Project image
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CA$ 28,363
pledged of CA$ 63,000pledged of CA$ 63,000 goal
353
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, October 12 2013 3:59 AM UTC +00:00
Colin DrylieBy Colin Drylie
First created
Colin DrylieBy Colin Drylie
First created
CA$ 28,363
pledged of CA$ 63,000pledged of CA$ 63,000 goal
353
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, October 12 2013 3:59 AM UTC +00:00

About

The campaign might be over, but the chance to reimagine sand play forever isn't! You can find sandblox at sandbloxtoys.com.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sandblox is a re-imagination of what sand play can be. Help bring countless hours of rewarding play to kids (yes, even big ones) at beaches and in sand boxes the world over. Follow sandblox on twitter @sandbloxtoys where I'll post links to new castle pics throughout the project! 

INSPIRATION

After becoming an uncle, I was inspired to create an amazing toy that unleashed creativity rather than drowning it in flashing lights and pre-programmed sounds. It was to be a simple rugged toy that effortlessly encouraged learning through play. And, was perhaps best used outdoors... 

I always loved sand as nature's simplest building material; could never seem to get enough time with a bin of Danish plastic building blocks; and, for quite some time, was obsessed with arranging and rearranging those colourful geometric pattern blocks from school. 

The synthesis of these old favourites resulted in sandblox. 

SANDBLOX

Sandblox is a set of easy-to-use precision sand building tools which includes: 

  • square, rectangle, triangle, diamond, and hexagon molds and plates 
  • two interchangeable sliders that help easily pull molds off placed blox
  • step-by-step instructions starting from simple tips and shape concepts progressing through to advanced design suggestions depending on age and ability. Includes an array of starter patterns, wall and tower examples and an ambitious castle plan.
sandblox set
sandblox set
inspiring instructions
inspiring instructions

Of course, most kids that were bursting to try sandblox on the beach just went right for it, surprising me with flowers and geometric art that was beyond my imagination!

assorted kid creations
assorted kid creations

STURDY. PRECISE. VERSATILE. COMPACT.

Sandblox have a robust plastic design that promises to withstand years of use and abuse. Sand is known to gum up all sorts of mechanical objects, especially when wet. That's why sandblox underwent rigorous functional testing and iteration. They're perfectly dimensioned to produce consistent shapes while allowing for sand to accumulate and stick in designated spaces to prevent jams. Of course they work best if you rinse them out every now and then. 

The set is compact (20cm x 20cm x 7.5cm  /  8" x 8" x 2.5") and is easy to store or transport to your beach vacation. Sandblox creations can be easily contained and cleaned up, so are suited for use indoors or out... in public, at home or an educational setting.

With five molds, the shape combinations are almost endless (but that doesn't mean there aren't more molds in the pipeline). We can finally move beyond the dark ages of sand toys... how many kids can say they’ve built a sand skyscraper? Hopefully many will soon!

PLAY TO LEARN

Sure it’s fun, but as industrious and creative boys and girls busily play in the sand, they’ll build foundational spatial awareness and patterning skills, including an introduction to basic math concepts (i.e., rotation, reflection, translation and symmetry) using common geometric shapes. Not to mention improving fine motor control. Building structures as a series of layers also promotes 3-dimensional visualization and planning. The instructions are specifically designed to kickstart learning through play.

tower with plans
tower with plans

FUNCTIONAL EXPECTATIONS

Sandblox have been tested to work with all types of sand, but I must warn you, not all sand is created equal. Sand composition varies widely and with it so does the precision and stability of resulting blox. Some pebbly glacial sands found way up here at freshwater beaches in Canada don't allow for super tall fine-featured structures (e.g., opening of the video and kid shots), but finer-grained coastal sand and any screened play sand are sure to surprise you (e.g., tall towers in pictures and the video). As kids try out different beaches and sand boxes, they're sure to acquire some hard won "structural engineering" and "fluid dynamics" experience...

advanced structural engineering and fluid dynamics testing (a.k.a. when will it fall over?)
advanced structural engineering and fluid dynamics testing (a.k.a. when will it fall over?)

WHY KICKSTARTER?

