Introducing GoldieBlox and the Dunk Tank!

We get a lot of questions here at GoldieBlox, but by far the most fun one to answer is “how’d you come up with this idea?”

While we’re pretty sure most people know how the story goes with the company, what’s just as fun to talk about are individual toys. We’re still small – fifteen people and counting – so we don’t have the kind of advanced research and development rooms that some other, bigger companies do. One day!

For now, it’s all of us in a room, being louder than usual (this is… well, a lie, we are almost always loud) ripping toys apart and rearranging them. One of the best things about being this small is that everybody on the team has input, which makes for some fantastic brainstorming. And that’s how the dunk tank was born.

We pretty much knew we wanted a water element in the next kit because, frankly, who doesn’t love playing with water? And we sort of knew that we wanted it to be a water element that anybody who played with the toy could add themselves, because, frankly, who doesn’t love incorporating splashing in puddles into every possible scenario?

We tossed around a bunch of options – water slide? Diving board? – and eventually someone said, “What about a dunk tank?”

Nobody can remember who that someone is. Four different people are saying they are. Truly a team effort, then!

So… what about a dunk tank? It’d need a target, and it could teach the hinge and lever concept in a way that also created a small mess when used effectively. But could we put it together using some of the pieces we already had?

Somebody took apart a peg board and the answer was… well, yeah. Yeah we could! Here’s a photo of what it looked like on that first day:

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 4.12.47 PM

 

For a handy comparison, here’s what it looks like now:

BT003_Nacho_PreSplash

 

A little bit different, no?

One of our advisors, Terry Langston (one of the founders of Pictionary), was there on the day we were coming up with the idea. We asked him what he remembered and he said, “Aha moments are rare, and very few are followed up with great execution. Such is the case with Goldie’s Dunk Tank. The moment Nacho splashed in the dunk tank we all knew an exciting new Goldie product was alive!”

But we wanted it to be a little different than our other kits, and ideally on the less expensive side. Turns out that the books are what cost us the most to produce, and we wanted to do something that still told a story, but that also added a new element to the kit as a whole. Andrea and Trevor, our intrepid illustrators, have created a gorgeous backdrop for the toy that you can attach to it once it’s built! Hopefully you’ll love it as much as we do.

While we were figuring out what we wanted the illustration to look like, we were holding play dates where children could come (with their parents, of course) and play with the prototype. These are incredibly useful and interesting for us (and hopefully for the kids!) because they let us see whether or not we’re on the right track, or if parts of the toy or instructions need improvement.

If you get the kit, you’ll see that one of the pieces that creates the platform for Nacho to sit on rotates entirely around; the target is on this piece, and you throw one of the bouncy balls and try to hit the target. The target swings out, dropping Nacho into the glass of water/bath tub/puddle below. One girl who was at one of our play dates built the target in such a way that it looked like it was on backwards. She could have just rotated it all the way around, but instead, she disassembled and reassembled it so it was on the right way. Her dad told us that he was astonished – he could see that she was learning about rotating objects in space, and with another couple of tries, would have an understanding of how that worked. Watching her learn spatial skills as she played was incredibly rewarding to him, and to us too!

The Dunk Tank — as well as the Spinning Machine and the Parade Float — will be available in Target locations nationwide starting at the end of this month. We hope you’ll have as much fun playing with it as we did building it!

Love,
Debbie and Team Goldie

P.S. Don’t forget to collect all the fish!

Dunk Tank Fish

7 thoughts on “Introducing GoldieBlox and the Dunk Tank!

  1. I have been following you since the beginning and have bought the first one and now this one…how did I miss the Parade Float. tsk tsk
    I wish you would accept PayPal!

  2. Hello! It took me quite a few phone calls to find a goldie blox spinning machine for my daughter for Christmas, as I live in Canada and didn’t want to pay double for shipping. I was thrilled for you that it was so hard as they were sold out everywhere. I was even more thrilled when I found one, so I bought two. Haha Figured it would make an awesome gift. I just wanted to tell you that out of all of the toys she got from family and Santa, she played the goldie blox set the most. And my proudest moment (she’s 6) was when she turned to me and said “you know this is science right mom?” She recognized she was learning as she was playing and got a real kick out of it. We can hardly wait to add to our collection!

  3. I LOVE this idea. When I was a girl all of my boy cousins had Lincoln Logs and Erector Sets and I wanted them too, but was told that they were for boys. UGH! I hated those words over the years because it seemed that the boys had all the cool toys. I loved my dolls but just think of all the things I could have come up with combining the two.

    I now have a six month old granddaughter that will NEVER hear those hated words and I fore see Goldie Blox figuring largely in her growing up years. Thank you for coming up with this product.

  4. Please, please, find a UK/EU distributor!

    My granddaughter lives in London, and parents of other children at her school were discussing this wonderful set of toys they had read about on the internet, but could not get locally, when my son had to admit that Zoe has an American grandmother who buys GoldieBlox sets and sends them to her. If there are a number of parents at West London Free School Elementary who eagerly want GoldieBlox toys for their daughters, there are probably equal numbers of parents at other schools in the UK who would buy them locally if they could.

  5. I am excited to see the GoldieBlox series growing. After seeing the commercial and reading all of the accolades this past holiday season, I was surprised that there were only two GoldieBlox stories. Keep them coming!

  6. This is an amazing product and I wish you continued success. I’ll be picking these up for my daughters as soon as they are old enough to use them. Keep it up!

  7. I appreciate the effort, but WHY the pastel colors ? Can’t girls play with primary color toys or earth tone toys ? Could they build something more like a building ? A car ? You have a good idea, please don’t make it look like everything else that’s being marketed to girls.

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