Let’s face it. Legos are among the greatest toys ever built, by any kid’s standards and by every breathing Adult. They foster creativity and imagination, lets kids explore their sense of design and approach to construction, and plus, they make a mean booby trap warning system when scattered across your floor. Seriously, I’ve had better experiences walking across hot coals than stepping on a lone Lego block.
Since the early days of the Internet, the Lego company has been proactive in its embrace of the Internet and leveraged its penetration of the last generation of Lego lovers to access their children, brand new Lego lovers just now coming into their own discovery of the magical set of blocks. When Lego introduced the Mindstorm robotics system, they took advantage of the synergy between robot building and programming by providing a platform for their users to share projects and code for others to experiment with. As their core demographic got older and more familiar with the Internet, Lego maintained that relationship by providing the same mechanism of sharing and experience with a portal dedicated to giving them the tools to create their own Lego sets, complete with a custom box cover and name. This kit could then be purchased. The highly specialized web application not only showcases the parent company’s dedication in the work behind their website, it also illustrates how they leverage their own internal logistics and warehousing infrastructure to source, build, package and ship an almost infinite combination of lego parts from their vast catalog. This is a company that goes more than the extra mile to bring their fans new and exciting ways to share in their love for the brightly colored block.
Lego’s newest internet contribution is called Lego Ideas. This new destination allows their most ardent fans to get a chance to have their own creations become official products, marketed and sold worldwide as a coveted member of their catalog. Taking their cue from the current trend of crowd-sourcing and social media advocacy, the rules of simple:
1. Create your project and take photos of it from all angles.
2. Submit your project to the website along with the photos and a complete description of your Lego creation, with backstory, assembly instructions, etc. Here are the rules and guidelines on what you can submit, along with examples.
3. Drum up supporters of your project idea. Getting supporters is the goal to advancing.
In fact, there are certain milestones you need to make in a limited time period in order to keep your posted project idea in the running. For starters, you have 60 days to get 100 supporters. Get 100 supporters and your project remains published for an extra 1 year. Get 1,000 and you get an extra 6 months, with another 5,000 getting you another 6 months.
Eventually, you will get 2 years to drum up 10,000 supporters, at which point your project will officially be selected to be examined by the Lego Product Review Board for consideration as part of their official catalog. It’s every Lego lover’s dream, from any age, to have their creation become an official Lego product. They’ve already made several projects into official products, which shows how dedicated their fans can be.