As we’ve come to learn over the years, true innovation in the wooden toy industry doesn’t exactly happen every day, or even every year for that matter. In fact, when we think about the fact that wooden blocks have been around for centuries and constitute the simplest form of educational, open-ended play, it’s hard to imagine that anyone could outdo the simple wooden block. And then, we met Tegu.
Surprisingly, brothers Chris and Will Haughey didn’t start Tegu with toys on their mind. In fact, the company began with the simple notion that Honduras needed businesses which offered living wage jobs. Home to beautiful hardwoods, the Country could have been the perfect spot for sustainably manufacturing any number of wooden products. However, the brothers were inspired by classic wooden toys on a trip to Europe and embarked on a quest to breathe new life into an old industry. Today, Tegu blocks inspire children while addressing unemployment, neglected natural and human resources and the need for entrepreneurship in Honduras.
If you haven’t yet seen or played with Tegu blocks, they’re remarkable. Somehow (patents are pending), the Company has found a way to safely and invisibly embed magnets inside traditional wooden building blocks. The blocks currently come in four shapes and all index to a 30mm cube unit.Tegu Design Video – Nate Lau from Tegu on Vimeo. There are magnetic poles running through the blocks, which means that sometimes the blocks attract to each other and sometimes they repel from one another. As a result, the play value is tremendous because the blocks present a child with open-ended creative possibilities — utilizing the right brain — while requiring problem solving for magnetic polarity — utilizing the left brain. The magnetic nature of the blocks means that created structures can defy gravity and allow for cantilevering, too, which youngsters find fascinating. And, if that’s not enough, the quality of manufacturing is fantastic — something we have come to expect from Europe, and yet, refreshingly, something we’re excited to see coming from a poor nation that has great needs. While the blocks are more expensive than your average wooden block, they’re worth every penny. You’ll keep these ones for years to come. And, we think you’ll agree that it feels good to know that each set that’s sold is helping Tegu do good for those in need. We’re delighted to have discovered the innovation that is Tegu blocks and we’re pleased to present you with a product that you’re sure to agree is an instant classic. And to top it all off, unlike your average play kitchen or piece of kids furniture, we think you may just enjoy Tegu Blocks as much as your children do.