Let's face it, sandblox are ideal for Kickstarter fans who understand the positive influence of thoughtfully designed objects on our lives. People like you (and your kids) are bringing grassroots designs with timeless purpose to the forefront. I'd love to know whether smart interesting people actually want sandblox (for their smart interesting kids, of course) before I try to take them mainstream.

MAKING IT HAPPEN

My experience as a project manager at a premier innovation strategy consulting firm, where I helped conceive and launch new businesses for clients, helps guarantee that, if funded, this project will be successful. I’ve spent hours iterating in CAD, 3D printing prototypes, honing and testing functional limitations, and conducting painstaking beachfront user testing to get here. 

Consultations with injection molding experts here in Toronto give me confidence that sandblox is ready for production using long-lasting child safe plastics. 

The funding raised on Kickstarter will be used to cut injection molding tools, produce a breakeven run of sandblox, print instructions, then package and ship sandblox sets to backers. The main timeline driver is getting tooling fabricated, tested and running, which was quoted to me at 6-8 weeks. I've already worked with an injection molding partner here in Toronto to ready the design and will fund the tooling deposit to get started the minute the project looks like it's a go!

Once the project is complete, I hope to bring sandblox toys to even more kids through online and physical retail for summer 2014. 

All I need now is your support to reimagine sand play forever. If you like sandblox, please back the project and share with your friends. 

Thank you very much.

- Colin

Risks and challenges

1. Product Design Changes
It's natural to make design changes when adapting from 3D printed prototypes to injection molded parts. There will be slight variations from the product images shown as a result. Once the dies are cut, I will work with the injection molder to test a few different plastics with varying physical characteristics, thermal expansion properties, and textures to determine the ideal material for the molds, plates and sliders. Colours may not exactly match those shown in product photos, and sandblox sets will come in a variety of fun colour combinations as a result of the chosen tool setup (e.g., set 1 w/ gray hexagon vs. set 2 w/ blue hexagon, etc.). All non-single colour sets will come in 5 distinct colours. Multiple versions of instructions will be printed to ensure colours match between instructions and toys (no need for confusion there). The prototypes shown include most changes already suggested by injection molders (except for an improvement to the slider design which is darn difficult to print), and certain product dimensions and working surface textures will be substantially improved over prototypes when molded.

2. Production and Shipping Timing
Although the CAD designs are set to go for tooling, there are potential unforeseen external circumstances that could delay the production schedule and push delivery past the quoted dates. I've carefully selected a local injection molding partner that is highly qualified, keen to bring sandblox to market and specifically dedicated to producing small batch orders on demand. Having faced all sorts of funhouse obstacles in my career as a project manager, I'll do my best to push through delays and create workarounds wherever possible.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 1 or more About $0.74

    Listed as an initial backer on the sandblox supporter wall. Also, have an electronic copy of the sandblox instructions if you like.

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    Pledge CA$ 10 or more About $7

    Listed as an initial backer on the sandblox supporter wall. I'll mail you a physical copy of the sandblox instructions if you like.
    (Includes postage in Canada & US)

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    2 backers
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    Pledge CA$ 25 or more About $19

    STARTUP SANDBLOX

    You'll get an assortment of two molds and one slider plus the instructions. I'll make sure you get two shapes that allow for tons of fun pattern options. Instructions include a limited edition thank you to Kickstarter backers with your backer # stamped on the back. Pledge includes shipping within US AND CANADA (see FAQs).

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    Pledge CA$ 34 or more About $25

    TORONTO AREA SANDBLOX PICK-UP

    Get a full sandblox set as pictured with instructions. Instructions include a limited edition thank you to Kickstarter backers with your backer # stamped on the back. I'll set up 2-3 pick up days with demos for kids and/or make a few reasonable local drop offs so you can save the $12 shipping if you live in Toronto. If you do not live in Toronto or do not expect to pick up your set in Toronto, please keep scrolling. Thanks!

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    Pledge CA$ 41 or more About $31

    FIRST WAVE SANDBLOX SET

    Full sandblox set as pictured with instructions. Instructions include a limited edition thank you to Kickstarter backers with your backer # stamped on the back. Pledge includes $12 shipping within Canada & US.

