Guidecraft’s team of toy designers will take front and center at Toy Fair 2016 as customers and Toy Fair attendees are encouraged to touch, play with and learn about the genesis of the company’s new premier toys while making their way into Guidecraft’s 50th Anniversary celebration booth. Guidecraft strives to alter the typical trade show experience, bringing focus on ideas, innovation and great design.
The company’s complimentary concentration on research, development, and the use of mixed materials and manufacturing techniques in the design process is no surprise given its rich history in the early childhood education market. Strengthening this area even further and zeroing in on innovation has been the main focus of company growth under the leadership of President (and Designer), Gary Bilezikian. The residual business successes the company has experienced since then has proven that, if you build it, they will come.
The in-depth development process that each new Guidecraft toy undergoes is perhaps more democratic than most, with global design teams collaborating daily. These various representations ensure that international sensibilities, trends and needs are all addressed before a toy hits the worldwide market. This cooperation also includes focus on the ever-increasing STEM (or STEAM) interdisciplinary skill development, which many of Guidecraft’s building toys already inherently possess. To support this idea of interdisciplinary skill development and to create products that incidentally have longevity, Guidecraft has become a company which creates toy systems almost as a rule. If a new toy is developed, it is done so with a multi-faceted system in mind from the outset.
Guidecraft Sr. Designer, Shannon Moore, team lead for Better Builders and all manipulative toys, describes the reason for designing systems this way, “There are natural systems all around us. We draw so much of our inspiration from our environment and especially the world as seen through a child’s eye. Children innately recreate and mimic what they experience on a daily basis. That may be where the play begins, but the experience multiplies with each open-ended system, allowing a child to be as creative and innovative as possible.”
Andrew Williams, also a Sr. Designer for Guidecraft and team lead for PowerClix® and IO Blocks® agreed and added, “We strive to make each toy system a special one. One that has not only educational properties, but is also visually appealing, fun to play with, and unique in the marketplace.”