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LEGO Lead User Lab Launches in August

The LEGO Group is set to launch a new initiative called Lead User Lab. The Lead User Lab will aim to capture new-to-the-company ideas, evaluate their potential. and bring them to life in new ways. It’s kind of vague right now what this program will include, but below I have included what we know via the LEGO Ambassador Program. Take a look and let’s discuss.


Planned to start in August, the Lead User Lab pilot project sets out to build a unique innovation model for the LEGO Group, capturing, evaluating and nurturing ideas from the brilliant and creative minds of LEGO fans and Lead Users among adult LEGO users.

Co-creating these future innovations will set the ground for developing investigate new opportunity areas which might include complementary add-ons to the LEGO building system, digital experiences and even marketplaces, imagined by the Lead Users, and brought to scale by the LEGO Group.

Kari Vinther Nielsen, Head of Lead User Lab at the LEGO Group said: “Innovation is often something you don’t know you need. Lead Users often create this future – they react to trends and come up with ingenious solutions to problems we perhaps didn’t even know we had! We want to capture this brilliance and ingenuity of Lead Users in a systematic way, explore the high potential ideas, and co-create to expand the LEGO idea in ways we haven’t yet imagined.”

The Lead User Lab will focus on breakthrough ideas on a wide spectrum of future application ranging from new experiences, services, channels, and audiences, while keeping the Lead User front and center.


Lead Users are at the starting edge of future market and consumer trends – they experience latent needs that often haven’t been crystallized yet, and tailor innovative solutions that are well ahead of the market.

The LEGO Group currently benefits from AFOLs’ (Adult Fans of LEGO) amazing talents in many ways. Whether as loyal consumers of LEGO products and experiences, as highly creative producers of content, experiences, and many other LEGO knowledge areas, or as amazing brand advocates – and some of them can turn out to be the future Lead Users.

Over a third of AFOLs self-report that they have developed a LEGO related innovation – with Lead User Lab, we will explore a unique opportunity to get closer to the breakthrough ideas pipeline, capture the best and turn them into reality together with Lead Users.


The Lead User Lab will take in ideas on two simultaneous fronts. A dedicated innovation portal will be launched, where all potential Lead User candidates can submit their radical innovation ideas and keep track of the intake and evaluation process done by the LEGO Group.

Simultaneously, the Lead User Lab team will also approach various existing Lead Users who are extremely motivated in finding ingenious solutions to a LEGO related need, and who have developed a prototype, solution, or have an established business, and are eager to co-create on taking their idea to the next level.

If you already have a breakthrough idea, we encourage you to keep an eye out for the Lead User Lab innovation portal launch. And if you can’t wait, please send us a note to kvn@lego.com. Please expect a delay in getting an answer. The LUL team will not be onboard until August.

The Lead User Lab is planned as a two-year pilot and the LEGO group will ongoingly evaluate the potential of scaling this initiative.

As mentioned above, the Lead User Lab team should be up and running sometime in August. Interestingly, there are also a couple of job openings on the LEGO Careers website, for the position of Open Innovation Insights Manager for Lead User Lab, and Senior Project Manager for Lead User Lab. From the job descriptions and core responsibilities, we can gather some additional information about the program. Both job postings come with a fairly long descriptions, so I will only post the highlights that’s relevant for understanding what the program is about.

The Lead User Lab is a new initiative within the AFOL Engagement department to attract, collaborate, and co-create consumer and business value with LEGO Lead Users. It’s set up as a 2-year pilot, but we expect the initiative will continue after the pilot phase.

The AFOL Engagement Department is responsible for building relationships with, and co-creating consumer and business value with the global community of adult LEGO users. We work closely with hundreds of user groups and fan media in the LEGO Ambassador Network, we innovate, stimulate and support user creativity and we leverage platforms like LEGO Ideas to co-create products, experiences and marketing stories with users and internal stakeholders.

