August 2003 | Vol. II - No. 8
|The Brass Ring|
What is a PixleBlock? We asked him the same thing…
PixelBlocks LLC was formed nine months ago by five industry veterans; [the toys] were invented by a Los Angeles television engineer, Jay Simmons. Jay had difficulty drawing and thought if he could just take the “pixels” of color out of a TV screen, he could put them together to create images.
Our company was formed around the idea of being able to create what is in your imagination. We developed PixelBlocks as a way for children and adults to express themselves, and the patented connections and extensive, vibrant color palette provide an outlet for limitless creativity. PixelBlocks were designed as a physical “pixel,” if you will, representing the dots on a TV or computer monitor.
The Time is Right
Right now, we are primarily focused on the independent and specialty toy markets. PixelBlocks will also be appearing in the Arts and Crafts market, as well as museum and science shops. We feel there is a gap between current technology and physical play, and the time is right to offer an innovative block product.
We have been reaching out mainly through toy shows and fairs. Already this year we’ve been to Nuremberg, New York and the Pomona toy show, all with an overwhelming positive response.
The initial PixelBlocks line will be arriving at retail outlets in September, but the entire range of products have been selling “in” extremely well. Most retailers have ordered the entire line, from 200-block individual color sets to the 2800-block deluxe set and every SKU in between.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
Although we are certainly faced with a demanding retail climate, toys
still represent over a $20 billion industry. Like many, we fear the great
discounting giants are affecting the specialty market’s ability to stay
competitive. But with Arts and Crafts as one of the market segments that
saw a substantial increase in 2002, and with Learning Toys as one of the
“hot” categories right now, we are optimistic about the success of PixelBlocks,
despite any economic slowdown. We know that “depth of play” and a creative
play experience are important to parents.
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