The Hubble Space Telescope's 25th anniversary celebration won't include a LEGO model of the orbiting observatory, despite the support of 10,000 fans.
LEGO on Wednesday (Feb. 4) revealed the outcome of its most recent review of fan-suggested model kits submitted through its LEGO Ideas website. The Danish toy company passed on making the Hubble Space Telescope, selecting a Pixar animator's WALL-E robot and a "Doctor Who" set instead.
"We reviewed eight amazing projects that reached 10,000 supporters between June and September," Signe Lonholdt with the LEGO Ideas team said in a video announcing the results of the evaluation. "Reaching 10,000 supporters is a tremendous accomplishment, but the journey [for the sets] is far from over." [LEGO and Space Travel (Photo Gallery)]
The LEGO Hubble Space Telescope, which was designed by fan Gabriel Russo, reached 10,000 votes last August. Like the other fans' projects that qualified, the Hubble was then evaluated by a team of specialists within the LEGO Group, who considered factors such as playability, safety and fit within the LEGO brand.
"This decision [to pass on production], however, does in no way take away from the incredible talent put into these projects or the passion supporters have shown," Lonholdt wrote on the LEGO Ideas website.
Russo had hoped that his idea would add to the planned celebrations for the Hubble Space Telescope's 25th anniversary in April. The observatory was launched on the space shuttle Discovery in 1990.
"A LEGO model of [the Hubble] would come as a perfect homage to its 25th anniversary in 2015," Russo wrote as a part of his model's description on the Ideas website.
Had the Hubble Space Telescope gone into production, it would have been the third space-related Ideas project to go on sale. LEGO previously produced fan-created models of Japan's Hayabusa asteroid-sampling probe and NASA's Mars Curiosity rover.
Currently, four space exploration-themed models are vying for votes among the top 100 projects on the LEGO Ideas website, out of the more than 10,000 in total. Two models of NASA's space shuttle — one on the launch pad and the other atop the crawler transporter — and an Apollo Saturn V rocket are climbing up the site, but it is the International Space Station that is closest to qualifying for review.
With just under 5,000 votes and 80 days to go before the project expires, the space station presently ranks as the 27th most supported project. Designed by Christoph Ruge, the set recreates in miniature the current configuration of the orbiting outpost, complete with visiting crew and cargo vehicles, rotating solar arrays and a poseable robotic arm.
The WALL-E and Doctor Who projects that were selected for production are now beginning the final design process. Pricing and availability for both sets will be announced by LEGO later this year.
Click through to collectSPACE.com for more about LEGO's past, present and future space-related toy kits.