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    Reward no longer available 100 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 46 or more About $34

    ORIGINAL SANDBLOX SET

    Full sandblox set as pictured with instructions. Instructions include a limited edition thank you to Kickstarter backers with your backer # stamped on the back. Pledge includes $12 shipping within Canada & US.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 46 or more About $34

    **US BACKERS** ORIGINAL SANDBLOX SET

    Full sandblox set as pictured with instructions. Instructions include a limited edition thank you to Kickstarter backers with your backer # stamped on the back. Pledge includes $12 shipping to US only.

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    Pledge CA$ 50 or more About $37

    **INTERNATIONAL BACKERS** ORIGINAL SANDBLOX SET

    Full sandblox set as pictured with instructions. Instructions include a limited edition thank you to Kickstarter backers with your backer # stamped on the back. Pledge includes international shipping.

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    Pledge CA$ 55 or more About $41

    MONOCHROME SANDBLOX SET

    For those who just feel better when everything's built with the same colour, you might as well get the special edition monochrome sandblox set (i.e., all red, green, gray, blue, or yellow). Instructions will include a special edition thank you to Kickstarter backers with the monochrome special edition set # stamped on the back. Pledge includes $12 shipping within Canada & US.

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    Pledge CA$ 75 or more About $56

    MATTE BLACK SANDBLOX SET

    For the serious collector-constructor there's a limited edition full sandblox set in solid matte black. Backers will be the only people to ever get these, I mean it! Instructions will include a limited edition thank you to Kickstarter backers with the matte black limited edition set # stamped on the back. Pledge includes $12 shipping within Canada & US.

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    Pledge CA$ 100 or more About $74

    SANDBLOX w/ BEACH BAG + EXTRA SHAPE

    Complement your amazing sandblox set with a custom tailored carrying bag, made by hand here in Canada. Yes, my partner Courtney has kindly offered to produce a limited run while I 3D print the sold out sandblox proto sets. See update #3 for for pictures of an initial version. You'll also receive a 6th unique 3D printed shape of your choosing (from a list of additional shapes) to be revealed when the project is funded. That's on top of the original sandblox set and instructions. Pledge level is for Canada and the US only. Please add $30 or message me for international shipping questions.

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    Pledge CA$ 200 or more About $149

    EDUCATOR SANDBLOX KIT

    Teachers, daycare operators, day camps and occupational therapists, this is for you! You asked for a full-scale set, so here it is! Complete with 25 molds and plates and 25 sliders, the educator set is perfect for large groups of children. Each and every mold will be unique (5 shapes x 5 colors)! You'll get 10 sets of printed instructions and I'll be developing additional learning tools including simple exercises and shape pattern flash cards that can be printed and used in a classroom setting. Pledge level is for Canada and the US only. Please contact for international shipping questions.

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    5 backers
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    Pledge CA$ 250 or more About $186

    SANDBLOX PROTO

    I'll 3D print you a fully-functional prototype-quality set as soon as the project is funded. You'll also get the first shipment of the full production sandblox set (your choice of original, monochrome or matte black). Your name will be listed as a pro backer on the sandblox support wall and your instructions will include a special personal thank you on the back. Note: the prototypes work well enough to create everything you've seen in the project, but may require a touch more patience and tenderness than the production model.
    (Includes shipping in Canada & US)

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    Pledge CA$ 1,500 or more About $1,117

    BACKER ZERO

    If you want a piece of sand toy history, I'll send you the one and only prototype set used in the video footage and product photos for the Kickstarter campaign. Yes, as much as I love them, they can be yours. You'll also get the first shipment of the full production sandblox set (your choice of original, monochrome, matte black, or a special request single solid colour). I'll also provide an in-person tutorial at the beach in Toronto covering all the tips and tricks to get the most out of your sandbox. Your name will be listed as "backer zero" on the sandblox support wall and your instructions will include a special personal thank you on the back. Note: the original prototype set works well enough to create everything you see in the project (because they did), but may require a touch more patience and tenderness than the production version.
    (Please don't bother adding more for shipping outside North America)

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Funding period

- (32 days)