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LEGO FORMA – LEGO teams up with Indiegogo!

LEGO made a very interesting announcement today. They are teaming up with Indiegogo to test out a new marketing strategy, as well as new product concept called LEGO FORMA. Below is the full press-release, pictures, and other details. Read though it and let’s discuss! 🙂

September 27, Billund – Rather than concealing its new innovations inside its Creative Play Lab, the LEGO Group today announced a new strategic approach that will help foster open innovation and test ideas and concept experiences through pilot projects, the first being LEGO FORMA on Indiegogo.

A series of pilots are being planned to run in various locations and formats over the coming year to float new ideas, crowdsource others, and receive real-time feedback from consumers to evaluate whether concepts should be developed and scaled.

Over time, this more transparent approach to product development is hoped to de-risk and accelerate innovation by validating and iterating new ideas, helping to fast-track the time that new products go to market, and not least, to pave way for unique product launches that sit outside normal procedures and reach new audiences.

Tom Donaldson, Vice President of LEGO Creative Play Lab, says: “Continuing to push our innovation approach means nurturing ideas that we don’t always know the outcome of, encouraging risk-taking, and finding new exiting ways to launch products that are a bit different compared to what you would normally see from the LEGO Group. Pilots such as LEGO FORMA with Indiegogo open up an engaged and creative community that we can take inspiration from, and vice versa.”

The first of these pilots is a collaboration with Indiegogo Enterprise, where an entirely new product, LEGO FORMA, will be tested among a 10-million-strong community of early adopters, entrepreneurs, makers and creatives on Indiegogo’s online platform.

The fertile ground of Indiegogo Enterprise will be used to provide real-time insights and real-world validation of LEGO FORMA, which is a model based on the LEGO Technic building system designed for adults looking for creative activities. Inspired by nature, LEGO FORMA aspires to be a new theme where you can customize with different ‘skins’ – foil sheets – to create artistic interpretations of plants and animals.

Kari Vinther, Senior Marketing Manager and Head of Creative Play Lab Pilots says: “LEGO FORMA is more of a creative project than a toy, and more about display than play. The young adults we speak to tell us they still feel the urge to be creative and enjoy the physical experience of making stuff – but life seems to get in the way. We want to help them rediscover the joy of building that children possess and unleash their imaginations for a couple of hours. We can’t wait to hear what people think and look forward to sharing some of the decisions that will be made along the journey based on consumer input.”

The product launches with one model of a fish with a variety of skins available, so it can change color, species, and even take on entirely new forms, unleashing the creativity of the maker. The model takes a couple of hours to complete and helps adults reconnect with their innate urge to be creative and encourages us all to prioritize recreational time.

Created as a limited short-run batch only, the pilot is primarily designed to learn whether there is an appetite and market for the product, more so than driving revenue.

Natasha Raja, VP of Marketing at Indiegogo adds: “Our platform brings some of the most efficient techniques used for startup research and open innovation to companies like the LEGO Group, who through our collaboration will be able to iterate and validate product offerings in real-time, with real users and real transactions.”

Here is a video introduction of LEGO FORMA from the Indiegogo page. It is particularly interesting as you can see the movement of the fish.

And here are some additional fun facts about LEGO FORMA that was provided in the press-release:

  • 16 concept skins were explored before selecting the four final skins
  • The model and different skins have been tested among adult consumer focus groups, fans from the LEGO Ambassador Network and LEGO employees outside the project team
  • The LEGO FORMA project team consists of four people. Kari, Anne, Harald & Mikkel
  • The extended project team consists of 25+ people
  • Harald, the designer of the model, is left handed which is reflected in the way you turn the handle
  • This is the first time the LEGO Group works with a crowdfunding platform
  • Creative Play Lab works from four different locations: Billund, Singapore, London and Los Angeles
  • 91% of adults say play is good for their own wellbeing
  • 86% of adults say play helps them de-stress and unwind
  • 87% of adults say construction toys such as the LEGO bricks help them be creative
  • 76% of adults say construction toys such as the LEGO bricks appeal more to them than other forms of play

For more information about LEGO FORMA and the Indiegogo campaing, you can visit the LEGO FORMA Indiegogo page. It includes everything from more product information, how the campaign works, the different perks for backers, etc. See: Indiegogo.com/at/FORMA.

