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Mattel Turns to Open Innovation, Pairs with Genius Crowds
© Image: / Spigoo

Mattel Turns to Open Innovation, Pairs with Genius Crowds

Mattel, a toy maker responsible for brands like Barbie, Hot Wheels, and American Girl, announced today that it is pairing up with the crowdsourced idea generation platform Genius Crowds.

The toy company is looking for ideas from the crowd specifically for its Hot Wheels and Barbie branded children’s bicycles.

Genius Crowds helps identify innovative ideas and bring them to the market. Usually, the platform collects ideas around a certain theme of the month – August’s theme, for example, was ‘Summertime.’

Using a combination of community voting and expert review, Genius Crowds flushes out the top ideas and offers the creators feedback for improvement before moving into the final 'crowd favorites' round. The six concepts that made it to the final round for August include some innovative cooler designs and a water fitness ‘toy,’ among others.

The ideas that community members vote to the top earn their creators prizes and a chance at being manufactured. To bring a concept to market, Genius Crowds pitches it to its corporate partners, CEO CJ Kettler told The ones that make it into stores earn a monetary prize or royalties for their creators, depending on the terms. Genius Crowds’ website touts that several individuals have already earned over a thousand dollars, and many more have earned hundreds.

For its collaboration with Mattel, Genius Crowds is following the “exact same process” as it does for its monthly competitions, Kettler said, though the ideas will only go to Mattel and not to any other of the platform's partners. The competition will open next week, on Tuesday.

Open innovation is becoming increasingly popular among enterprises. When done right, companies can cut costs for R&D while increasing the number of ideas they see and speeding up the time it takes to turn a concept into a tangible product.

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