4/8/11

In Memorium: The Ugly Duckling Feb 2010 to April 2011


It is with a heavy heart that I announce that 'The Ugly Duckling' will effectively be closing its doors as of today. There have been some changes in my work and personal life that have left me with little to no free time to dedicate toward the site any longer. The site will continue to remain, unfortunately there won't be any new content added.

Over the past few weeks I've debated between closing down the site outright and dialing back on updates and coverage. In the end I thought it best to just make it a clean break. I apologize to everyone who feels this is a rather sudden decision. I assure you that it's the right thing for me to do at this time.

The current Minifig Design Battle contest 'Oh My Goddess...' will run as scheduled. I've contacted FireStar Toys and it looks like we will continue the contests into the future. Stay tuned to the Flickr group for more details.

I will also continue to post up new Series 4 locations on the Rollout Map if people send them to me.

I want to thank everyone who have helped make this past year very memorable. I can say that when I started the site back in February 2010 I had no idea where it might go. The journey has allowed me to get to know an amazing group of artists, entrepreneurs, and fans of the fig.

A big thank you to Leper who was able to step in and help me with the minifigure guides earlier this year. Without your help, I feel the end would have come sooner.

My thanks to BrickTW for being the first custom house to send me product for review. Your products and Tigerggyy's photos will always hold a special place in my heart.

Thanks to JasBrick, Morgan, Victor, Shobrick, Hazel, Geoshift, and Andrew for agreeing to talk shop and share their love of minifig customization with everyone.

Thanks to everyone who have sent me items over the months. I appreciated the work that went into each and every one. I especially have to thank Pedro who couldn't be a nicer guy and really helped me out time and time again.

I also want to thank all of the custom houses for what they do. Without them we'd all be victims to the whims of a certain company in Denmark.

Thanks to Huw from Brickset for being a mentor to me in the world of LEGO fan sites.

Thanks to FireStar Toys for having us as an affiliate and sponsoring the monthly contests on Flickr. Paul is a real professional and I wish him all the best.

Last, but certainly not least, I thank the readers. Without you, none of this would have been possible.

I can't say this will be the last you'll see of me in the online LEGO community, (in fact I'm hoping I'll actually have time to build and design and not just write about it). I've also talked with a fellow blogger who has been gracious enough to host the occasional article (Pedro - yours will likely be the first of these). Please keep an eye on the Ka-GO blog for further developments.

Until next time...
Cygnet (AKA Kyle Swan)
Minister of Information
Ugly Duck Command Center
Minifig Nation

28 comments:

  1. Awww, man! :( It felt like something was up when you hadn't been posting for a few days, but I'm truly sad to see this is the final result.

    I can honestly say the Ugly Duckling was always one of my favorite LEGO sites to visit multiple times a day, blog or otherwise. You have such a great knack for balancing general news, customs, the interviews, reviews, and everything else inbetween that was pretty damn rare in the community. It'll be supremely weird not hitting up the site each day.

    Whatever personal reasons lead you to this decision, I sincerely hope all is well in your life and that it's nothing too rough. Both the site and your personal editorial touch will be missed by many, I'm sure, so I hope you'll manage to stay involved with LEGO somehow... If you DO get to build some, as you said, that's awesome. :) Either way, keep in touch.

    Morgan19

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  2. I echo everything Morgan said above. I'm not one for reading blogs of anything, and you were one of the few I have always read. I'm still gonna keep coming back and read this blog.

    But hope you will still keep in touch. You know where to find us if needed man.

    -Shilo/Omi

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  3. I am just as sad as the rest to see the site go. It's been a pleasure writing guides and help out where I can. I hope that you can start to focus on actually customizing when you have the time. I wish you all the best.

    -Leper

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  4. Well, you know how I feel about this news... as Morgan19 rightly said this was one of my most visited websites each day. That being said I also understand the conflict between family life and work... and family should win every time.

    You have made a great contribution to a community that will miss you... however I hope you will fit into a new role that works with your family life better.

    Kind Regards

    Jas

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  5. Man, as everyone said Kyle, this blog will be missed. I have said it time and again, I was alos never a blog follower before and it's funny because as a gamer, I check at least one game site a day for new news and pcitures of upcoming things. Over the past few months your blog has become my "lego" game site and I am truly upset to see that end, but I do hope that your new schedule is more "life" permitting and definitly hope you stay on Flickr and stay in touch with everyone. Who knows, maybe we will get to see some figs from you this time around
    Later Kyle- It's been real man!
    -Pecovam

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  6. Sad to see you go, but I hope that the time freed up will be satisfying as you get to spend it with family, professional, and more brick related pursuits.

    I've enjoyed the blog! Great work and good luck with everything thats going on.

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  7. Very sad news, but family and happiness comes first, out of all the blog's i follow yours was a shining beacon in the gloom of mediocrity, and a visit everyday was a must.I would like to thank you for your kind words on my work and the support you gave me.
    Me and my family wish you well in your future endevours,and i look forward to some ugly duck moc's.
    "live long and prosper my freind"
    you will be conspicuous by your absence.

    mark w (Legoagogo)

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  8. Sorry to see you go. I've really enjoyed your blog. : (

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  9. Thanks for all you've done, Cygnet. I'll miss the site. Best wishes on wherever life is taking you.

