In a move that Mattel says will usher in a new era, the toy giant has inked a partnership with New York-based invention hub Quirky, an online platform that brings user-submitted product concepts swiftly to market.
Now, Quirky’s online creator community will be able to submit ideas for toys, games, baby gear and preschool products for iconic Mattel brands, including Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, American Girl and more.
The products, which the companies say will aim to “reimagine how children play, learn and grow,” are slated to launch this holiday season.
“This partnership combines Mattel’s scale and 70 years of toy-making history with Quirky’s open and agile approach to product development,” the companies said in a press release.
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The move comes at a pivotal time for Mattel, which reported a 2 percent worldwide sales drop last quarter as the company’s just-minted CEO, Christopher Sinclair, promised that the company had begun to “refocus our culture on creativity, innovation and improving our speed to market.”
Quirky already touts development partnerships with several other category leaders, including General Electric to foster innovation in the lighting industry, audio and infotainment leader Harman, and Poppy, a smart appliance maker.
Since its launch in 2009, Quirky has received roughly 15,000 toy-related idea submissions.
Once an idea is chosen, the company’s in-house designers and engineers collaborate with a vibrant community of online inventors on all aspects of product development. With distribution deals at Home Depot, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target and Amazon, Quirky shares profits with any community member who has made a mark on a product’s creation.