The maker generation is upon us, and DIY is the new LOL. Type those three letters – DIY, not LOL – into the search bar on YouTube and over 40 million videos pop up. Need to sew a throw pillow? Hit play. Want to turn your lipstick into a pencil eraser? Go for it. Always dreamed of making a fake bowl of fruit out of jello? You’re in luck!
At GoldieBlox, we build, invent, and create, and we can tell that this corner of the YouTube universe is fertile ground for growing the next generation of engineers.
We know kids and adults alike connect with this hands-on, do-it-yourself mentality, and we believe DIY videos can offer young creators approachable blueprints for their first shot at inventing. How? By hacking them together with another type of YouTube video that kids love – toy videos!
Our new show, Toy Hackers, flips the script, turning a kid’s toy box into a toolbox. We want kids to see everyday objects as their bill of materials – because at GoldieBlox, nothing is off-limits. Finding an action figure with her leg stuck in the toaster isn’t all that weird to us. We believe that you don’t need fancy tools to be an inventor; all you really need is an idea.
We teamed up with Simone Giertz, the Queen of, um, Not-So-Good Robots and a couple of our very own in-house hackers, Amie & Cindy, to make it come to life!
Simone Giertz is basically a grown up version of Goldie Blox herself. Through her awesome YouTube channel, she was given the nickname Queen of Not-So-Good Robots, and you’ve probably seen a clip of her getting smacked in the face by a giant hand or having lipstick smeared all over her mouth.
Simone is an engineer at heart, and her channel is technology plus comedy plus a lot of stuff being knocked over by her goofy robots. Being an inventor and creator is what makes her happiest, and when she said she wanted to join the Toy Hackers team to help us fine-tune our hacks, we couldn’t set yes fast enough.
And she’s been hacking since day one. We asked her if she could go back in time and hack her childhood toys, which one would it be?
“I’d love to hack the first robot I ever built. I was 8 when I made it, and the robot was just a block of wood with sticks for arms. Adding some motors to it so that it could move would have been pretty rad!”
Amie & Cindy are two-thirds of the team that pumps out prototype after prototype in our very own BloxShop. In their space, you’ll find everything from glitter to glue guns to a disassembled hair dryer.
As the Product Designer, Amie’s design philosophy can be summed up in three words: Simple, but crazy. Like the chocolate milk luge she built that one time. (There were marshmallows. It was delicious.)
“I ooze fun and wacky ideas,” she says. “And at GoldieBlox, I get to make those things real every day.”
And Amie sees future innovators finding their way through play. “With these toys and this new show, I want to help the next generation tap into creativity and confidence to solve the world’s problems.”
If she could hack any of her childhood toys, it would be her stuffed animal collection. “My hacked stuffed animals would have to respond to music so they danced to my mom’s records. Or I would mash them up with electronics, like helicopters and robots, so they became plush cyborgs.”
Cindy is our resident Mechanical Engineer and believes that kids can develop the STEM skills she uses in the BloxShop through toys and tinkering. “I want kids to create with what’s around them,” she says, “ and to believe that they can build and make anything. Because they can!”
For Toy Hackers, Cindy found herself using more, um, non-traditional materials in her design process. Plastic cups, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, and fake flowers found their way to the workbench… and Cindy wasn’t mad about it. “After all, tools are all around you!”
If she could go back and hack a childhood toy, she’d solve an age-old problem: How do you read in the shower?!
“I loved reading as a kid and was always upset that I couldn’t read while taking a shower (especially when new Harry Potter books debuted). I really wanted all of my books to have waterproof pages!”
Check out all the gadgets and gizmos in their natural habitat – the first episode of Toy Hackers is below!
PS. If you find KoolAid in your ice cube trays… well, sorry in advance.