What started as an innovative 2012 Kickstarter campaign has firmly planted itself into both toy aisles and our hearts, nabbing a spot in the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this November. For those not fluent in the elementary-aged toy market, GoldieBlox—the brainchild of Stanford graduate Debbie Sterling—is a building set and book series aimed to inspire girls toward engineering and STEM fields. The company released a video on their website Wednesday announcing the parade float.
In a 2012 interview with the Ms. Blog, Sterling reflected on her experience as one of the few women engineers at Stanford and how it led to the creation of GoldieBlox:
I often felt like my ideas were overlooked in group projects with male peers. Most of my professors were male. I had very few role models.
Sterling aims to fill this void by creating a role model for young girls. Enter Goldie, the innovative girl who loves to build and solve problems. When Goldie faces hurdles in her fictional life (chronicled in the book series), girls build various contraptions to help her overcome the obstacles. GoldieBlox’s winter products range from building a dunk tank for bathing her dog Nacho to creating a pre-cinema animation device to save the local film festival from cancellation.
In the original product line, many raised concerns that GoldieBlox was enhancing the gender divide by using primarily “feminine” colors and targeting girls under the assumption that only princess products piqued their interest. The winter line appears to respond to such criticism, presenting a broader color palette and toning down the princess talk. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with pink or princesses, the variety certainly comes as a relief. We can only hope the Thanksgiving float will follow suit.
Regarding the parade, Sterling explains her vision in the promotional video:
I hope that every girl that watches GoldieBlox in the parade this year gets that excitement about not just wanting to be the princess on the float, but really engineering her own, and that she can build anything.
We hope so too, and we’ll be cheering along from our comfortable couches (not the New York City sidewalks, thank you) this November.
Photo courtesy of GoldieBlox.