Goldie Blox

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Goldie Blox is a toy company (and also the name of the toy), established in 2012 in Oakland, California to introduce girls to the field of engineering. The toy was developed by Debbie Sterling, an engineer who is now an entrepreneur living in San Francisco. Initial production of GoldieBlox was crowdfunded on Kickstarter in 4 days.

GoldieBlox is a company founded by female mechanical engineer, Debbie Sterling. Sterling founded the company because she was bothered by the lack of women in the engineering field, and the lack of encouragement girls receive to go into the math and science fields.

GoldieBlox "[aims] to disrupt the pink aisle and inspire the future generation of female engineers." They create toys that help tap into kid's verbal and spatial skills and give them the confidence to invent and create. Historically, toys that are geared towards engineering and building have been marketed toward boys, but GoldieBlox wants to change the equation and "inspire the future generation of female engineers." GoldieBlox was crowd funded using Kickstarter to raise money to manufacture the original toy prototype.

"Goldie," is a smart young girl that Sterling created to be featured in the book that comes with the construction toy. The girls help Goldie solve problems by building things. The toy has been picked up by multiple big name stores, including Toys 'R' Us and Target.

"We believe there are a million girls out there who are engineers. They just might not know it yet. We think GoldieBlox can show them the way."

Goldie Blox toy press image.

History[edit]

As the percentage of women in engineering in the United States was only 10% while she was studying, Debbie Sterling wanted to influence the number of women working in the field in the future.[1][2] Beginning with the assumption that storytelling will increase a young girl's connection with the act of building, Sterling created a set of toys intended to be used to solve problems while reading about adventures.[3] Working with people from such companies as Pictionary and IDEO, Sterling developed the toy's narrative and components, and had a prototype produced.[4]

Sterling and a team of volunteers tested the prototype with more than a hundred girls.

"The reason why we’re probably even talking today is because the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. You put it in front of a kid and they’re pretty brutally honest. We found that girls got into the story and wanted to build along with it."

—Debbie Sterling, [5]

Encouraged by the reaction during testing, Sterling created a Kickstarter campaign to fund the mass production of the first toy set.[6] The project reached its first goal in 5 days and went on to raise a total of $285,881 with 5,519 backers by 17 October 2012.[7]

Debbie Sterling is the founder and CEO of GoldieBlox. She was raised in a small town in Rhode Island. She graduated from Stanford with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Product Design. She started GoldieBlox to encourage more young girls to go into the engineering field.

Sterling spoke at TED in 2013, explaining her motivation for creating GoldieBlox -- “We are taught from a very young age that we want to become princesses,” so she decided to inspire girls to want to be things other than princesses.

GoldieBlox[edit]

Within the series, GoldieBlox is a girl in overalls working with animal friends to build machines. Included with the toy are figures, and a construction set including spools and ribbons that children use to create the machines with Goldie.[5]

Goldie Blox began a nationwide distribution in 2013.[8]

Advertisements[edit]

Beastie Boys song[edit]

Following the release by the Goldie Blox company of a viral commercial advertisement featuring girls singing an altered version of the Beastie Boys song "Girls", the Beastie Boys accused Goldie Blox of copyright infringement. Goldie Blox then sued for declaratory judgment in U.S. District Court in San Francisco in November 2013, seeking a declaration of fair use due to parody. The Beastie Boys responded that while they admired the aims of the product, they never allowed their songs to be used in commercial advertising, following which Goldie Blox withdrew their lawsuit and the video.[9][10]

Super Bowl commercial[edit]

In 2014 Goldie Blox, having won a contest over more than 20,000 other applicants sponsored by Intuit, was given a 30-second commercial spot during the broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII. During the 2014 Super Bowl, GoldieBlox became the first small business to have an ad aired during a Super Bowl. GoldieBlox won a contest run by Intuit for a 30 second ad during the Super Bowl, valued at around four million dollars. The ad used a parody of the Slade/Quiet Riot song, "Cum on Feel the Noize," changing the words to "Come On Bring the Toys." The ad depicted hundreds of little girls taking control and ditching their pink toys, while singing "More than pink, pink, pink, we want to think," and that "girls build like all the boys." [11]

Products[edit]

GoldieBlox products introduce some kind of scenario for which the child needs to engineer some kind of “machine.” There are various parts in each package that provide many different design options. For “GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine,” Goldie must build a belt drive machine to help her dog, Nacho, chase his tail. For “GoldieBlox and the Parade Float,” Goldie and her friend Ruby help their friend Katinka build something, and show her that “creativity and friendship are more important than any pageant.” For “GoldieBlox and the Dunk Tank,” Goldie has to build a contraption that will help her wash her dog, Nacho, who hates water. There is an expansion pack available for purchase with extra parts for the engineering toys. They have also released some children’s clothing items, including GoldieBlox logo items and “More Than Just A Princess” items.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harp, Jill (11 June 2013). "Girls need to overcome hurdles to build their presence in STEM fields". Post-Crescent. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Paramaguru, Kharunya (24 September 2012). "GoldieBlox, The Toy Designed To Inspire Future Female Engineers". Time. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Said, Carolyn (8 February 2013). "GoldieBlox helps get girls into engineering". SF Gate. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Lindenmayer, Michael (11 October 2012). "Inspiring Girls to Become Engineers: Meet Goldie Blox". Forbes. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Clendaniel, Morgan (20 September 2012). "GoldieBlox: A Toy And Book Series Designed To Get Young Girls Interested In Engineering". Fast Company. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  6. ^ Farr, Christina (25 September 2012). "Stanford engineer launches GoldieBlox, a toy to inspire young girls to be engineers". Venture Beat. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "GoldieBlox: The Engineering Toy for Girls". Kickstarter. October 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Taylor, Colleen (2 July 2013). "GoldieBlox, The Toy That Aims To Get Girls Hooked On Engineering, Is Coming To A Toys ‘R’ Us Near You". TechCrunch. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Salmon, Felix (26 November 2013). "GoldieBlox, fair use, and the cult of disruption". Reuters. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  10. ^ Debbie Sterling (27 November 2013). "Our letter to the Beastie Boys". Goldie Blox. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  11. ^ Carolyn Said (February 1, 2014). "GoldieBlox Super Bowl ad strives to entice girls to science". San Francisco Chronicle.