What do you think? How do you like the idea of LEGO turning to crowdsourcing platforms to judge interest and get support for interesting project ideas? And what do you think of LEGO FORMA? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below! 😉

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{ 20 comments… add one }
  • brickmaster September 27, 2018, 9:28 AM

    Wow! This is so out of left field! Very interesting stuff! Crowdsourcing! building with foils! Kinetic fish! I’m curious to see how this is going to go.

  • sammy September 27, 2018, 9:40 AM

    What are foil skins exactly? Are they like the lego sails and wings made of thin plastic? It’s a very interesting concept.

    • admin September 27, 2018, 11:29 AM

      They do look like the sail and wing pieces, so that’s my assumption as well, although I don’t know for sure.

  • TomTom September 27, 2018, 9:57 AM

    Aha! Now it makes more sense why Lego is doing that crowdsourcing contest with Bricklink! They are going to try out different crowdsourcing ideas. I like the fish, but I wish the skins were hard plastic. I never liked paper, cloth, or thin plastic pieces.

    • admin September 27, 2018, 11:32 AM

      Oh, yes, the BrickLink collaboration does make more sense now. And yeah, cloth and thin plastic pieces can feel strange, but they are good quality and LEGO uses them fairly frequently. But I understand not liking them.

  • Håkan September 27, 2018, 9:58 AM

    This sounds similar to the Lego/ Muji sets available in 2009. (Only in Japan, apparently.)



    • Hayato September 27, 2018, 10:07 AM

      Wow! Those are interesting! Haven’t seen them before, and I’m from Japan!

    • admin September 27, 2018, 11:34 AM

      Yes, that’s a good comparison. Interesting little kits.

  • Hayato September 27, 2018, 10:06 AM

    This reminds me of some paper crafting projects. The movement of the fish is very beautiful. I see they are saying that if this campaign is successful they may start a whole line. I would like to see that.

  • legofan September 27, 2018, 10:11 AM

    Why only the US and the UK? Resellers are going to make a fortune with these! Back the campaign, get the sets, resell = $$$!!!! 😀

    • admin September 27, 2018, 11:37 AM

      It’s pretty common to limit crowdsourcing campaigns to a few countries. It limits having to deal with complex shipping logistics. If the project is successful, usually it is made available to a wider audience. As far as resellers, yeah, I could see that happening…

  • Master Builder September 27, 2018, 10:14 AM

    I don’t see why Lego had to make this special line for adults. Why can’t they just build regular sets like Architecture or Technic? But that may all be just marketing talk, and Lego simply wanted to make some fish. 😀

    • admin September 27, 2018, 11:40 AM

      It’s probably something their designers have been thinking about for a while, so they thought to test it out. Their target audience is not regular LEGO fans, but a different segment of the public. Architecture and Technic sets are great for adult builders, but they may not appeal to everyone. These fish are more on the artistic side. 🙂

  • LEGOJeff September 27, 2018, 10:26 AM

    What’s the deadline to support this campaign? I only see it says one month on the campaign page.

    • admin September 27, 2018, 11:40 AM

      If you scroll down on the Indiegogo page, there is a timeline. According to this the campaign will end on November 6th.

  • SPMom September 27, 2018, 12:47 PM

    These are lovely! Like someone else said, almost like papercraft. I guess you could use the skins as templates to make your own. They could release a book with popout extra skins.

  • Legostuff14 September 27, 2018, 2:41 PM

    It reminds me of Jim Hanson’s Creature Shop and how the creators had to design various characters. Very interesting.

    • admin September 27, 2018, 6:31 PM

      Hm… yeah, you are right! 😀

  • jabber-baby-wocky September 27, 2018, 6:51 PM

    The more I look at these, the more I like them. A very interesting concept and the fish look nice! I guess you can add a motor to make them move on their own? Like JKBrickworks kinetic sculptures? They should make other skins too, like dragons, snakes, birds.

  • waverider September 27, 2018, 7:11 PM

    Not a fan of using foil (whatever foil means), but I like the idea of the kinetic fish. If they would make the panels from plastic, they would be so much more attractive. I suppose you could use these in a city moc as floats or something.

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