Tegu: Great Toy, Great Purpose
The blocks arrived in a rather small unassuming box. Thin wooden slats of different lengths for the most part, quietly claiming to be magnetic. Nothing out of the ordinary. I have to admit that I felt a little let down when I thought about what I had paid for the small box, and really did not think children would get very excited over this new box of blocks. After all, the simplicity of it all, in a sophisticated color palate was something not usually seen on toy store shelves or in the blaring advertisements associated with small children.
I took a little peek and at least I was immediately smitten! Online pictures and descriptions did not come close to describing Tegu Blocks! The look and feel of the wood. Velvety smooth finishes with slightly rounded corners, and delicious greens, blues, natural wood tones with an occasional pink or yellow or orange to grab my eye. I lovingly stroked the pieces at the top of of the box. Several times.
I guess we all know it doesn’t matter what I think though…
What Does the Child Say?
Very little, apparently. Other than, “Cool!” “They have magnets inside?” “I made a dragster/two-story rocket/tiger/tiny robots!” “These are so awesome.” and when asked if they were ready for pancakes replied, “Maybe later…”
I had three boys in tow on the day in question; ages five, eight, and ten. I wanted to offer the 22-Piece Tegu Endeavor Set to the five year old and see what he thought of it. These three boys are not so easy to please, for the most part. They are generally very active, and turn everything into some form of competition. They love video games, bikes, remote control things, wrestling, and all forms of balls, and they don’t stay with activities for long. They are not really Lego guys. I’m writing this because I want you to know that they are not the kind of boys that will politely sit and play with something they don’t like.
I made several wrong assumptions.
- First, that the older boys would have no interest. Wrong. They worked side by side bouncing better and improved ideas back and forth and loving it!
- Second, that they would not really care for the colors offered. Wrong. They loved all of them. Each had a different favorite, luckily.
- Third, that they would take a quick look and be done. Wrong again. After 1 hour without interruption, we had to put them away to eat. No one wanted to!
I think my biggest take away after watching them, was noticing how successful they were implementing all of their ideas because of the magnetic feature, and that Tegu Blocks are smartly built around a 30mm unit. There was no frustration for any of these first time Tegu users.
None of the boys bothered to look at the instruction book for ideas. The wheels really worked great, and every vehicle, structure, and creature stayed together until it was taken apart. The “small” box that I was concerned about offered plenty of options (although I did hear them wishing for more)!
Finding an open-ended, thoughtfully made and satisfying toy for the Gadget-child, the Athlete, and the Goofball was a minor miracle. I was in a bit of shock!
What Does Tegu Say?
Plenty! This is where it really gets good! Tegu is what we wish all companies could be. Tegu (their name is taken from the capital city of Honduras: Tegucigalpa) is proudly bringing “…hope, purpose, and opportunity to Honduras in a way that benefits both people and the environment.” They provide living wage jobs, plant trees, and help get Honduran children into school.
As for the blocks themselves, Tegu offers a new magnetic twist on a favorite building classic, and inspires open-ended play at it’s best. They boast, “Made with beautiful Central American hardwoods and safe water-based finishes, at Tegu, we make blocks that have proven wildly addictive for kids (and kids at heart) and will encourage the simple joy of creating for generations.”
I am now a believer. I’ve seen the happy, creative, and focused play that Tegu sparks.
Great toys are only the first step at a great place called Tegu.