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Larsen Toy Lab: Rediscover the Power of Building Blocks's video poster
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We created a Book series, Game, and Puzzle centered around one of the most creative and educational toys ever - Blocks! Read more

New York, NY Design
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on December 14, 2012.

We created a Book series, Game, and Puzzle centered around one of the most creative and educational toys ever - Blocks!

New York, NY Design
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About this project

Hey There! Thanks for watching our video and welcome to the only brother/sister toy making project on Kickstarter (we think)!

  • Kickstarter helps fund creative projects by allowing people to pledge money in exchange for rewards
  • Rewards are located on the right column
  • Most of them are toys but we added a few rewards for those that don't know any kids
  • ALL rewards include shipping! 
  • ALL rewards will be shipped by Christmas!

Our idea for Larsen Toy Lab is a simple one, and it stems from a frustration of seeing the same cheap plastic imported toys on every shelf and every online shop.  With our combined experience in Product Design, Engineering, Marketing, and Sales we felt like we were in a position to do something about it - and after talking with friends and family it was clear that our toy pain was shared!  

We started developing a few ideas based on our favorite toys as kids - Blocks.  We got to work making prototypes and testing them with kids of our family and friends - all while making continuous improvements.  With the help of our mom (an art teacher) we created a children's book starring Leif: a young Viking boy that uses his imagination to transform from a poor farmer's son into the town hero!  We even brought a set into the classroom so that we could talk to teachers and watch kids as they listened to our children's book and played with our blocks: 

After talking to parents and teachers there were two things that became obvious: 

1.  Blocks are arguably the single most important toy when it comes to developing critical thinking, problem solving, and social skills.  Also (sadly) most teachers said that block play was losing out to new technology.

2.  Kids love a good story.  It gets them to think differently (if only for a short time) as they relate to new characters and situations.  

EVERYTHING about our toys is different compared to what you would find on a shelf at most toy stores.   

Help us reverse this trend..

Fast forward a few months are here were are: 3 new products ready to go into production - all centered around the idea that blocks should be in the hands of more kids!  Each product lets kids interact with the blocks in a slightly different way, showing off the versatility and educational power of the blocks themselves.  Our ultimate goal is:

1.  Educate and engage kids (and parents) through original puzzles, games, and stories 

2.  Offer ample opportunity for more open-ended, imaginative, and creative play - an inherent characteristic of blocks!   

Those boxes above are actually just a thin piece of paper that our printer gave us as a proof (we can't believe they held together).  We are still a ways away from turning our idea into a success - but luckily we found some really great vendors and have some awesome family and friends that are constantly giving us free advice.  

We have everything lined up to go full speed ahead, all we need is the money to get started.  This is where you come in - take a look at what we can offer you below and we will do everything possible to make sure YOU ARE REWARDED FOR SHOWING US YOUR SUPPORT!  

Rewards (limited amount available for 2012 Holiday Season!)


Risks and challenges

Even though we've encountered plenty of hurdles to get to this point we are fully aware of the challenges that lay ahead. Our biggest challenge so far (partly because it wasn't our area of expertise, and partly because it doesn't come as naturally to us) is to build an audience through social media and blogs. At the end of the day, after meeting with new vendors and discussing new products, we often forget the need to share what we've learned. We love following our favorite companies on facebook and seeing what they're up to (also getting the scoop on promotions, deals and sales!) so we definitely know the importance of those efforts, it's just an area we need to become more comfortable in - and realize that what we share from our experiences can be used to educate and, hopefully in some cases, encourage more people to follow their passion!

Up to this point we've published 2 books, designed 3 boxes, created a website from scratch, sanded a thousand blocks, found vendors that are aligned with our values, filmed a video, and went back to Kindergarten class. But.. our willingness and eagerness to learn all of this new stuff is absolutely secondary to the importance of the help and support we've had from friends and family. Similar to most Kickstarter campaigns, we think the most valuable thing we can achieve is to build a community of fans that tell us what we are doing right, what we are doing wrong, and how to be better!

