The owners of children’s play and learning center Itty Bitty City LLC last week launched a $13,000 Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for a newly released toy line.
Called Magnetic Wooden Blocks, the product’s central feature is a magnet inside the blocks that more easily allow young children to build. Blocks also feature letters and American Sign Language. Itty Bitty City first launched the toy line in October 2018.
“We decided to go the Kickstarter route simply because we need to gauge the interest in our newest creation,” Itty Bitty City co-owner Craig Rechkemmer said via email this morning. “We have spent a lot of resources creating, developing and testing our newest learning toy. We believe it is a great idea, but we don't know if parents, grandparents and educators feel the same.”
The Kickstarter campaign this morning had raised $522 of a $12,990 goal. The all-or-nothing campaign — meaning Itty Bitty City would need to meet the goal to receive any proceeds — ends May 9. A successful campaign would fund development of the toys.
“We are quickly learning that it is difficult to spread the word about our Kickstarter campaign,” Rechkemmer said.
His wife, Itty Bitty City co-owner Fawn Rechkemmer, previously issued a news release indicating the product was patent pending.
The product is compatible with science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics and Montessori education practices, according to the Kickstarter.
Magnetic Wooden Blocks started off selling at Itty Bitty City’s 3640 S. Campbell Ave. center and on Amazon. Customer ratings are 4.9 out of 5 stars for the six- and 30-piece sets at Amazon.com. Through the Kickstarter, customers can pledge $30 for one set of alphabet and ASL blocks.
“Sales on Amazon are slow this time of year despite the good reviews,” Craig Rechkemmer said. “We are hopeful sales will improve over the year.”
Fawn Rechkemmer started Itty Bitty City in October 2016. She previously worked at the Discovery Center.
Itty Bitty City’s South Campbell center in Kickapoo Corners has a kid-size firehouse, interactive water table and a theater, among other features.
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