Retrospective 2019 – What a year !
Here is the retrospective of the 2019 year, with important moments, stats and future projects.
There were 6 creations this year, less than 2018. This is due to the available time to create for me, the move on (see vlog #8), and the fact that I spent many hours on the instructions of the 42082 Model D and the Mehari Project. But it worthed it ! The 42082 Model D is the most viewed creation of the year (just behind the previous 42082 Model C), and the Steam Machine and the Honda S2000 are in the top-10 which is rare to highlight.
Most viewed page of 2019 on nico71.fr
My last 42080 Model C – Forwarder has been released recently so I can not tell if people will like it (but for now it has not very good success). The Mehari project and the Balance Clock had not a very good stats compared to other creations of the year but normal stats compared to other creations (like the previous Mini 2Cv project). So I think the Model C and D are just something more popular for people than regular moc (which is also demonstrated by the building instructions sales).
Even with the low amount of creation this year, I am felling happy with it. Because I made a nice Model D with building instructions which had success, more personal projects like the Honda S2000 where I want to put the maximum of details and building techniques, and some other cool machine like the Balance Clock which is way different from my previous clock or the Steam Machine.
Regarding the instructions, there are now 72 instructions for free, 40 for sale. On the 6 creations of the year, all have been designed with building instructions for sale. This is something I have decided in 2019 : make every new creation with building instructions, mostly for sale. I know that some people will find this is not very good to pay for instructions but as now it is part of a regular job for me, I can not work for free anymore. I think also that the mentalities have changed since some years, and people are agreed to spend 10 more € for a nice building instructions when they bought a 200€ set, considering it gives many hours of additional building.
Tendency of sold instructions 2015 – 2019
Regarding the progression of selling instructions, you can note that the sales considerately increased in the end of year because of the release of the D model of the 42082. This is the same story as the previous year with the 42082 Model C, but better ! In deed, the 42082 Model D have been on top 1 position for several weeks on rebrickable and in top 10 for months. It comforts me (again), that people really like model C (or D) especially when the set is popular and the price is fair compared to the price of the official set. Of course there are many crap instructions or incomplete 3D file for sale on rebrickable at improper price, but I truly think making building instructions worth it for fans, that is why I will always fight for pushing the quality of building instructions to the top to not fool people.
New website !
After almost 10 years of existence, I decided to rework my website to have more functionalities and design features. The main aim was to make it responsive for mobile and tablet in full length, put it in https, and install a strong and reliable solution for selling instructions. Therefore since August 2019, I have published a new version of my website with new features :
- Responsive design with full length template
- Full length pictures which adapt the size of the screen (computer, phone and tablets)
- Https protocol
- New lightbox for viewing pictures (and now controlled by swipe and arrow)
- Integrated download and payment for Building Instructions (shopping card and checkout)
- New form contact section in order you can contact me directly
You can see a video which shows how to browse and use the website on computer and mobile :
To finish, I have also renewed my logo and banner for YouTube and Facebook, thanks to a professional artist in order to have the same identity everywhere. I think with this new website and logo, it gives a fresh design for Nico71. Plus that I am now on instagram, which I find easier to publish than on Facebook who asked me every-time to pay for reaching my fans (but I keep Facebook anyway to talk on the Lego Technic. Group).
New Banner of Nico71 Media
In 2018, following the Amazing Machine Project, I wrote that Lego invited us to Billund to visit the Lego facilities. And that what we have done in August 19′ ! You can see the complete article here (trip to Billund). We have visited the Legoland Park, Lego Private Museum, The vault, Lego Project House with a meeting with the Designers and the Lego House. It was very nice to meet all these people and see some things which were not open to the public (like the private museum). I was also very nice to talk with the designer of the #42099 (Samuel Tacchi) and #42100 (Markus Kossmann). A great achievement for Lego Fan !
I would like to precise that Lego invited us, but did not pay our expenses, they only opened their doors and I kindly thank us.
Recognized Lego Fan Media
At the middle of 2019, I have applied on the Lan Program from Lego for becoming a Recognized Lego Fan Media (RLFM), like Sariel, RM8 Garage and many others. At the end of the year, I have received the answer and I was accepted ! Basically, this program gives support for creator to enhance their activities, by giving sets for review for instance. I have a special project regarding this and do not know if it will works so I would not say more now. But I do not want making classic review of Lego set as they are already many other reviewers which do the job perfectly (like racing bricks) but having a different approach.
Visiting the Nasa
And the last big achievement was the visit of the Nasa Space Center at Houston ! In deed the Engineer L. Junkin, in charge of the SEV project at the Nasa had contacted me to thank me for my reproduction of the original SEV and invited me to visit the Johnson Space Center and drive this vehicle. I and my girlfriend have made this trip during our holiday in October.
Me, in front of the SEV, at Houston, TX.
