GoldieBlox

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GoldieBlox
Founder Debbie Sterling
Website www.goldieblox.com

GoldieBlox is an interactive toy company for girls. GoldieBlox launched in 2012 and went from a prototype on Kickstarter to more than $1m of pre-orders placed in under a month. In just under two years, GoldieBlox has made its way to Toys "R" Us, Amazon, and more than 6,000 retailers worldwide, including Canada, Australia, and the UK. The company was founded by Debbie Sterling, a Stanford engineering graduate and entrepreneur, and is based in Oakland, CA. GoldieBlox pairs a construction kit with a storybook.[1]

Goldie Blox toy press image.

History[edit]

While Sterling was a student at Stanford, she noticed her classes were predominantly male. This ratio was indicative of a larger gender gap; while she was at Stanford, the percentage of women in engineering in the United States was only 11% [2][3] After research, Sterling found that girls begin to lose interest in math and science as young as age 8. She set out to create a solution, but knew that creating a pink construction toy wasn’t enough. She spent two years studying early child development, specifically in girls and the gender marketing of toys, and learned that girls excel in verbal skills, reading and writing. The breakthrough of GoldieBlox marries the story of Goldie, a girl inventor who loves to build, with a construction kit.[4]

To fund her first round of production, Sterling created a Kickstarter campaign in 2012.[5][6] The project reached its funding goal of $150,000 in 4 days, and went on to raise a total of $285,881 with 5,519 backers by the end of the campaign. In just under two years, GoldieBlox has made its way to Toys “R” Us, Amazon, and more than 1,000 retailers nationwide and in Canada, the U.K. and Australia.

Products[edit]

Geared toward ages (4-12), toys in the GoldieBlox series introduce engineering concepts to girls through storytelling and building. Each toy introduces new characters and concepts, and there are currently six sets in the series.

In 2014, GoldieBlox also began introducing digital content. The company’s first mobile app, GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine, was introduced in October 2014. The app features the company’s first-ever animated cartoon, and was named by Apple as one of the Best Apps of 2014. Bloxtown.com, GoldieBlox’s digital playground, houses original content and videos of new design ideas for kids to watch and build at home.

Videos[edit]

GoldieBlox & Rube Goldberg “Princess Machine”[edit]

GoldieBlox’s “Princess Machine” video launched on YouTube in November 2013, garnering over 8 million views in 4 days. The video features three young girls building a Rube Goldberg machine built by Brett Doar, and was set to a parody tune of the Beastie Boys song "Girls". Shortly after the release, the Beastie Boys reached out to GoldieBlox, inquiring about the use of their song without their permission. Goldieblox responded by suing for declaratory judgment in U.S. District Court of San Francisco seeking declaration of fair use due to parody. GoldieBlox claimed fair use on the grounds that they had "created its parody video specifically to comment on the Beastie Boys song, and to further the company's goal to break down gender stereotypes and to encourage young girls to engage in their intellect."[7] The Beastie Boys responded with an open letter, in which they lauded "the creativity and message behind the ad," voiced their support for GoldieBlox's mission, but ultimately declared that the band did not permit their "music and/or name to be used in product ads,"[8] a claim which was further bolstered by a stipulation in deceased band member Adam Yauch's will.[9] The Beastie Boys concluded their letter by stating, "when we tried to simply ask how and why our song 'Girls' had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US."[10] GoldieBlox responded positively by taking down the video and writing their own open letter (which has since been taken down) stating that, "although we believe our parody video falls under fair use, we would like to respect [Yauch's] wishes and yours." Regardless, the Beastie Boys went ahead with the counter lawsuit and a settlement was ultimately reached. The settlement granted GoldieBlox a retroactive license for the song, in exchange GoldieBlox "agreed to make annual payments of 1% of its gross revenue, until the total payments reached $1 million, to a charitable organization chosen by the Beastie Boys and approved by GoldieBlox which supports ‘science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics education for "girls’."[11]

This is Your Brain on Engineering (GoldieBlox Easter PSA)[edit]

“This is Your Brain on Engineering (GoldieBlox Easter PSA)” video launched on YouTube in April 2014. The video spotlights the difference between a young girl’s brain “on princess” vs. her brain “on engineering.” It’s an eye opener to the gender norms placed on young girls at an early age, and uses wheels, axles and engineering to highlight some statistics related to the dearth of women in engineering.

GoldieBlox vs. the Big Sister Machine[edit]

“GoldieBlox vs. the Big Sister Machine” launched on YouTube in November 2014, demonstrating the need for female role models inspired by ingenuity and creativity. In the video, Big Sister prescribes her ideals of beauty and perfection to young girls. Little Sister - a girl inspired by Goldie - rebels against the mantra, breaking the girls free and leading them to a world of possibilities. The video is set to Metric's "Help I'm Alive" hit.

Lightning Strikes[edit]

GoldieBlox released their first single and animated music video, "Lightning Strikes," in December 2014. The track is an original song written and performed by Emily Haines, the lead singer of Canadian rock band Metric. The video and song feature Goldie, a strong female character who comes up with a great idea and strives to accomplish it, despite whatever set-backs occur along the way. GoldieBlox and Emily created the song as a message to girls, showing them that with confidence and ingenuity they can accomplish anything.

Advertisements[edit]

Intuit’s Small Business Big Game Super Bowl commercial[edit]

In February 2014, GoldieBlox won Intuit’s Small Business, Big Game contest, earning a 30-second commercial spot during the broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII. The commercial airtime was valued at $4 million, and with the advertisement, GoldieBlox became the first small business to air an ad in the Super Bowl. The ad was set to a parody of the Slade/Quiet Riot song, "Come on Feel the Noize," changing the words to "Come On Bring the Toys." The ad depicted hundreds of little girls ditching their pink toys, while singing "More than pink, pink, pink, we want to think," and that "girls build like all the boys." [12]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chen, Yuyu. "GoldieBlox uses influencers to sell toys to young girls". Digiday.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  2. ^ Harp, Jill (11 June 2013). "Girls need to overcome hurdles to build their presence in STEM fields". Post-Crescent. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Paramaguru,, Kharunya (24 September 2012). "GoldieBlox, The Toy Designed To Inspire Future Female Engineers". Time. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Said, Carolyn (8 February 2013). "GoldieBlox helps get girls into engineering". SF Gate. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  5. ^ Farr, Christina (25 September 2012). "Stanford engineer launches GoldieBlox, a toy to inspire young girls to be engineers". Venture Beat. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "GoldieBlox: The Engineering Toy for Girls". Kickstarter. October 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Beastie". Scribd. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
  8. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (25 November 2013). "Beastie Boys Fight Online Video Parody of 'Girls'". ArtsBeat. Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
  9. ^ "Adam Yauch's Will Prohibits Use of His Music in Ads". Rolling Stone. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
  10. ^ "Beastie Boys Write Classy Open Letter to ‘Girls’-Spoofing Toy Company | SPIN". Spin. 25 November 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
  11. ^ Dredge, Stuart (13 May 2014). "GoldieBlox agreed to pay $1m to charity in Beastie Boys settlement". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
  12. ^ Said, Carolyn (1 February 2014). "GoldieBlox Super Bowl ad strives to entice girls to science". San Francisco Chronicle.