Toy building bricks are great for kids, no doubt. Brands such as Legos and Duplo, Lego clones, and new peripheral products & services continue to be loved by kids worldwide. Lego alone makes 19 billion bricks a year.
But, as I presently look at my family room floor with at least 300 individual bricks strewn about calling to be picked up before someone steps or slips on one, these bricks aren't so great for me/mom. And now, with hand-me-downs, my kids have way more than they can use. What if there was a solution that made picking up bricks easy and that made getting rid of bricks feel good?
This innovation aims to serve both wants. It is a simple insertable "floaty" made from Grind EVA foam that is shaped/molded to fit inside larger existing bricks (like Lego, Duplo, or MegaBlox) so that the bricks truly float and so that kids use them in the tub. Once the child grows out of the bricks (or as they accumulate too many), the family stacks the floating bricks onto the large pre-postage-paid, interlocking, floating baseplate/chassis (based on the same materials and manufacturing method as the insertable floaty and free with the purchase of the floaties) and sends away! The returned packages (these large interlocked and interlocking bricks) are then used as floating structural elements at tourist attractions and them parks.
The floaty, which will be made and sold in several universal sizes and in packages of 10, 20, or more, is an inexpensive item to improve the child's and parent's brick experience, to facilitate the return of bricks after the child has grown, and to help corporations be more socially responsible. The child enjoys fitting the chassis to the brick and the new buoyancy of bricks; mom and dad enjoy scooping them up in one fell swoop with a net; the whole family likes that their toy will turn into a fun public structure; and corporations catering to kids have a positive social impact while reducing their environmental one.
Some of you may be saying that Legos float already. True, for a little while they might. As you may know, most toy building bricks are made of ABS which is a low-density plastic and, when mini air bubbles stick to the surface of the brick, they float on their own for a little while. But not forever. And heavy constructed pieces will sink because of their weight or because of the water that will seep through the partitions. In researching floating plastic/foam/wood structures, I came across some inspiring designs that led to the idea of a better second life for bricks (better, at least, than just being melted down). What if CanDock's floating walking bridge in Angor Wat or The Makoko Floating School had a love child with Legoland Water Park or Disney?? This lovechild might need these floating bricks and, thereby, the millions of ABS bricks with floaties would be transformed into something of higher social value for 10-20 years, before remelting all that embedded energy.