Hoping to add a spark of innovation to its product line, Mattel is looking to the public for new toy and game ideas that “create deeper consumer connections and reimagine how children play, learn, and grow.” The company is partnering with Quirky, a web service that crowdsources product development, and invites anyone to submit ideas for toys, games, and family products, particularly those that work with Mattel’s existing brands, such as Barbie, Fisher-Price, Hot Wheels, Mega Bloks, and Monster High.
Quirky’s service works by screening the ideas submitted—over 15,000 have already been submitted in the toy category—and then posting them on the web site for public input throughout the product development process. Those that participate earn “influence” and a share of any future revenue. Quirky pays a portion of any revenue it earns on a product (1.5-10 percent, depending on a variety of factors) to the product’s influencers. For example, 40.5 percent goes to the idea submitter (or submitters, for substantially similar ideas), 5 percent goes to those who help influence the name, 5 percent goes to those who provide input on the product’s style, etc.