Hasbro Gets New Game Product via Open Innovation

Published Feb-19-18

Breakthrough:
A new card game concept: a fast-paced friendly game involving Mr Toast and other characters that populate his imaginary world.

Company:
Hasbro, Inc, United States

The Story:

Hasbro Gets New Game Product via Open Innovation Hasbro is one of the largest toy makers in the world. The American multinational has been in business since its founding in 1923 and owns a number of hugely popular game brands such as Monopoly, My Little Pony, Furby and the G.I. Joe line of action figures. While it has always relied on the creative genius of inventors in recent years it has made it a lot easier for anyone with a great idea to get their attention. One way is through open innovation and in particular a US nationwide competition called the Next Great Game Challenge. It was launched in 2015 and as the name suggests is a search for the next great game.

"We work hard to ensure that our organization fosters innovation, no matter where it comes," wrote Brian Chapman, senior vice president and global head of Design and Development at Hasbro, in an article in the Entrepreneur magazine.

"Outside innovation is incredibly important to the company. We take great pride in our legacy of working with professional inventors, as well as companies and consumers, to bring the world’s best play experiences to life. Outside creativity complements the work we do as an organization."

With its inaugural open innovation challenge, Hasbro was looking for new ideas for face-to-face games that it could commercialize and that would appeal to cross-generational audiences.

Meet Mr Toast

From more than 500 submissions Hasbro selected five finalists to run a campaign on Indiegogo, the crowdfunding website. Following this, the winner was selected based on gameplay, theme and viability. The amount raised by each game was not a judging factor although to be eligible for first place each campaign had to have at least 100 unique backers.

The winner was Los Angeles-based artist Dan Goodsell for ‘Irresponsibility’ (the Mr. Toast card game). It is a clever game for two to four players in which they take turns either helping Mr Toast be irresponsible or stopping him from having fun. The Mr Toast character and those that populate his imaginary world came to the game fully formed as Goodsell dreamed them up nearly 20 years ago and has been creating online comic book stories, jewelry and toys based around them.

His prize for winning was a check for $10,000, a trip to Hasbro's Rhode Island headquarters and a licensing deal with the company.

Mutually Beneficial Relationship

Less than one year after conceiving the idea for the game it was on store shelves. Both Hasbro and Goodsell are happy with what they've both gained through open innovation. The multinational added a new game to its inventory with none of the risks and fewer costs associated with developing a new product. Meanwhile, Goodsell has a game that is on sale in multiple outlets across the country, something he may not have been able to do on such a large scale if he was trying to market it on his own.

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