About this project
- $60,000 - Each Animal Stacker gets a limited-edition name tag!
- $80,000 - ALL sets of Animal Stackers will come with an additional block (9 total in the basic set, 18 in the Noah's Ark set, not including the mystery animal).
Walk into any toy store and it’s immediately clear where you go to buy toys for boys and toys for girls. There's not a lot a lot of overlap and most toys don't fit both their needs. Parents end up having to buy separate toys for their boys and girls. Unfortunately this divides the children and can lead to a lot of fights over toys.
Anyone with a brother or sister or cousin or family friend can probably tell you about the fights they had with each other. And I can only imagine how it feels to be the parent. That's why I wanted to make a toy that would bridge these gender boundaries and allow children to play together.
Animal Stackers is a new kind of building block for boys and girls. Usually, boys like building things and tearing them down while girls enjoy telling a story and role-playing. Animal Stackers is a simple and elegant solution that reaches across genders and ages.
I designed the toys so that they can be stacked together in a variety of ways. Each block comes in the form of a familiar animal and really encourages children to use their imagination. The pieces are colorfully painted to represent a multitude of different animals from insects to land animals to sea creatures; more than enough for everyone to have a favorite!
Because of the collaborative nature of the toys, children are encouraged to work together and play together. The stacking toys teach fine motor control and important concepts such as balance and spatial reasoning. And because of their appeal to boys and girls, parents are no longer required to buy separate toys for their children.
In order to make Animal Stackers available for everyone, each set will come with eight unique animals. Give a shout-out to your favorites in the comments! Backers of the "Mystery Animal" or the "Noah's Ark+" reward level will receive a limited-edition, Kickstarter-only Stacker along with the basic Stackers.
Animal Stackers took Gold in last year's Spark Design Awards in the Spark:Product category (Press Release).
Wood Is Good
I will be manufacturing the blocks from only renewable wood sources. Not only do I want to make Animal Stackers a toy anyone can enjoy, I want to make it a sustainable one, too. The wooden toys are something that you can truly treasure and when the time is right you can share them with the next generation of eager eyes.
Because this is a children's toy, I will make sure that Animal Stackers are safe for play. The blocks will go through the same rigorous testing that toys retailing in the United States need to pass. The wooden blocks will be an all-natural product and will be painted with only non-toxic paints and dyes.
Kickstarter and You
Animal Stackers started as a senior project in college but I wanted to take it much further than that. So I've spent the last year visiting toy stores to find out what children and parents really wanted in a toy, creating and refining the prototypes, and testing them out with boys and girls throughout the Bay Area.
I am now ready to take the next step and begin manufacturing. However, in order to make an initial production run, the manufacturers that I have contacted will need a minimum order quantity of 1000 units. With your help I can begin the next phase of production which include:
- Finalizing the designs and preparing them for production
- Testing the toys to ensure they are safe before reaching your doorstep
- Packaging and shipping them to you!
With your help, I really hope we can make a toy that boys and girls can enjoy together.
Risks and challenges
There is a lot that goes into getting a product ready for manufacturing. The final production versions may be slightly modified in order to better fit the manufacturer's needs. I made the prototypes with these manufacturing processes in mind but there is still a chance some minor changes will need to be made.
Animal Stackers will be produced overseas and as a result, we may run into some unforeseen complications. However I have given myself ample time to account for these delays in order to ship to backers on time. In addition, less tooling is required for a wood product, minimizing the chance for error.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Now it does! Select the Noah's Ark+ reward tier if you would like a Mystery Animal in addition to a Noah's Ark set of Animal Stackers.
There are 10 animals in some of the pictures but why does a set come with only eight blocks? Are they randomized?
In order to keep Animal Stackers at a reasonable cost, I had to make the difficult decision to cut two of the blocks from the set. That's not to say they won't be back in a future set!
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