000 parts I can create something cool, and big ! (to get the wow effect haha).
Regarding the instructions, there are now more than 86 instructions, including 38 with pro-looking rendering instructions for sale. I have not added new instructions for old moc, (6 instructions for 7 creations in the year and 4 with pro instructions). But we (Kevin williams and I) are working on a new version of the Citroen 2Cv Charleston regarding the parts used (flex and shock absorbers) but also a pro-instruction for the 8×8 Articulated Truck which was very high demanded in partnership with John Keijman. The idea is to made pro-looking-instructions when many people asks or when I think it could be interested for users to have this.
You can note that the sales considerately increased in the end of year because of the release of the C model of the 42082 plus the Christmas effect (many people bought instructions the 24th, a bit in late for the gift hum ?)
Here is the graphic which displays the distribution of building instructions sold since 2015 with the 2018 update :
As always, the mechanical devices are the most sold in total but the new 42082 model C took literally 15% of sales which is huge. To compare with the most sold creation which is the mechanical loom, people have bought more 42082 model C in 3 month than the loom in 2 years. Also 90% of sale and from new buyer. Only 10% goes again (same stats as 2017).
In 2018, we (I and some friends) have been involved in a project for Lego Brand. Lego asked us to build something with the new upcoming 42082 – Rough Terrain Crane and we decided to make a contraption machine, then lego called this machine the “amazing machine”.
I have done 5 episodes about this machine to talk about this story, you can find here the full youtube playlist. I plan to make a final article at the end to sum up the whole story in text instead of video. The idea was mainly for lego to involve lego fan on a project, give them some sets, build something, and film it to promote the 42082. And it works, lego was very happy of the result, of what we have done, despite the fact it took so much work and time to do !
From left to right : Aban (IT engineer), Maxime (Technical Sales engineer), Me (Mechanical engineer), Alan and Scott (creative manager and creative director at Lego), Regis (Financial Controller)
The truth is, that meet important people from lego, to know they know my work and ask us to build something was very rewarding for me, it is a big accomplishment for me after 10 years doing Lego !
We are of course invited to visit Lego facility, museum, legoland and talk with the designers, and we will do that this year (a good reason to make a video about it).
The second big achievement was the interview I gave to the Lego Car Blog which is a respected blog about lego cars and ships, and as I followed this blog for many years now, I am very proud to have given this interview. You can read it here.
And the last big achievement was that the Engineer L. Junkin, in charge of the SEV project at the Nasa who contacts me to thanks me for my reproduction of the original SEV and invite me to visit the Johnson Space Center and drive the SEV ! So this is a huge success for me, as I am huge fan of space. We plan (me and my girlfriend) to make the roadtrip to the USA in 2019 (maybe the opportunity to meet some of my US fans ?).
2018 was a good year regarding mochub. First because I have added some new creations to it, the Digicomp, the Morgan Three Wheeler, the two versions of the Honda NSX (white and red), The compact tracked loader and the Rally Car Transformer. Second because the sales were good, at average 4-10 creations / month (depending of course of the Christmas). I was happy to see also there were no major problem regarding errors on the parts, just minor changes on the Honda NSX and the Morgan. Therefore, it comforts me in the way to propose new creation on mochub when it is suitable, which depends of the rarity of the parts mainly to not have a high price. That is why we are currently working on a new version of the Citron 2CV to decrease the price by changing some parts and design.
You can see on the graphic, that the mochub in grey have a good success. As the YouTube (in blue) continue to fall despite my constant view over the years (see youtube adspocalypse), the mochub royalty is very good to have a constant incomes to enhance the Lego activity but is dependent of the new creation (old creation do not sell very well compare to new one). I also think this is a ethical way for people who do not want to buy building instructions because there are dematerialised. The customer buy the package on mochub, including the parts and the instructions, mochub takes a commission to have sourcing and packing the parts, and I have a royalty to the design.
You can see also the good progression about the building instructions (in orange), mainly of course because of the 42082 Model C.
I did not buy many new things regarding the filming material. I have only bought a new lens camera which is a Canon Ef STM 50mm f1.8 which has a very good quality (thanks to the no-zoom lens). I have also started to use the raw file from my canon (yeah like a real pro photograph) and enhance it on the software Lightroom in a year subscription to test it. Thanks to Jim (flickr profile) for the advice which enhanced the quality of picture. You can see the result on the model C of the 42082 which is think is gorgeous :
But this year, I have considerably renewed my Lego stock of parts, because after 10 years of moc, many parts were broken or have scratch or are not shiny anymore. That is why I bought new casing to store the new stock, sort all the parts I have, and remove the used, and buy some new parts. The consequence is that now I have two casing stacked on each side on my desk, which gives more place to store parts (with new color including blue, lime, orange) but less practical. I will make a video and article to talk about the used stock I have and the consequence of 10 years of building with Lego parts.
