The chances are if you have kids, you have probably heard of Connetix toys.
The magnetic tiles have taken over the child play world and rightfully so — who wouldn’t enjoy spending hours creating endless designs that make you feel like a building mastermind?
Now Attadale toy creators Brea Brand and Dave Alexander have added an extra special accolade to their growing resume of honours, beating out Lego and Mattel for the title of the best Educational/STEAM toy of the year at the Australian Toy Awards.
“It was pretty huge for us to take out that award against all the big toy companies; we were stoked,” Ms Brand said.
“I think we really knew we were on to something when we saw our kids playing with our brand and they could build bigger and taller things because the magnets are stronger, and then we took them into the school and all the kids loved them. It was a great feeling.”
The magnetic tiles have a unique bevel design, stronger magnets and they’re all ultrasonically welded and riveted for safety and are non-toxic.
STEAM toys are educational games and learning products that can kickstart a child’s development and help with memory retention, reading skills, hand-eye coordination and math skills.
Connetix magnetic tiles enable children to build 2D and 3D shapes either with just the tiles or additional add-on packs, such as ball runs, to create endless designs.
The friend-and-parent duo came up with the idea of Connetix tiles while they chatted at their kids’ school gates one afternoon just more than three years ago.
“My background is teaching. I’m a primary school teacher and I’ve got a business degree in marketing too, then when I had my kids home when I was on maternity leave I was doing a bit of an Instagram thing as well. So Dave knew I had a bit of a social media knowledge and following,” Ms Brand said.
Mr Alexander then came up with the idea to sell something to Ms Brand’s Instagram following as a side gig which has now turned into their full-time gig.
“I‘ve got a finance and engineering background and I’ve got a mortgage broking business and was selling stuff on Amazon, and I just thought this could be fun,” he said.
“Now the mortgage broking business is a side gig and this is what we do.”
Since launching almost two years ago, Connetix has amassed more than 246,000 followers on Instagram, where they show their audience fun and crazy creations to make with their tiles such as a pinball machine, sailboats, ball runs and even a spinning Ferris wheel.
“The magnetic tiles have a unique bevel design, stronger magnets and they’re all ultrasonically welded and riveted for safety and are non-toxic,” Ms Brand said.
“Then we have a bull run and some other products and cars and things with rubber wheels that complement the tiles and kind of expand the play, especially for older kids.
“Actually I think dads love the ball runs more than the kids.”
Connetix range from $35 to $320 and is available across Australia at more than 300 retailers. They have also taken on the global market and are now sold in 59 countries.
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