New Lego Play Set via Open Innovation
A nine-year-old girl designs a new play set for one of Lego's leading toy ranges.
The Lego Group, Denmark
The toy industry like many others needs to innovate to survive. To meet an insatiable audience demand for novelty several companies regularly tap into the creativity and imaginations of its end users. One of those is Lego which has long been a fan of co-creating products with its customers, both adults, and children.
The most visible example of this open innovation engagement with consumers is Lego Ideas, a platform that allows Lego fans to submit their own concepts in the hope that they're chosen to be an official Lego product. There have also been numerous crowdsourcing initiatives that have resulted in several Lego sets including the Old Fishing Store and Lego NASA Apollo Saturn V.
Design an Official Lego Play Set
In December 2016, the Lego Group launched the Lego Friends Design Contest inviting children between the ages of six and twelve to embrace their creative side to design an official Lego play set model for Heartlake City. This is a play set city that is home to characters from the Lego Friends product range.
To take part, children had to build their model from Lego bricks, elements and mini-dolls, upload four photographs of their design, and include a short description of the model and how it fits into Heartlake City. More than 28,000 ideas were submitted to the open innovation contest from children all over the world.
Winners were selected by a jury panel that based its assessments on several set criteria. They included originality and innovation and appeal and relevance to the target audience.
The open innovation contest was won by 9-year-old Sienna from London for a playground built around some of her hobbies such as rock climbing. She was inspired by imagining what her dream garden would look like, a space that would include a swimming pool, a rock climbing wall, and monkey bars. Additionally, Sienna's playground comes with a mini doll version of herself.
"We received creative, fun and innovative ideas for new Lego sets from children all over the world," wrote Lego in a press statement. "In the end, Sienna’s idea won because it was so appealing and original and at the same time aesthetically pleasing with many fun design details."
Sienna's prize included traveling to Lego headquarters in Denmark and spending a week with designers, helping them turn her idea into a real-life product.
"It was a fun collaboration where we – the experienced Lego designers – gave input on design processes to Sienna, and she surprised us with new and different ideas and ways of playing," said Lego Friends designer Ricardo Silva. "We are very proud to have been part of this exciting new project together with Sienna."
Global Product Launch
Sienna’s playground hit shop and supermarket shelves across the world in September 2017, making Sienna the first child to have her own Lego set launched worldwide.
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