Sweet Suite 2016

University Teams with Schoolchildren on World’s Largest Meccano Build

Prof. Trevor Whittaker from Queen's University walks the bridge this past Saturday.

Prof. Trevor Whittaker from Queen’s University walks the bridge this past Saturday.

With the help of Spin Master Corp., Queens University Belfast’s Civil Engineering Department completed The Big Bridge Build, which spans nearly 100 feet across Belfast’s Clarendon Dock. This past Saturday, officials from Guinness World Records confirmed the bridge is the world’s largest Meccano structure.

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Laurent Doll Creates Accessory Set to Support GEMS

Microsoft Word - GEMS stands for Girls Excelling in Math and SciGirls Excelling in Math and Science (GEMS) has a goal of helping girls develop confidence, creativity, and interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as art and learning as a whole through making. To help in this effort, Laurent Doll has launched a School Days accessory set for dolls, which includes school clothes, a backpack, a book, a pencil, paper, a ruler, and a calculator.

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How Toymakers Can Succeed with Millennial Parents

by Catherine Mevs, strategy director, Red Peak Branding

redpeak_logo_rgbWith more and more Millennials stepping into parenthood, big name toymakers are trying to guess at the expectations of a new generation of parents. However, from Mattel’s introduction of its Siri-inspired Hello Barbie to Hasbro’s more compact preschool toys, thus far their efforts are either misguided or not going far enough.

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K’NEX Introduces Mighty Makers Building Sets, Designed to Encourage and Empower Girls

KNEX Mighty Makers logoK’NEX Brands has introduced Mighty Makers, a line of construction toys designed to empower girls through creative and stimulating building ideas. Created by an all-female marketing and design team, the Mighty Makers building set line encourages girls ages 7 and up.

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Amazon.com Launches STEM Toys & Games Store

Amazon.com today launched its STEM Toys & Games Store, a single destination for discovering products that are meant to help children of all ages develop science, technology, engineering, and math-related skills.

STEM was the second most-visited category, as well as the second highest in terms of sales volume for Amazon during the most recent holiday season.

Q&A with Tony Norman, Co-Founder, President and CEO, Innovation First International

Hexbug.TonyNormanThe Toy Book (TTB): How do you use 3-D printing in your R&D? Do you plan to incorporate 3-D printing into your consumer offerings in the future?

Tony Norman (TN): We have three commercial-grade 3-D printers at Hexbug headquarters that run pretty much continuously. Design is iterative, and our 3-D printers enable us to engage in rapid prototyping. This rapid prototyping allows us to get real working samples out to focus groups quickly and frequently, so as to gather feedback and make the necessary changes prior to starting production. This highly accelerated production process significantly reduces our time to market and sets us apart from other toy companies.
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Spielwarenmesse Kicks Off with Widest Offering Ever

SpielwarenmesseegThis year, Spielwarenmesse will kick off in Nuremberg with 2,857 exhibitors. The number represents 67 countries and the widest offering ever seen at the event, scheduled to take place from January 28 to February 2. Spielwarenmesse eG is expecting an estimated 75,000 trade visitors from more than 100 countries. [Read more...]

Spin Master Launches Interactive Meccanoid G15 KS

spin masterThis year, Spin Master Ltd. is working with Meccano—known as Erector in the U.S.—on Meccanoid G15 KS, a personal robot built with the latest Meccano parts. It is an advanced, yet easy-to-use open source Robotic Building platform, accessible to builders covering a broad range of ages and skill sets. Four feet tall and programmable, the robot is comprised of 550 parts and comes with a companion app, whereby owners can save animations and share them with friends. [Read more...]

New Brackitz Establishes a Base for STEM Learning

BrackitzBrackitz is a new construction toy that promotes STEM learning, using blocks to lay the foundation for higher-level cognitive thinking, reasoning, and problem solving. Sets come in 50, 100, and 200 pieces. Standard sets include interlocking 4-inch wooden planks and 90-degree and 120-degree angle connectors, which can be pieced together to form various models and architectural structures.

Brackitz’ connectors can interlock at different angles and directions, allowing kids to build circles, corners, and bendable structures. Brackitz is suitable for kids ages 3 and up.

GoldieBlox Takes Down “Big Sister,” Introduces New Action Figure, in Mold-Breaking Ad

GoldieGoldieBlox, a company set out to get girls building by giving them a role model in the STEM fields, introduced a brand new commercial for its newest product: a Goldie action figure. The commercial shows the company’s alternative to the fashion doll industry. Set to Metric’s “Help, I’m Alive,” the slightly creepy, but very empowering GoldieBlox ad encourages girls to break the mold.

As AdWeek points out, the commercial has the same idea as Apple’s 1984 Super Bowl commercial that introduced the Macintosh computer. Girls all dolled up like—well—dolls line up to grab perfect dolls off an assembly line that are dressed just like them. Meanwhile, Big Sister robotically drones repeatedly, “You are beauty and beauty is perfection,” until one Goldie-inspired little girl in overalls and red Chucks steps out of line and smashes the machine with a hammer.

The result? A brand new Goldie action figure for girls.

GoldieBlox’s past commercials have garnered a lot of attention, including one that earned a spot during last year’s Super Bowl.