LEGO Cuusoo – Crowdsourcing Platform for Toys
LEGO takes pride in its image as a manufacturer of creative toys that also manages to stimulate the imagination of its customers. This fits in with the Lego ideas crowdsourcing platform launched in the fall of 2011, where motivated fans can design their own models that, with a bit of luck, might even be produced. A dream come true for many boys and girls! You have to be 18 years old to participate in the design contest, but LEGO fans can vote if they are 13 or older.
Cuusoo System, a subsidiary of the Japanese Elephant Designs, has been collaborating with LEGO for the past ten years. The term Cuusoo is Japanese and means imagination or wish. It would have been hard to find a better name for the project. LEGO builders who are young at heart can act out their childhood fantasies and design their own LEGO models and present them on the platform. The more supporters a project has the better its chances are. As of 10.000 “Likes” a project immediately comes into the closer selection, and is assessed by LEGO officials. If LEGO should decide to include a model in the current toy portfolio, the lucky winner will receive 1% of the net profits.
The platform was tested on the Japanese market in a community of 20,000 members before being available internationally. During this period the first Cuusoo model, the Shinkai 6500, also went into production. However this model is only available in Japan. On the international market one can purchase the second model, the unmanned space probe Hayabusa, and the Minecraft Micro World.
Current candidates who have made it into the LEGO review are the Mars lab Curiosity Rover and the UCS Sandcrawler.
Many of the models submitted are very imaginative and revisit toy characters or computer games of the 80s and 90s. For example the complete Zelda Ensemble, as well as the Ghostbusters and further items for the existing Star Wars series.
In addition to the platform, there is also a Facebook page and a Twitter channel. It’s definitely worth your while to take a look at the site, even if it’s only to get some ideas for your next LEGO session at home!