MOCpages is dead. The largest and most vibrant online Lego community for much of the past decade, the site slowly slipped into a coma over the last few years and it seems its founder, Lego artist Sean Kenney, has this week switched off the life support. And that’s really rather sad.
Launched back in 2003, before YouTube, Instagram and Tinder, MOCpages was the place to share Lego creations, being free, open to all, and with no limitations on storage. Creations could be rated out of five (and were ranked accordingly), and comments left for the builder, sometimes even by Sean himself.
An update a decade later brought groups, conversations, and a fancier image uploader, with the site becoming so popular it began to become unstable. New servers restored order, and saw many now famous Lego model makers begin their careers, with Firas Abu-Jaber, Nick Barrett, Ralph Savelsberg and many more counted as MOCpages alumni. Including this TLCB writer.
Sadly this success also brought a fair amount of drama, with in-fighting in particular between younger members becoming a bit of a drag on the community, but that wasn’t exactly the fault of the site. A switch from creations being ranked by their average score to ‘Likes’ (a la Facebook) helped ease the tension, and MOCpages continued to grow, with at least two hundred ‘Halo Master Chief!!’ creations added every day alone.
However the site’s unreliability gradually returned. With Sean seemingly less and less interested in resolving the uploader issues and – at times – complete server outages, many in the community turned to Flickr as an alternative, and MOCpages’ glory days began to fade.
There were still gems to be found though, and as such our Elves continued to frequent the site (when it was operable) to ensure that TLCB continued to represent all areas of the online Lego community. But it became increasingly difficult…
With MOCpages ‘down’ more than it was ‘up’ its users became frustrated and moved on, and whilst some reached out to Sean offering to take on the site or volunteer to assist with its maintenance, they were met with a deafening wall of silence from the site’s creator.
Now we can’t begrudge Sean too much; he created the site, users could share their models for free, and some now even have careers in model making as a result of the skills they learned. However ignoring the community entirely (and the huge amount of work many had put into creating their pages, groups, contests, and creations) seems to us to be a fairly crappy thing to do. But worse was to come.
A shadow of its former self, MOCpages was nevertheless remembered fondly by many of its users, and a band of its more notable alumni endeavoured to restart the community by resurrecting one of MOCpages’ most revered contests. Interest was gained, users returned, creations were posted, and then the site crashed. Again.
And with that, the last hope for a proper MOCpages’ resurgence died.
The site limped along for another year or so with frequent outages, until this month the error message changed, from… well, there being one, to nothing at all. MOCpages had been deleted.
No warning was given for users to retrieve their photos or save their text, and there was no alert for us to get our Elves out, meaning the few that were still there have inevitably died with the site.
We have now removed MOCpages from our list of sources, but the thousands of links from posts here at TLCB to the site will no longer work. Sorry about that. However if you find a creation publicised here that you like – with a dead link to MOCpages – there’s a good chance the builder will have relocated to Flickr, so it’s worth taking the time to search for them there.
We’re here to keep blogging Lego creations uploaded elsewhere, and whilst we’ll remember MOCpages fondly, if ever we decide to call it a day we’ll try to wind things up via a method that’s not an astoundingly poor way to treat the Lego community.
Should you wish to contact Sean Kenney – regarding MOCpages or anything else – you can do so at his website by clicking here.