It was only a matter of time before LEGO Universe offered a free-to-play component.
This is planned for August as a digital version of the MMO. Rather than go the micro-transactions route, access to content will be limited for free players. They'll be able to play through two adventure zones and a single player property area, which is where you get to build your own LEGO objects.
Full game access will still cost $10 per month, so don't think this is a total, freebie-centric overhaul. Still, letting people who merely want to dabble in LEGO Universe do exactly that is a good thing.