We have seen many things interesting in the Nasa, including the Space Mockup facility (training of the Astronauts), a Saturn 5 (Ma-ssi-ve), and the SEV of course that we drove (Badass trial Truck in fact). But the whole Johnson Space Center is pretty impressive too, like a small city ! You can see on this facebook post some pictures and video (click on, the facebook logo to see the videos) :
We have of course made “non spatial” tourism by visiting the Texas, Lousiana, Mississipi and Miami. We really enjoyed American people and the regions.
2019 was an average year regarding Mochub. Not because the incomes were lower than in 2018 (the main goal is not to make profit but enabling people to rebuild my creations) but because Mochub had trouble this years with a lack of workforce regarding their success. In deed they focused to deliver the customer orders and slow the report activity. Therefore, they were not able to provide me the report in time to create new item to sell, such as the Steam Machine or the Mehari. But they have now solved the workforce problem and have send me the reports, so I will be able to create new items for sale on Mochub soon.
I am just a bit disappointed to see that the cost of the parts have been increased this year, which is the result of a new organisation (more people to pay, more parts to handle, more time = more money) and that Mochub want to more secure the fluctuation of the part price which I can truly understand (they take the risk to buy and store parts, not me). So again, I am sorry for the “salty” price, fell free to order your parts by yourselves on bricklink if you are able to, and if not Mochub propose a complete service for that. I think this is two different services and purposes and are not opposing.
Total / Activity / Years
Regarding the total activities, you can see on the graphic, that the Mochub in green as less success, but the instructions sales jumped ! As the YouTube (in blue) continue to fall despite my constant view over the years (see youtube adspocalypse), it is very nice to see that the building instructions sell well, of course thanks to the Model C and D of the 42082. But I do not plan to make exclusively Model C, more about every two creations an alternate model. This is also the good way I think to make the activity viable and durable. You can see also the Adsense revenue in orange on my blog, which compensate around the price for the hosting.
There were 11 videos in 2019, less than 2018 (17) which included : 6 creations, 2 news (behind the scene of the amazing machine), 1 vlog, and 1 episode of Lego under x-ray. I have not made many creations but I am happy with the quality of them. Even if I was afraid to publish less, It is the price to pay to make building instructions, plus that I have renewed my website and visual identity so it takes time too. But I do not expect to create more than 6 creations a year now. I am also happy to have finish the Amazing Machine story and making one more video about x-ray.
Regarding the YouTube stats of the years, there are some surprises. The Steam Engine Machine had a very good success, because of the field of the creation. Seeing the view, this is not only due to my subscribers but also due to the YouTube recommendations. The model C and D had also good success compared to other creations, of course because it is linked to the people search about Lego set.
Top viewed video of 2019
Regarding the incomes (YouTube pay nothing now to be honest) and the way YouTube featured my video, this is the same review as 2018. To sum up, YouTube views are decreasing because there are many videos on YouTube now and people have not so many time to watch, plus that the Lego creation video is less viewed than Review for instance. But I have had an other problem this year : the YouTube notifications.
Views on 2019 for youtube channel
The fact is that YouTube has changed the way they notify the subscribers and many users do not know it has changed. Consequently, you can be subscribed to my channel but do not received notifications, therefore you can not see my new video. This is a shame for me because on my 45k subscribers, only 7.9% have activate the notifications and only 4.1% (1.8k subs) received all the notifications.
I think also that as I am an old YouTube channel, subscribers are not used to this new notifications system (or even did not know it exists). I know some recent Lego channels which have a good reach of their audience because new subscribers are now up to date on this new notifications system. This is a bit strange when you have 45k subscribers, and only 1.8k subs see your new video when a 5k-subscribers channel do better. But honestly, I do not know how to reach all my audience, I encourage you, as I did on social Media and in my video to activate the notifications, and hope this % will increase !
There is an increase of about 12% of the view this year. I think this is due to the renewal of the website, and some good creations which gives more traffic to the end of the years.
Page viewed in 2018 (orange) and 2019 (blue) on Nico71.fr
I have also started this year to use Mailjet solution for newsletter when I publish a new creation, which can give also more traffic. In any way, the aim of nico71.fr is not to have many views, but to centralise all the data on my creations, pictures, videos, articles and so on. So I keep going on this point, and slowly rewrite the old article and re-host the pictures and the old building instructions. I think I will have finished in the first quarter of 2020.
So what remember of this year ? This is the same feeling of the previous year : wow ! First because I have visited Lego at Billund, the Nasa at Houston, had a new website and strong and reliable solution for selling my instructions, and because I have had some creations which had a very good success for me (including financial result). Of course, the YouTube views and limited audience reached worries me but there is nothing I can do more. So I hope it will be better of this point in this year, but the important fact is that people like my creations, so the job is done ! Thanks to all my Fans, and I wish you an happy new year !