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Form and Features
The product consists of plastic cubes with weak magnets placed on the underside of each side of the cube. The surface of the cube will be smooth yet would still be able to instantly connect with its polar opposite magnet on another cube. The cubes can be color-coded to denote what particular type of cube is compatible with the other such as white being positive and red being negative. These cubes are meant to follow the same function as Lego bricks yet are easier to disassemble and will be dishwasher safe.
Each kit will come with simple instructions regarding the initial type of constructions that kids can create with their cube creations. Other possible design features that can be added to the cube kit could come in the form of rectangular pieces and waterproof sticker tiles that can be pasted on the sides to create variety (George 6).
The construction of the cubes would be relatively simple since all that would be needed is a solid square surface to act as the base, six thin square magnets to be placed on each side of the cube and plastic tiles to cover the magnets. From a design standpoint, it would be relatively easy to create and would be cost-effective since mass-producing the same cube over and over again with the only difference being the color is not that complicated. The paint and plastic used on the cubes should be non-toxic and clear warnings need to be placed on the cube kit that this type of creative toy should not be given to kids three years and below since they could act as a potential choking hazard.
The technologies used in the creation of these toys are relatively straightforward since they only require plastic and magnets. The main technological aspect of the toys consists of the magnets that will go into them and the plastic covers used on the surface of the magnets. The core of the cube can be made of plastic or wood and should be relatively durable since the cubes are meant to be stacked to create a wide variety of possible shapes and structures (Buchanan 22).
This type of product fulfills the need for a portable educational toy that can be brought on family trips that kids can play with. Through the cube kit, kids will learn the basics of magnetic attraction, gravity, proper construction principles, and aesthetic design (Odess and Margaliot 35). The manual that will come with the cube kit will challenge kids to create more impressive designs and the advantage of this type of product is that multiple kits can be combined to create some truly stunning creations.
The inspiration for this type of kit comes from the online sandbox game “Minecraft” where users utilize cubes to create structures. A cross-promotional agreement can be developed between the cube kit and the owners of the Minecraft brand to advertise the cube kit as a real-world application of Minecraft in action. This has the potential to convince many of the kids that play Minecraft to purchase their cube kits so that they can bring their Minecraft creations to the real world. Depending on the number of kits a kid has, there are potentially limitless iterations when it comes to the type of structures and creations they can make (Ogata 133). All in all, a cube kit holds the potential to be “the next big thing” when it comes to educational toys for young kids.
Buchanan, Carolyn, Samantha Brody, and Warren Buckleitner. “Fun Under The Sun.” Scholastic Parent & Child 14.8 (2007): 22. Print.
George, Stephen C. “A Toy Story.” Discover 35.10 (2014): 6. Print.
Odess, Blumi, and Sheindy Margaliot. “Creating Appropriate Toys For Children With Multiple Handicaps.” Review 26.1 (1994): 35. Print.
Ogata, Amy. “Creative Playthings.” Winterthur Portfolio 39.2/3 (2004): 130-156. Print.