Awesome Stuff: Toys

from the go-play dept

For this week's awesome stuff post concerning interesting crowdfunding projects, we decided to get a little more playful, and take a look at some toys.
  • First up, is STRAWBEES, a simple connector system for straws or cardboard. There are tons of toys out there that let kids build things, but this is a neat, simple set of connector pieces that let you take ordinary straws or pieces of cardboard and build whatever you want with them. The fact that they have a Wes Anderson-like video doesn't hurt either.
    These guys are already well past their $20,000 goal already shooting past $50,000 with two and a half weeks to go. There are a bunch of different price points, so people can opt in at whatever level they want. They even have an "infinite kit" in which they give you the tool to make your own pieces, so you will never run out, no matter how many you need. Kind of a neat idea on its own.
  • Next up, we've got Snaak, a funky "3D puzzle and shape maker tool." It's actually 64 cubes connected together that you can move around to form all different kinds of things. You can see how it works via the video, though I have to say it's one of the most annoying Kickstarter videos I've ever seen. We get it. The product is called Snaak -- you don't need to start every sentence by repeating the name. Also, I'm always at least a little wary of projects that highlight the fact that they're "patent pending." That has no impact at all on whether or not your product is good or useful. Your patent does nothing for me, other than make me wonder if you're going to become a patent troll at some point.
    There's just a few days left on this project, and it's already more than doubled its $20,000 goal, so this will definitely get funded.
  • Finally, we've got Modarri Cars, which are some pretty cool toy cars, which tries to combine a few key features: cars that kids (of all ages) can really play with, with real suspensions, but which are also modular, allowing people to take them apart and change them around. My own kid loves to play with toy cars, and these are definitely a lot more advanced and look like a lot more fun than your standard toy cars. One side note: towards the end, the COO of the company claims they went to Kickstarter to get people to "invest" in the company. That's not a particularly wise thing to say, since investing means something very different than what's happening on Kickstarter (you're effectively donating/pre-buying) and there are some pretty serious laws that can get you in real trouble with the SEC if you offer to let people "invest" in your company without going through the official process (especially when what happens isn't really an investment). Clearly, he doesn't really mean invest, but I'm surprised anyone would allow that video to go out into the world like that.
    Just like the other two projects discussed today, these guys are seeking $20,000 (this is actually their second attempt, after a failed first attempt where they sought $80,000) and they're already well over that amount, pushing $40,000 with still nearly a month to go.
That's it for this week. Go out and play with some toys.

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