From Tokyo Dream to Global Playground: The Story of LEGO® Cuusoo, the Fan-Powered Dream Machine

Kohei Nishiyama (center)

Ever dreamt of your epic LEGO creation graduating from bedroom floor kingdom to brick-built superstar on store shelves? In 2008, that whimsical dream became reality thanks to Kohei Nishiyama, a Tokyo entrepreneur with a vision.

His brainchild, LEGO® CUUSOO (Japanese for “daydream”), was a platform where fan-fueled LEGO fantasies could rise from sketches to sets, fueled by a chorus of “I wants!” It wasn’t just about bricks; it was about transforming daydreams into brick-tastic playdates for the whole world.

CUUSOO started small, just 300 beta testers in Japan. But Nishiyama’s vision was grand. He saw LEGO® CUUSOO as a bridge between passionate fans and the brick-wielding minds in Denmark. It wasn’t just about sets; it was about stories. Every CUUSOO creation carried a spark of the builder’s imagination, waiting to be kindled into a global playdate.

And kindle it did! The first CUUSOO creation to become a set? Shinkai 6500, a Japanese submersible, dreamt up by Yoichi Takahashi. It wasn’t just bricks with an instruction manual; it was a window into Takahashi’s childhood fascination with the deep sea. CUUSOO became a stage for these stories, each set a tangible echo of the builder’s passion.

LEGO® CUUSOO #001 – Shinkai 6500
LEGO® CUUSOO’s Home Page

But in 2014, CUUSOO spread its wings. Overtime it transformed into LEGO® Ideas, embracing the world with open arms (and open brick bins). Nishiyama, the quiet dreamer behind it all, stepped back, letting his platform build dreams on a global scale.

Today, LEGO® Ideas hums with creativity. From Ghostbusters firehouses to NASA rovers, each set whispers the story of its creator. And LEGO® Ideas never forgets that. Every instruction manual becomes a mini-biography, a peek into the mind that dreamt a thousand bricks into existence.

So, the next time you click through LEGO® Ideas, remember Kohei Nishiyama, the Tokyo dreamer who dared to believe that daydreams could be built with LEGO. And when you snap together a set, hold it close. It’s not just bricks; it’s a story waiting to be played.


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