Toy maker wins small business contest for Super Bowl spotlight

A small business that makes toys for girls will have its 30 seconds in the spotlight during the Super Bowl.
By JOYCE M. ROSENBERG Modified: January 30, 2014 at 9:02 pm •  Published: January 31, 2014
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A small business that makes toys for girls will have its 30 seconds in the spotlight during the Super Bowl.

GoldieBlox will appear in a commercial in the third quarter of Sunday's game, the grand prize in a small business competition held by software maker Intuit.

The company's toy sets include a book, blocks, wheels, cranks and other parts that children can use to build structures with moving parts. Owner Debbie Sterling, who trained as an engineer at Stanford University, got the idea for the company after realizing construction toys are marketed to boys, not girls.

The company won the commercial in voting by Intuit employees and the public and beat three other small companies in the competition's final round. Intuit will pay for the commercial that by some estimates will cost $4 million. Intuit wouldn't say what it spent on the ad.

One requirement of the competition was the winner be able to meet the increased demand for its products that can follow a widely-seen commercial. The Super Bowl audience is estimated at more than 100 million.

GoldieBlox, which already sells to Toys R Us and 1,000 specialty stores in the U.S. and Canada, is prepared for an order surge, Sterling says. The Oakland, Calif.-based company has hired a company to help with shipping, and has signed up with a second factory in China, where its toys are made.



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