A very special thanks to all the family and friends for showing support, and to Randy Funke and Joe Haddad for helping with some of the more technical challenges!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Yes, we limited the amount of all rewards so that it would be feasible for us to deliver them by the holidays. Once those rewards are fulfilled we will open up more that have an expected delivery date for the beginning of 2013!

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  • We will contact you after the project ends. Most people just do first names, but we're very accommodating! Also, if you ordered a 'package' reward you will be able to choose a different name for each set.

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  • We will contact you after the project ends. Sizes come in youth and adult ranges. Colors are blue and green.

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  • Sharing is caring! Tell your friends that have kids - tell your friends that have nieces and nephews - or you could play it safe and just tell everyone you know...

    Also, we love feedback. Tell us how you really feel!

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    2 backers

    THANK YOU NOTE. In order to show you our sincere appreciation for supporting us we'll send a handwritten (apologies on the handwriting) custom designed postcard! SHIPPING IS INCLUDED ON ALL REWARDS!!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    8 backers

    ENGRAVED BLOCK PAPERWEIGHT
    We will engrave any name, company, etc. of your
    choosing on one of our ‘Naked Maple’ blocks! HOLIDAY DELIVERY

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    23 backers

    AWESOME T-SHIRT. Can't go wrong with a quality Amercian Apparel T-Shirt (light green) made right here in the USA. HOLIDAY DELIVERY

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    19 backers

    ****PUZZLE SET ****
    A wide difficulty range for 4 different puzzles makes this set fun for little ones to
    learn new shapes but also exciting for older kids
    looking for a good challenge! (INCLUDES: 10 blocks, 4 puzzles, and personal engraving!) HOLIDAY DELIVERY

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $55 or more

    37 backers Limited (13 left of 50)

    **** ORIGINAL SET ****
    Get the set that started it all. Read the story of a young Viking boy able to use his imagination to transform from a poor farmer's son into a town hero! (INCLUDES: 'Sticks and Stones' children's book, 20 blocks, a cotton bag, and personally engraved!) HOLIDAY DELIVERY

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $55 or more

    11 backers

    ****BUILDING BRIDGES****
    Leif’s second adventure
    introduces new characters (Emma) and
    new challenges for Leif and friends to
    overcome! New block shapes and detailed examples of what kids can create with the blocks (mixed into the story) make this a perfect gift for young builders! (INCLUDES: 'Building Bridges' children's book, 24 blocks, and personal engraving!) HOLIDAY DELIVERY

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $65 or more

    10 backers

    ****TEN TOWERS**** Our strategy game encourages basic shape
    recognition for younger players and
    strategic thinking skills for older, more competitive kids. Equally fun for parents or grandparents! (INCLUDES: 26 blocks, 1 GAME platform, and 12 playing cards!) HOLIDAY DELIVERY

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $70 or more

    1 backer

    NOW SHIPPING TO CANADA! Get BUILDING BRIDGES or THE ORIGINAL SET shipped to Canadian addresses only. $15 extra has been added to this reward to account for extra shipping cost - only select this reward if you live in Canada! We will ask you after the campaign which set you'd like.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    23 backers Limited (2 left of 25)

    ****STARTER PACKAGE**** Get SHAPE MATCH and BUILDING BRIDGES! Each set includes its own personal engraving! HOLIDAY DELIVERY

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    4 backers Limited (16 left of 20)

    ****TOYS WITH A STORY PACKAGE**** Get an AWESOME T-SHIRT, THE ORIGINAL SET and BUILDING BRIDGES! Each set includes its own personal engraving! HOLIDAY DELIVERY

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    ****BIG SPENDER PACKAGE**** Get all 4 sets (SHAPE MATCH, ORIGINAL SET, BUILDING BRIDGES, AND TEN TOWERS) plus an AWESOME T-SHIRT, plus 50 extra blocks! Each set includes its own personal engraving! HOLIDAY DELIVERY

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States

Funding period

- (30 days)