GoldieBlox is an award-winning, interactive toy company on a mission to inspire the next generation of female innovators. 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 was named “People’s Choice” and “Most Educational Toy” at the 2014 Toy of the Year Awards. Now offering six unique toy sets and expansion packs, a mobile app, and digital playground, the brand aims to highlight Goldie and her friends as role models for girls around the world.
GoldieBlox pairs a construction kit with a storybook, engaging girls’ verbal skills and encouraging them to build alongside the narrative of Goldie, a curious and confident inventor, and her friends. GoldieBlox’s mission is to close the gender gap in STEM science, technology, engineering, and math - and change the way we think about toys for girls.
- 1 History
- 2 Products
- 3 Videos
- 4 Advertisements
- 5 Awards
- 6 Partnerships
- 7 External links
- 8 References
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%  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.
To fund her first round of production, Sterling created a Kickstarter campaign in 2012. 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.
Geared toward ages (4-12), toys in the GoldieBlox series introduce engineering concepts to girls through storytelling and building. Girls follow Goldie, a quirky female inventor, and her friends on adventures as they solve problems by building simple machines. Girls build alongside the story, motivated to create by prompts within the narrative. GoldieBlox toys help girls develop spatial skills, learn basic engineering concepts, and build confidence in problem-solving. The toys are each compatible with each other, so they can be used in a series as well as separate sets. Each toy introduces new characters and concepts, and there are currently six sets in the series:
- “GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine” is the first toy in the product line and was developed in 2012 as a part of the Kickstarter campaign. The toy won the Toy Industry Association Toy of the Year award in 2014 in both the Education and People’s Choice categories. This set introduces the engineering concept of a belt drive.
- “GoldieBlox and the Parade Float” is the second toy in the product line, launching in October 2013. This set introduces the engineering concept of a wheel & axle.
- “GoldieBlox and the Dunk Tank” is the third toy in the product line, launching in January 2014. This set introduces the engineering concept of a hinge.
- “GoldieBlox Zipline Action Figure” is GoldieBlox’s first action figure, introduced in October 2014. More than just a doll, action figure Goldie's articulated shoulders, joints, hands and feet are designed for action. The action figure comes with a construction kit, allowing kids to build Goldie a 13' zipline.
- “GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine” was introduced in October 2014. The set teaches kids about animation, introducing them to a zoetrope, a pre-cinema animation device. The set also interacts with the GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine mobile app, as kids can print out the short films they’ve made in the app and insert them into the toy.
- “GoldieBlox and the Builder’s Survival Kit” was introduced in October 2014. The set includes more than 190 pieces, teaching many mechanical engineering concepts. The set comes with Goldie’s Diary of Inventions, offering kids a wide-eyed perspective of Goldie’s world, her friends and family, and all of her secret inventions.
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.
GoldieBlox & Rube Goldberg “Princess Machine”
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, and was originally set to an original parody of the Beastie Boys song "Girls". Shortly after the release, the Beastie Boys accused the company of copyright infringement and Goldieblox responded by suing for declaratory judgment in U.S. District Court of San Francisco seeking declaration of fair use due to parody. The Beastie Boys responded with a counter lawsuit and a settlement was reached in March 2014. The music in the video was changed. .
This is Your Brain on Engineering (GoldieBlox Easter PSA)
“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
“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.
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.
Intuit’s Small Business Big Game Super Bowl commercial
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." 
GoldieBlox is a recipient of the below awards:
- Inc's Most Audacious Companies
- Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies
- Toy Industry Association's Toy of the Year - People's Choice and Educational Categories
- Parents Magazine's Toy of the Year
- Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award
In 2014, GoldieBlox joined the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with a kid-powered float called the "Girl-Powered Spinning Machine." GoldieBlox's float was the first-ever specifically designed to demonstrate the principles of engineering with active cranks, gears, and pulleys. The company will also be participating in the 2015 and 2016 parades.
- Harp, Jill (11 June 2013). "Girls need to overcome hurdles to build their presence in STEM fields". Post-Crescent. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- Paramaguru,, Kharunya (24 September 2012). "GoldieBlox, The Toy Designed To Inspire Future Female Engineers". Time. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- Said, Carolyn (8 February 2013). "GoldieBlox helps get girls into engineering". SF Gate. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- Farr, Christina (25 September 2012). "Stanford engineer launches GoldieBlox, a toy to inspire young girls to be engineers". Venture Beat. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "GoldieBlox: The Engineering Toy for Girls". Kickstarter. October 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- Salmon, Felix (26 November 2013). "GoldieBlox, fair use, and the cult of disruption". Reuters. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Sterling, Debbie (27 November 2013). "Our letter to the Beastie Boys". GoldieBlox. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- Said, Carolyn (1 February 2014). "GoldieBlox Super Bowl ad strives to entice girls to science". San Francisco Chronicle.