Posts tagged toys

TOTW: PowerUp 3.0, Making Paper Airplanes Above All Other Paper Airplanes

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Paper airplanes have been a fun toy for kids for a long time, having the joy of building, or in this case folding their own flying machine. Nowadays, even though these paper airplanes are still as fun as they were, they have been mostly replaced by toy remote control helicopters, or even complicated drones for the more dedicated consumers. Drones in particular are now becoming very popular (and controversial), since they are pretty much the gateway to personalized air service and fun. Tacocopters (don’t ask), scouting vehicles and much more have been made out of drones, but if you want a good one, they are very expensive. Even the toys are somewhat expensive. Shai Goltein and his crew decided to make a cheaper toy that still gave access to the sky, and they came up with PowerUp 3.0.

When you throw a regular airplane, it glides and spins for a while (if you’ve done it right) and then it crashes. In the best scenarios. PowerUp 3.0 is a add on to your regular aircraft. On the front, a aerodynamic capsule contains all the necessary chips and a 60 yard control radius Bluetooth chip. A rod, about the size of a average paper airplane connects the front caps lot the back, which is a propellor and a rudder. Sounds simple enough. The propeller is steered by the rubbed, giving it the ability to move, and stay in flight when any other plane would fall.

To control the PowerUp, all you have to do is stick it on your plane, set up the app and start flying. The app is very easy to use and pick up for first timers. To control the altitude, you pull a joystick up and down. To turn the plane, you motion with the phone like you are trying to get a cell signal. There is a screen showing you a basic image of where the plane is, but other than that, that’s all you have to do.

PowerUp 3.0 will definitely revolutionize the flight toy industry, probably not completely taking out toy helicopters, but certainly becoming the cheaper and more hands on alternative. There is only a couple cons to the PowerUp, one of which is the low 10 minute battery life. That is not a very big deal though, since (1) that is not any less than normal toy helicopters and (2) it can be recharged. Overall, the PowerUp is a great toy for the new generation.

TOTW: Open Source Stuffed Animals Squishable

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Social media is great for a lot of things, such as keeping in touch with friends or searching for interesting articles, but it has never yet been used like the way Zoe Fraade-Blanar and her husband Aaron Glazer use it. They are the founders of the 11 person company Squishable, who are out to make the cutest and most diverse set of stuffed animals to ever set foot on the market. They even made a Squishable Axolotl. Never heard of it? Point proven.

The Squishable Axolotl

AXOLOTL MEMUCO

The Axolotl

So how do stuffed animals have anything to do with social media? Well, Squishable uses social media sites like Facebook to take advice and search for new ideas for their ever-growing collection of plushes! As an example, here is a post they did on Facebook last Wednesday:

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As you can see, Squishable takes the public into account, which greatly boost the customer satisfaction. Squishable is probably the only toy company that does that, which explains it’s huge following. Plus, I personally think Squishables come out better than competing brands. But that’s not all Squishable has to do with the public.

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Squishable Cuthulhu

Open Squish is Squishable’s biggest advantage over other toy companies. Open Squish is a program where anyone over the age of 18 to can submit a design for a future Squishable! First, you can download a template and use that as a base for your design. Then, you upload your design to Squishable’s website to be approved. If it is approved, your design gets put into a contest, in which people can vote on all the approved designs for the best one of the week. All of those will be prototyped and the few successful prototypes will be made into Squishables (mini or regular)! You can even look at and critique the prototypes. If it is not as successful or has something wrong, it could end up as a Limited Edition, where only 1,000 will be made commercially available. Plus, the prize for getting your design picked is $500 ($250 for mini), a $100 ($50 for mini) Squishable gift card, and your name on the tag if picked.

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Squishable is probably the best and biggest stuffed animal company out there. Any animal you can think of has already been made or prototyped. They even have some food, like waffles or bacon. But seriously, Squishable uses social media and the public to their own advantage, securing success. Like no toy company has done before.

 

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