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Jul 11, 2011 2:00 am
by Joe Meno
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In 2009, CUUSOO partnered with the LEGO Group to create a website. Unlike most websites at that time, this site was one of the first to use online media to propose and promote ‘wishes’ – LEGO –related ideas and creations. This idea was not a new one to CUUSOO, as they began as a site that presented wishes made by individuals online. Website browsers could vote for ideas, and provide input for possible pricing and production. It was this idea of using the internet to provide support and research that attracted the LEGO Group New Business Division’s attention. As a result, LEGO CUUSOO started in the fall of 2009 as a Japanese-only website.

Brickworld presentationPaal Smith-Meyer and Christian Thor Larson of LEGO New Business Development at Brickworld 2010.

From there, ideas for LEGO models, themes, and even parts were submitted online for consideration. The threshold for an idea to be considered for production by the LEGO Group was 1000 votes, and there were dozens of ideas clamoring for attention. By early 2010, one model reached the threshold, a model of the Shinkai 6500 Japanese research submarine. Production was researched and initiated, with a run of 10,000 sets released in late 2010.

On the launch.. Kohei Nishiyama of CUUSOO at LEGO Idea Day, 2009.

By 2011, another set had made the threshold, a model of the Japanese Hayabusa space probe. The creator of this wish used social media to spread the word and encourage people to vote for the model, and as a result, Hayabusa got 1000 votes in only 11 weeks, compared to Shinkai’s 60 weeks. The Shinkai made another achievement, though, by selling most of its run in Japan alone.

The submitter behind the Hayabusa model, Daisuke, mainly used Twitter to promote the model, as well as his own blog online. Offline, he went to Hayabusa–related events and passed out flyers about his model. In a short time, his model reached the threshold for consideration.

At Brickworld, a LEGO fan event in Chicago, Illinois, it was announced that LEGO CUUSOO will be expanding from a Japan-exclusive web platform to an international platform. With this expansion, the idea for the site is the same - to make LEGO wishes come true. Now, though, the scope is larger and so is the threshold. It will now take 10,000 supporters before the LEGO Group considers a wish, but it will also be for international distribution. Launch of the site is set for the fall.

LEGO CUUSOO is now beta testing its new site and is inviting people to become part of this groundbreaking project. Interested users will be able to access the beta site with the following code: Brick Journal.

Take a look, and make a LEGO wis at!