3D Printers For Kids? A Toybox Labs Review (as seen on Shark Tank)

Shark Tank can have all sorts of ingenious innovations on every episode. One particular gem that the show uncovered out of the treasure box is the incredibly inventive and cutting-edge 3D Printers for Kids.

The 3D Printers by Toybox Labs has all the makings of a state-of-the-art modern toy, being remotely controlled by an app and notably easy-to-use at the same time – a combination that’s quite simply hard to balance as features in 21st-century technology.

Technology has made a significant impact in developing STEM toys. This 3D printing marvel from Toybox Labs is a prime example of how far technology has come in providing toys that don’t just impart lessons but also open doors for entertainment as children develop.

Former Microsoft Engineer Jenn Chin and Ben Baltes, a pair of ingenious California Dreamers and founders of Toybox Labs, walked into the hallowed halls of the Shark Tank Season 10. With a colorful, easy-to-use educational powerhouse in hand, the duo presented their pitch and absolutely nailed it.

3D Printers for Kids: Product Review

Toybox Labs 3D Printer - S.P.I.R.A.L. Score


4/5 Stars

Fantastic toy for any future engineer or curious kid. Not messy, easy to learn and somewhat affordable.

Specifically designed to aid educational and entertaining learning for elementary school-aged children, Toybox is a 3D printer that nurtures a dynamic, open-ended playtime with boundless possibilities because of the wide and versatile selection of toys that it can make in just a few clicks of its very own mobile application.

The Toybox 3D printer offers all sorts of entertainment and learning, being able to craft toys for open-ended play, role-playing, and many more. It can produce structures, objects, and characters that are all highly customizable. This unique toy is the first of its kind, able to share lessons on engineering, technology, science, mathematics, and arts – a fine engine in learning and entertainment.

A single Toybox Starter Bundle includes the printer, one reel of coconut (white) print food, one EZ-Peel Bed, a catalog of the basic digital toys that you can cook up with the printer, and free Creator Space access, all for $299.

Replayability and Replenishment

True to its mantra “the last toy you ever need to buy,” the 3D Printer for Kids can seem like the end all be all of all toys as it is able to produce all sorts of other products that kids may want for their playtime with the use of consumable products called “printer food.”

Spools of “printer food” cost 10 dollars each, coming in a variety of colors. This “printer food” is what constitutes the printed toys. It consists of non-toxic, biodegradable, PLA plastic materials made with corn oil. The printer itself, on the other, is all metal and designed to be sturdy and durable and prepared with kids’ safety as a priority. Deviating from the source material known as industrial 3D printers, this 3D Printer for Kids is fully enclosed.

The ease of use that has become part of Toybox Labs’ pride in developing 3D Printers for Kids centers around its digital remote control that can be installed as a smartphone application. Everything that parents or kids will need to run the Toy Box product

Everything you need to run the Toy Box printer is done online or through a smartphone app. This product gives you and your kids the power to make customized toys that are available in their extensive online catalog. The plethora of toys available for creation includes everything from cars to chess pieces to action figures.

Kids can even make “block buddies” or toys that are designed in their own likeness. Perhaps the most amazing feature available for this 3D Printer for Kids is its capability in creating toys of your own design or importing models from a picture.

The way the 3D Printer builds every toy is swift and satisfying to watch. The speed at which the ToyBox 3D printer produces every toy is relatively quick so attention spans are no concern and kids wouldn’t get bored. To set their expectations properly, toys in the online catalog have a “time to print” rating so kids will know what to expect.

When it comes to competitors, ToyBox is out a year earlier before toy giant Mattel plans on introducing their own 3D toy printer, giving this company an early bird advantage.

Overall, the product is easy to use. Like a 3D printer, you would expect a nuanced and complex system but the visionaries in Toybox Labs found a way to ensure that the toy is easy to understand and easy to play with.

The playtime quality is highly personalizable and customizable as kids can design their own toys or import models from a picture. They can even create toys from a catalog that includes everything all sorts of toys like vehicles, structures, and characters. This might actually be the only toy that your kid is ever going to need.

The Shark Tank Episode

The Oakland duo, Bates and Chin, were initially able to raise $155,000 on their campaign on Indiegogo back in September 2017. And after a successful run and appearance on Shark Tank, the product has gained even more traction online.

Ben and Jen came in aggressively and with a purpose; they look to secure $150,000 for 5% of their business. After a quick but thorough demonstration of the sterling product and giving the sharks a chance at a first-hand take on quality assurance by cascading samples. In the episode, it was revealed that the manufacturing cost $150 and they sell it for $299. As of the taping of the episode, they’ve made $300,000 since launching, including the IndieGoGo sales.

Mark shared his piece first, pointing out their concern on children’s attention spans. Daymond came next and cited that he has worries about liability. The true test bore down on the duo when Kevin made his offer. Kevin offered $150,000 for 10% and voiced his intention to license the product. Once Jamie opts out, Lori followed right after.

After no other offers, Kevin started playing hardball, altering his to $150,000 for 15%. Ben and Jen make a counteroffer of 12%. Kevin, however, doesn’t back down. The Toybox Labs founders propose a counteroffer again with $150,000 for 13% and 2% advisory shares. This time, Kevin accepts.

Elena Jones

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