If you have kids, you’ve probably heard of Connetix toys.
The magnetic tiles have taken over the kid’s play world, and for a good reason – who wouldn’t enjoy spending hours creating endless designs that will leave you feeling like a master builder?
Now Attadale toy makers Brea Brand and Dave Alexander have added an extra special accolade to their growing roster, beating Lego and Mattel for the title of best educational/STEAM toy of the year at the Australian Toy Awards.
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Camera IconBrea Brand and Dave Alexander, with CONNETIX Tiles. Credit: Ross Swanborough/The West Australian
“It was pretty big for us to win that award against all the big toy companies; we were excited,” said Ms. Brand.
“I think we really knew we were on to something when we saw our kids playing with our brand, and they could build bigger and bigger things because the magnets are stronger, and then we took them to the school, and all the kids love them. It was a great feeling.”
The magnetic tiles have a unique chamfered design, and stronger magnets, and they are all ultrasonically welded and riveted for safety and are non-toxic.
STEAM toys are educational games and learning products that can kickstart a child’s development and help with memory retention, reading skills, hand-eye coordination, and math skills.
Connetix magnetic tiles allow kids to build 2D and 3D shapes using just the tiles or additional expansion packs, such as ball lanes, to create endless designs.
The friend-and-parent duo came up with the idea of Connetix tiles while chatting at their kids’ school gates one afternoon just over three years ago.
Camera IconConnetix magnetic tiles can create all kinds of 2D and 3D shapes. Credit: Delivered
“My background is teaching. I’m a primary school teacher with a business degree in marketing, and when I had my kids at home on maternity leave, I did a little Instagram thing too. So Dave knew I had a little bit of social media knowledge and followed,” said Ms. Brand.
Mr. Alexander then came up with the idea of selling something to Ms. Brand’s Instagram, followed by a side gig which has now become their full-time gig.
“I have a financial and technical background and a mortgage brokerage business and sold things on Amazon, and I thought this could just be fun,” he said.
“Now, the mortgage brokerage is an afterthought, and this is what we do.”
Camera IconConnetix Ball Run toys are a big hit with the kids. Credit: Included
Since its launch almost two years ago, Connetix has amassed more than 246,000 followers on Instagram, showing their audiences fun and crazy creations to make with their tiles, such as a pinball machine, sailboats, ball races, and even a spinning Ferris wheel.
“The magnetic tiles have a unique design with beveled edges, and stronger magnets, and they are all ultrasonically welded and riveted for safety and are non-toxic,” said Ms. Brand.
“Then we have a running of the bulls and some other products and cars and things with rubber wheels that complement the tiles and expand the game a bit, especially for older kids.
“I think dads like ball runs more than the kids.”
Connetix ranges from $35 to $320 and is available across Australia at over 300 retailers. They have also conquered the world market and are now sold in 59 countries.