GoldieBlox is assembling an empire, one brightly colored building piece at a time. The California-based company may have started with construction sets, but GoldieBlox recently launched a new web series and has plans to continue its multimedia takeover.
“The vision has always been a multimedia approach,” says Beau Lewis, GoldieBlox co-founder and VP of content. “We think that, in order to get kids on-board and compete with Disney Princess and Barbie, we need to reach them repeatedly with new role models and stories they relate to.”
The first aspect of the company’s approach is its new web series Toy Hackers. The series launched recently on YouTube and teaches kids how to hack their toys using everyday objects. The first season features 17 episodes, each of which is accompanied by a step-by-step video explaining how to build the inventions to encourage hands-on learning.
“We knew it was important for the show to actually result in learning and offline exploration for kids,” Lewis says. “We created these inventions around relatable kid problems, like trying to get candy off of the top of the refrigerator. We put a lot of focus on making those inventions whimsical and creative to show the fun side of engineering.”
Like GoldieBlox’s toys, books and apps, Toy Hackers is geared towards girls and focuses on science, technology, engineering and math. Since the company’s founding in 2012, it has sold more than one million toys and has had a million-plus app downloads.
“Toy Hackers is really the next step in our transition to becoming a full-fledged multimedia company,” Lewis says. “We’re big believers in the YouTube platform. We think it will continue to grow for kids, so we wanted to create a series on YouTube, one that inspired offline learning and inventing.”
GoldieBlox is committed to producing and sharing weekly content, and Lewis says the company has plans to increase the frequency of new web content for kids in 2017.
The company’s efforts to diversify will also extend to consumer products. Lewis says upcoming products and play experiences will reflect the recent growth, adding, “You can expect to see some really interesting new play patterns that we’re working on that combine multimedia.”
The most recent addition to GoldieBlox’s consumer products program is the new Invention Mansion, the STEM-centric version of the classic dollhouse. The construction set includes more than 350 pieces and a full-color booklet of starter ideas to encourage open-ended and exploratory play.
The Invention Mansion includes a trap door, zipline, balconies, climbing wall and a number of secret spots. Aimed at kids six and older, the Invention Mansion is compatible with all other GoldieBlox toys and is currently available at major retailers including Barnes & Noble, Toys “R” Us and Amazon.