Time Definitely Flies for PowerUp 3.0

PowerUp3.0A year ago this month, inventor Shai Goitein of PowerUp Toys launched a Kickstarter campaign for PowerUp 3.0, which generated more than $1.2 million and became one of the top funded programs in the flight category. Today, the innovative Bluetooth-enabled paper airplane toys are sold exclusively at Mastermind Toys stores across Canada and in various specialty U.S. retailers.

In 2013, PowerUp Toys launched a Kickstarter page with a goal of $50,000 to fund PowerUp 3.0, a Bluetooth-enabled paper airplane that can be controlled directly from a smart phone app. The campaign reached its funding goal within eight hours. Shortly after the Kickstarter shipments of PowerUp 3.0 were flown overseas to more than 100 different countries, PowerUp 3.0 debuted at the EAA AirVenture Air Show and was made available to the general public on poweruptoys.com.

“Thanks to the overwhelming support of our Kickstarter backers, PowerUp 3.0 was able to get off the ground and capture the attention of major influencers,” says Goitein, inventor and president of PowerUp Toys. “This past year has been an amazing ride and it isn’t over yet. We are always looking to the future and dedicating ourselves to wonders of science and play so that we can create the next big thing for our fans.”

Modarri, a Different Kind of Toy Car, Arrives at Retail

ModarriModarri, from Thoughtfull Toys, launched at American International Toy Fair in February, and now the car line is hitting retail stores.

Modarri is a kind of miniature car that’s driven with the fingers using realistic steering and suspension. Recommended for ages 8 and up (though not for ages 0 to 3 due to small parts), users can design their own unique cars by swapping parts from one vehicle to another using the included Hex Tool.

Each modular car includes a chassis, hood/windshield, seat pan, seat, fenders and frame, hex tool, four wheels, front suspension, and rear suspension. The line is launching with a Street Car S1, Dirt Car X1, and Track Car T1. In addition, the DIY model allows users to make custom vehicles with their own paint jobs.

Thoughtfull Toys had created a Kickstarter project for Modarri, which finished at more than $69,000, or more than 300 percent of its funding goal. The group successfully raised a second round of financing from accredited investors, with a focus on website development to make the car line interactive and digital as well as physical.

Zuru Signs Global Deal with Bunch O Balloons

BunchOBalloonsZuru has signed a global exclusive deal with Bunch O Balloons, which raised close to $1 million through the crowd-funding site Kickstarter.

Bunch O Balloon’s design allows for 100 water balloons to be filled in less than 60 seconds. The balloons are also self-tying, eliminating the step of tying regular balloons.

“We chose to work with Zuru because of their vast global network, marketing ability, and their expertise in automating production,” says Josh Malone, the creator of Bunch O Balloons. “They have an ability to work quickly, and much like us, are a family-run business who are incredible people to work with, and we are excited to be moving forward with them.”

Bunch O Balloons will be hitting the U.S. market next spring.

IAmElemental Accepting Pre-Orders for the Holiday Season

IAEIAmElemental, a company that creates action figures targeted to girls, has announced production of their first set of collectables: Series #1/Courage. The series includes seven four-inch articulated figures that personify the Elements of Courage: Bravery, Energy, Honesty, Industry, Enthusiasm, Persistence, and Fear. The company is now accepting pre-orders that will be scheduled for delivery in December.

The team at IAmElemental created their line of action figures when they saw that the typical female action figure on the market is not designed for girls, or even boys. They seemed to be more for the adult male collector, who are not heroines that girls can look up to. The figures launched on Kickstarter in May and were fully funded in two days.

Bunch O Balloons Kickstarter Campaign Blows by Funding Goal

bunch o balloonsInventor Josh Malone brainstormed and experimented for a few years to create a device that would allow his family to prepare for their water balloon fights easily and quickly. On July 22, Malone brought his creation, Bunch O Balloons, to Kickstarter for pre-order. Just 13 days later, he has raised more than 70 times his initial funding goal and experienced overwhelming support from beyond the core tech-oriented crowdfunding community.

One Bunch O Balloons pack features three stems, with each stem containing 37 balloons. Each balloon is attached to a stem by a hose coupling and then secured to the coupling by a small O-ring. Users screw the stem onto a hose and turn the water on, allowing the balloons to fill simultaneously. When the balloons are full, the user lightly shakes the system and each balloon falls off, cinched shut by its o-ring, allowing users to fill and tie 100 balloons in just one minute. [Read more...]

