Dec 2009

Kiwi Inventor Dad’s Anti-Obesity Toy Snapped Up Internationally

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A New Zealand father has launched a new toy with the aim of getting children off the couch and moving around. The interactive toy has already met with significant international interest.

sprintaA dedication to keeping his kids active has seen one Kiwi dad’s backyard toy become an international sales success, with close to 200 stores stocking the product in line for Christmas sales.

Kiwi inventor Brett Gifkins spent 10 years and more than $300,000 of his personal savings to create the product but says if it gets just one child off the couch then it’s been worth it!

Frustrated with the amount of time his own three sons were spending on the computer Gifkins began designing a toy that would entice them outside.

The innovatively designed Sprinta, which requires no batteries and (to parent’s delight) is soundless, is manoeuvered via a flexible rod inserted on the top of the car which children must push along to maintain momentum.

Making the Sprinta car perform tricks requires some skill and practice, encouraging children to spend time running around and building up their proficiency with the toy. All sound effects are to be generated by the child, again engaging and encouraging their imaginations.

The interest has been high from a number of retailers across New Zealand and Australia.

Toyworld’s buyer Repeka Haurua says the market has been calling for a toy which increases activity but still appeals to kids in the five years plus category.

Gifkins says he’s thrilled to hear that so many children are already enjoying the Sprinta.

“The lifestyle of kids these days is extremely different to the one I spent outside, building forts in the bush and not coming in until dinner time. The inspiration for the Sprinta came from wanting to give my kids a taste of how much fun can be had playing with toys outdoors.”

Gifkins says outside of the sales success he’s enjoyed bonding with his own kids using the toy.

“The thrill of selling it is obviously huge. But my boys said to me the other day how proud they are of me and I was thrilled with that. I created a toy to teach them about the outdoors but as an exciting by-product I’ve also showed them how you can turn an idea into a business reality.”

Gifkins says he hopes his boys inherit his entrepreneurial spirit and is now looking for an investor to help take Sprinta further abroad.

The Sprinta (RRP $59.99) is also available at select toy retailers and online at www.sprintatoys.co.nz

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Fleur Revell
Fleur Revell is one of the country’s most eminent PR consultants and public relations practitioners with more than 20 years industry experience behind her. Fleur is also a three times Qantas Media Awards winner and Feature Writer of the Year; and has an exceptional working knowledge of the New Zealand media landscape and its accelerating evolution in the digital age.
Kiwi Inventor Dad’s Anti-Obesity Toy Snapped Up Internationally
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