We are starting up the Lead User Lab in AFOL Engagement meant to capture radical ideas, evaluate their potential, and bring them to life. As an Open Innovation Analyst, it will be up to you to scan, analyze and document the trends, insights and learnings around lead users and their innovations in a systematic way.

You will support AFOL engagement and the LUL team with understanding and realizing new innovative lead user experiences. You are able to navigate and lead the insights process from an uncertain early phase through higher maturity levels through the LUL pilot process. In this process, you will help the Head of LUL and the LUL team navigate information and make insightful decisions based on the learnings you gather, organize and share.

By the way, if you are interested in these positions, they are still open for applications. The LEGO Group recruits and develops people entirely on merit. If you are confident you have what it takes to succeed in either of these roles – and you share our commitment to creativity, collaboration, and quality, check out the Lead User Lab related listings at the Search Jobs section of the LEGO website.

What do you think? How do you like the idea of the Lead User Lab? Is there any ideas, products, innovations, etc. that you think would be a good fit for the program? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below!

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{ 11 comments… add one }
  • TomTom June 24, 2019, 12:14 PM

    It seems they want to expand working with afols. I could see them teaming up with people like Jason Allemann, some of the brickfilmers, bricklink, and maybe even some customizers. This gives them more flexibility to work with afols outside of Lego Ideas. We have already seen this with the recent rocket ride promo set.

  • retAardvark June 24, 2019, 1:00 PM

    It’s not often I disagree with LEGO decisions, but I cannot support this.
    Lead just seems like a terrible idea.
    Modern science has clearly shown us the harmful effects lead can have on the human body and even though I don’t have children, it’s highly irresponsible for a children’s toy company to even consider it.
    Hopefully they are working on a suitable haz-mat suit in all sizes so their customers can continue building without the risk of lead poisoning.
    This may be the worst move LEGO has made since Jack Stone or Galidor!

    • LEGOJeff June 24, 2019, 1:08 PM

      I can’t tell if you are joking or serious. We are talking lead as in leading and leadership. Not lead, the heavy metal. LOL. It’s clear from the article what they are talking about. Anyway, I hope you’re just trolling.

      As far as the program, I like it as it gives them more flexibility to work with AFOLs in different capacities. A few projects I can think of that would be a good match are light bricks, train track configurations that they currently don’t make, robotics and power functions boosters.

      • Håkan June 24, 2019, 1:32 PM

        I just hope it isn’t lead light bricks…

    • admin June 24, 2019, 9:18 PM

      LOL! Thanks for the laughs! 😀

  • Master Builder June 24, 2019, 1:15 PM

    Those job openings are interesting. I will have to think about it. Wasn’t really planning to move to Denmark. 😀

  • Peter June 24, 2019, 1:50 PM

    This is pretty innovative. Passionate fans always notice trends earlier than a company. They are the boots on the ground, so they see and hear what’s happening. Currently, I think there is a little bit of pushback against very large and expensive sets. There are too many of them, too often.

    Another area where afols could help is the new Power Functions and Boost. As far as I can tell, neither of them were received very well, but some afols have been making alternatives for years. And as someone else said above, I would love Lego to do something with Jason from JK Brickworks and also Chris McVeigh, the guy who does the Christmas ornaments.

    • admin June 24, 2019, 9:16 PM

      My guess is that they will be going for trends and ideas within the community rather than creating new parts, which is very expensive. But we shall see…

  • The Other Mark June 24, 2019, 2:08 PM

    I’m curious how this is going to turn out. It appears that Lego is always very receptive to feedback and ideas from longtime fans. The description of what they are looking for is a little vague, but I guess it just means they are open to anything. I liked the recent collaborations with Bricklink and Kickstarter.

  • brickmaster June 24, 2019, 5:01 PM

    I think some youtubers like Jangbricks, Beyond The Brick, and others could also be considered leaders. They may not have a product to sell or make, but they notice trends in the community probably much earlier than anyone else.

    • admin June 24, 2019, 9:15 PM

      Hm… yes, they are certainly leaders in the community.

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