    Matt

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  10. Well, all good things must come to an end, right? UD's legacy of supplying the world with great Fig news and pics will live on forever. We'll miss you Cygnet!! Good Luck on whatever life throws your way.
    -Spencer

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  11. Kyle, this is so sad!...)c:

    Your blog was my favorite of all the LEGO blogs I visit! As blogger myself, I was amazed by your dedication and quality of content! I have been so excited to read all your updates!

    And I was always wondering; how can you post so much great stuff, not just every day, but several times a day! I can hardly manage 3 posts a week! You have been my hero and example of what it means to be a great blogger!

    Thank you so much for your enthusiasm, dedication, and amazing content! I'm glad that you are at least keeping the site up and running! Thanks!...(c:

    You have no idea how much you will be missed!
    Akunthita

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  12. Thanks for all your work. I've really enjoyed your posts.

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  13. I too will miss the daily dose of info, but can relate all too well. Dedication to family and work always seems to take priority. As family always should.

    Take care, good luck and have fun.

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  14. I'm more of a lurker, but I've been following this blog almost religiously ever since I found about it.

    Thank you for all the awesome entries during the past few months.

    Best wishes.
    This blog will be missed.

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  15. I'm very sorry to hear this Kyle, I've enjoyed 'mentoring' you and reading your blog: it became essential reading for me every day.

    I wish you all the best in whatever you'll be getting up to in the future.

    --Huw

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  16. Nooooooooooooo... Man, I was really hoping that my emails about this the last couple of days would help make you reconsider. Maybe the WONDERFUL messages above might still? (Keep hope alive.)

    I have to 100% agree with what folks have said already, as I've shared with you by email. This site was my absolute favorite AFOL site because of it's clear editorial focus, great interviews, and overall humble approach to shining some light on the great talent that exists in this community. There was a consistent air of community-building and an inviting air to you and your writing. In fact, this site is what finally pushed me over the edge to commit to building Ka-GO, and I've enjoyed blogging "side by side" in cyberspace for the last 2+ months.

    With all that said, I of course 100% respect your decision and the apparent struggle you went through to make it. I recognize it couldn't have been an easy one. I hope all is well with you and yours. As you know, you're more than welcome to do anything you want over at Ka-GO. And I look forward to posting about your MOCs soon!!!

    One last thing: Thank you so much for the kind words you've shared about my MOCs and blogging. You've definitely been one of the warmest to my efforts, and it hasn't gone unnoticed or unappreciated. Your encouragement really affected the dude many folks vaguely know as "ka.lego".

    Peace,

    - Sergio

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  17. man.... I hate to see this site go. you posted more than brickset so i followed this site more. good luck

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  18. So sorry to here, this. It was were I got 70% of the news for my blog. I really wish it could have stayed up longer.

    I have two questions though...

    1. Will you post a new rollout maps?
    2. Will Leper run the site or is it closing for good?

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  19. Oh my god, that's a pity, your work was really helpful for the community, I was cheking your blog first, love the itw, the tutorials, the flickr favorites. You were doing the best work possible, I want to believe that you will continue it when you'll be able to. Thanks for your work and dedication (I didn't forget to send you a fig, I didn't start to work on it, but I believe it will be a knight).

    Shobrick

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  20. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I just got found this site and got really into it the past month or so! It's so legit! Sucks that its gone...

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  21. This was (is) by far my favorite and imo best run blog about lego and customs. I am sad it's closing, but hope you can come back later bigger and better.
    Best wishes,
    hawkxs

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  22. WampaStompa4/9/11, 2:36 PM

    I am so sorry to hear you are closing down, but certainly understand that other commitments always come first,especially family. I would just like to say Thank you for all your support during my short time on Flickr, It has been greatly appreciated and I shall miss your Blog and Faves Greatly. May I wish you every success for the future and look forward to seeing your Moc's on Flickr soon :)
    Wampa

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  23. Kyle, Being relativity new to the AFOL Community I've learned a lot from your site the past several months. Your Passion really showed.. In a word... "Thanks!" I wish you well in the future.

    Russell
    The Gimpygeek

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  24. Maybe we could write some petition? :)

    Or: I promise to always behave and write nice comments if you return :)

    ---I do hope that something will change in your schedule and that you will have time to return to us :)

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  25. Well Kyle, there isn't much I can say that hasn't already been said by others here. It is a sad day, but we all understand the decision - balancing hobby time with family time and work commitments is always difficult for everyone. Best of luck with all of these things though and I hope to still see you around Flickr occasionally. Perhaps in the future things will change and more time will open up again.
    Take care,
    -Dave (Geoshift)

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  26. :'( I have never followed a blog and if I did I certainly didn't take the time to read what was said. Your view points and perspectives were always a refreshing one.

    I always came on here to see what was fresh and new in flickr and you really took this whole minifig blog to new heights.

    I really can't add much to what has already been said but the loss of UD really will leave an gap in my lego reading (being that it was my only lego reading:P).

    As Ka.Lego said, we can keep our hopes up that you shall return. :D But if you don't, don't be a stranger.

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  27. I've been viewing this blog since about the time it appeared on the web. The frequent updates and news gave me something to look forward to, instead of having to be stuck in my own life.
    This was an escape from the hardships we face, to a realm where we could discuss the news of our common advocation. But, the hardships caught up.
    The site will be missed.

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  28. Thankyou so much for everything. The Ugly Duckling is a fantastic blog. I'm sure you made the best decision. Best wishes and good luck

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