Inventor’s Digest: An Idea Worth Sticking To

by Andrea Simon via Inventor’s Digest

If ever proof was needed why one should never underestimate the mind of a child, 12-year-old Greyson MacLean is a great example. While most children are content building houses and cars with LEGOs® and leaving the rest to their imagination, MacLean wanted to see his plastic bricks actually become those creations, so three years ago, he came up with an idea that would enable him (and other kids) to do just that – BrickStix. Made of a static cling material, BrickStix stick to plastic bricks (like LEGOs®) to instantly change them into pets, city street signs, aliens, rockets, and more, with easy removal for changing and reusing.

As all inventors know, coming up with the idea is only the first step. So how did a, then, nine-year-old MacLean take his idea from a thought to the real thing? “It started out with telling my mom my idea and then figuring out the material that would work,” MacLean said. “I found a pair of sunglasses on the kitchen counter and noticed the UV sticker stuck to the lens using static. It gave me the idea to test static on my LEGO® bricks – it worked!”

While BrickStix has been on the up-and-up over the last few years, the road to get there hasn’t been easy. “The process from idea to product was a long one,” MacLean recalls. “It required lots of research, phone calls and meetings, but I didn’t do it alone. There is a whole BrickStix team made up of mostly family members and we all worked together to get things ready to manufacture.”

Once BrickStix had been successfully man- ufactured, MacLean and his family debuted the product at the Toy Industry Association’s annual tradeshow, Toy Fair 2011, and were excited to find that they began receiving orders. “We were hoping to get orders and hoping that the one and a half years we spent working would pay off, MacLean recalls. “The orders validated my invention.”

The validation has only continued with increased interest and even opportunities to expand the BrickStix brand. At last month’s Toy Fair 2012, BrickStix, LLC released a new line of “stix” containing a special, non-residue-forming adhesive to enable sticking. Though the “Mod Stickers,” as they have been named, serve the same purpose as their static cling counterpart, MacLean and team created the new line to give users another way to customize their bricks. “We are always working on new themes and designs,” Ma- cLean said. “We have more coming soon.”
The success of BrickStix is only likely to increase over the next several months with exciting retail plans in store. Brick- Stix, which is currently available at http://www.BrickStix.com, will debut in Toys “R” Us and Walmart stores this fall.

While MacLean is excited and grateful for BrickStix’s success, at the heart of it all lies the same desire that initially spawned his idea. “I wanted to be able to customize my builds without ruining my bricks; once I could do that, I was happy,” MacLean shares. “The cool part was realizing that other kids would be able to do the same thing. I love seeing [BrickStix] in stores and reading the emails people send. Being the inventor of BrickStix has given me a lot of really exciting opportunities. I am thankful people are excited about them.”

Find: BrickStix Cling Decals for LEGO®, MEGA BLOKS® and Other Plastic Bricks
Find: Mod Stickers for LEGO®, MEGA BLOKS® and Other Plastic Bricks
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