There were 17 videos in 2018, less than 2017 (21) which included : 7 creations, 4 news (mainly behind the scene of the amazing machine and an unboxing), 2 vlogs, 1 reviews and 1 episode of Lego under x-ray. As you can see, I was focused all the year to the Amazing Machine therefore I did not have time to create many creations, but I figured out to create some which has a good success on YouTube. I also managed to continue to make vlog to give news and present YouTube Legochannel who deserve more subscribers.
You can see below that the Review of the 42082 Model B has a very good success, it was because I released this video on the official release date of the set, but nobody have the PDF for the model B except me. I did not want to make a video review of the model A because so many people do it, so I preferred to review the model B, and show how “average” is it, as a starting point to present my model C which is better for me.
Top viewed video of 2018
You can see also some old videos which continue to gain view, because YouTube I think but in the recommendations (the loom, hot bulb tractor, pneumatic vehicle). But There is also the 8×8 articulated truck in the list which had a very good success comparing the other creations of the year regarding view (a bit more than the model C too). Here is for comparing the top 2007-2018 most viewed creations on my channel :
Top viewed video from 2007-2018
Regarding the incomes and the way YouTube featured my video, this is the same review as 2017 that you can read here in details. To sum up, YouTube views are decreasing because there are many videos on YouTube now and not so many people to watch it, so the Lego video in general are less viewed. Plus that the adpocalypse of YouTube had considerately decreased the incomes coming from YouTube. You-tube pay nothing now to be honest, therefore this is just a tool for me to upload my videos and share and talk with my subscribers.
Views on 2017 for youtube channel
Just a small note about my YouTube channel : I have reorganized the content using some playlist on the welcome page, therefore I created playlist for my creations, the vlogs, the series lego under x ray, and the series amazing machine. I think this is better than just display the most viewed video of the channel which gives views to old content instead of new. You can see all the playlist here.
There are not many things to talk about the nico71 blog stats, this is mainly the same thing as 2017 so you can read my review here. But I have an interesting point, I can see that 15% of my traffic is from social website like facebook. I think this is because I have started this year to post on some Lego Technic Facebook page to promote my work because many users are not on youtube or on the forums. I think social media like facebook tends to replaced the forum because of the easy access but it is difficult to reach the audience. Even if you have 3000 fans on Facebook, your publications will only reach the maximum of fans if you pay for it, not fair from facebook. You can see also on the graphic below that each peak on the curve it when I release a new creation.
Nico71 – Views and referal
The graphic below presents the most viewed page of the year, which no surprise the free instruction page, but following some good creations like the articulated truck and the warthog.
Nico71 – most viewed page / 2018
And on the last graphic below, you can see the overall users / year since the beginning of the blog. you can see a small decrease since the last year which is due to less traffic from YouTube (because less traffic on viewed video on YouTube), but also because since 2017 I sell also my building on rebrickable which is now a high visited website, therefore people do not have to go to my blog to buy building instructions, so less views globally.
Nico71 – users / year since 2010
In any case the aim of nico71.fr is not to have many views, it is only here to regroup all data on my creations, including, pictures, reviews, videos and building instructions, and I think the goal is completed.
So what remember of this year, wow this was a important year ! To compare with the pessimist end of 2017, this year was amazing on many points !
First because Lego contacted me to build something for them which is the biggest achievement of my Lego “career”. Second because I was invited to visit the Nasa Space Center and drive a real rover thanks to my lego creations. As I am a huge fan of space, I am so excited about it ! Third because you have liked a lot my 42082 Model C and gives me a great energy to do more model C of official sets. And to finish, you were also here to comment, share, like my creations and my building instructions, enabling me to be in the top 5 designer on rebrickable and have my creations in Premium Top Sold for several weeks on rebrickable.
Therefore, all I can say is thank you for all of this ! To my girlfriend, my family, my friends, and my fans. Without you, I would not be able to have all of this achievement.
You gives me strong energy to make Lego, visibility to the non Lego group, help and support me by buying my building instructions or my creations, and give important feedback for me to increase the quality of my works. I wish you a great 2019 year, and I come back to my Lego !