Jyrobike Inc. Creates the World’s First Auto Balance Bicycle

red bike aloneJyrobike Inc. has gotten rid of the concept of training wheels and pedal-less bikes, all while revolutionizing a kid’s first bike riding experience. The Jyrobike made its debut on Kickstarter earlier this month and the campaign has already exceeded its initial funding of $100,000.

The company designs and manufactures the world’s first and only Auto Balance Bicycles,  with a Control Hub built into the front wheel. The Control Hub has a motor driven gyroscope inside of it, which keeps the rider balanced and upright while he or she is pedaling, even if he or she tips or wobbles. It can also be placed on a standard bike wheel. [Read more...]

Never Ending Slinky Brings the Classic Toy into the 21st Century

18bb85d19c23ef3a3f932b3602fda962_largeThe Never Ending Slinky Machine has launched on Kickstarter this week. Also known as Project NESM, the product offers a new take on the classic Slinky, creating a perpetual motion machine when the Slinky is placed on the unit.

The product was created in the UK by a team of designers to be used as a standalone piece for a modern office or something to have around the home. It uses custom made components that turn the Slinky into an unending motion machine or infinite staircase.

The Kickstarter campaign was launched to bring Project NESM into full production. If fully-funded, one shipment will occur in September and the other in November in time for the holiday season.

Famed Designer Gayle Middleton Debuts New Line of Plush Baby Monsters

BitemaresToy creator Gayle Middleton, who helped re-design My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop for Hasbro, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund her latest designs. These include a Baby Undead Dragon and toe-nibbling little fur balls called Bitemares.

“After years of designing adorable pets for Hasbro, Disney and others, I started doodling these odd, ghostly white vampire babies drinking undead dragon bottled blood in 2006,” says Middleton. “Maybe I was suffering from, ‘Cute Overload,’ and this was my way of dealing with it. I wanted to create babies that were cute but mischievous, something surprisingly off-center and bizarre… Other breeds of creepy-yet-cute monster babies started appearing on my sketch pad, and after 3 years I had coined a name for them: Vamplets.” [Read more...]

Aryaball Kickstarts Into Motion

AryaBall HeadshotWith kids today constantly craning their necks down toward their iPhones and tablets, sometimes the perfect pick-me-up is a day at the park. But what parent wants to resemble a gym teacher or clutter up the car with a ton of sporting equipment just to keep their kids busy? Thanks to Babak Forutanpour, they don’t have to.

Forutanpour, owner and head coach of Aryaball, encourages active play through his new toy invention. The Aryaball and Aryabat are foam products made for kids ages 3 to 10. It allows kids to play five sports at once—with just one ball and one bat. The outer shell of the product is a full sized, regulation 5 soccer ball. The ball then opens up to reveal a football and flying disc. The football also twists and opens to uncover a soft baseball with the dimples of a golf ball. Kids can play baseball with the Aryabat or swing the tip out 90 degrees to turn it into a golf putter.

Forutanpour was inspired to create the product one afternoon when he was at the park with his son Arya. The two were throwing a football around when Arya, who the business is named after, asked to play soccer instead. Foruntapour did not have any other sports equipment with him, but after his son insisted, the pair ended up kicking the football to try to use it as a soccer ball.

AryaBall Product“That’s when it dawned on me that I’m not the only dad who forgot to bring all the balls to the park,” Forutanpour said. “I didn’t want to carry a bag with the soccer ball, baseball, football, and golf. I could reinvent the football and soccer ball. It’s about solving a problem I saw.” [Read more...]

Bowboard – Just Gravity and You

Bowboard2A unique product recently launched on Kickstarter is looking to change the way we skateboard and scooter, by making one ride-on device that encompasses it all. Developed by Chris Miller, the Bowboard merges a bow, frame, and spiral-gearing mechanism to propel riders forward by using gravity as the main source of motion. The Bowboard is unlike anything you’ve seen before and the bowboarding motion gives The Wave (which mirrors the experience of surfing on the street), scooters, and skateboards a run for their money.

When you first look at the Bowboard you immediately wonder how on earth do you use it, but it’s actually quite easy. The rider stands on the center of the bow with either one or two feet (however you feel most comfortable at first) and as his or her body weight pushes down on the bow, it spins the back wheel using the spiral-drive technology. The other alternative is the kick-and-go method, which is a great way to start off and pick up speed (this motion is most similar to riding a scooter). [Read more...]