Can anyone explain the origins of LEGO Cuusoo project? There isn't a lot of information on the site. It seems to have started in Japan as a way of suggesting ideas for sets but is officially recognised by the LEGO company as some of the ideas have apparently been made into purchasable sets. Does anyone have any more information?
In 2008 The LEGO Group partnered with the Cuusoo Social Creation Platform as a way for (initially) the Japanese market to suggest new LEGO sets for development and sale in that region.
In October 2011 the site was opened out to the rest of the world, and it looks like the next set or even theme to come into production through this site is going to be based on Minecraft which achieved the requisite 10,000 votes and has now passed LEGO review.
Unlike previous sets that were designed by fans, or sets created through Design byME, LEGO Cuusoo offers a 1% royalty to the designer for sets that are produced through the scheme - full guidelines are available.
When voting on a suggestion, users are also asked to suggest a price range they'd be willing to spend on sets based on the project.
CUUSOO, which means 'imagination' or sometimes ‘wish’ in Japanese, has been developed with CUUSOO SYSTEM, a subsidiary of Japan-based Elephant Design that has worked with open innovation and crowd sourcing for more than 10 years.
The first two models only required 1,000 votes to get into the review stage while the site was limited to Japan, and took 420 and 57 days to reach the threshold. When the site moved into the global beta the threshold was raised to 10,000 votes. The Minecraft project took just 48 hours to reach that goal.