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Executives at Lego had an idea for a product, but they weren't sure it would resonate with customers. They were leery of spending a lot of money on the ideatoys aimed at adultswithout testing it first in the market.

Enter Indiegogo, a crowdfunding service that is luring more business from large corporations, which are using the platform to test ideas. New interest from the likes of Coca-Cola and Tyson provides a potentially lucrative business model for Indiegogo and other crowdsourcing services, whose appeal has traditionally been limited to small start-ups and entrepreneurs.

In late September, Lego used Indiegogo to find out if consumers would buy its newly conceived Lego Forma product, which are mechanical models of animals that are assembled from various parts. The models, which include replicas of fish, are aimed at encouraging adults to explore their creative sides. Normally, Lego would use a traditional research and development process and then do a global launch, says Kari Vinther Nielsen, senior marketing manager and head of creative play lab pilots at the Denmark-based toy maker. "But before even doing a global launch, we wanted to pilot it to see if there was an appetite."

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