Cubetto Super Series: a new campaign from the most crowdfunded ed-tech project in Kickstarter’s history. $2.4m raised from 10,000+ backers.
Check out the campaign here!
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Randi Zuckerberg, CEO Zuckerberg Media, endorses Cubetto
Gold for Cubetto at Cannes Festival Of Creativity - June 2016Gold for Cubetto at Cannes Festival Of Creativity - June 2016
CEO, Filippo Yacob on the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe - January 2017
"The idea is ingenious... Cubetto may help foster the next generation of digital groundbreakers."
Fast Company - March 2016Fast Company - March 2016
When TIME calls, we answer! Cubetto features as TIME's 'Big Idea' - April 2016When TIME calls, we answer! Cubetto features as TIME's 'Big Idea' - April 2016
Cubetto becomes most-funded edtech invention in Kickstarter history! - April 2016Cubetto becomes most-funded edtech invention in Kickstarter history! - April 2016
A Red Dot for Cubetto, winning a "Best of the Best" at the Red Dot Awards - September 2016A Red Dot for Cubetto, winning a "Best of the Best" at the Red Dot Awards - September 2016
Cubetto teams up with the V&A for workshop series - June 2016Cubetto teams up with the V&A for workshop series - June 2016
"It gives children a fun route into the concepts and jargon of computer coding using tangible real-world objects."
WIRED - Jan 2017WIRED - Jan 2017
'A very special Montessori moment...' Cubetto passes the Montessori test! - September 2016'A very special Montessori moment...' Cubetto passes the Montessori test! - September 2016
Platinum for Cubetto, beating Lego at the Junior Design Awards - August 2016Platinum for Cubetto, beating Lego at the Junior Design Awards - August 2016
Cubetto goes MoMA. An Early prototype exhibiting at the MoMA - August 2015.Cubetto goes MoMA. An Early prototype exhibiting at the MoMA - August 2015.
"A Toy for Toddlers Doubles as Code Bootcamp"
New York Times - April 2017.New York Times - April 2017.
Company foundedJune 2013
LeadershipFilippo Yacob - CEO & Founder
Valeria Leonardi - COO
Ben Callicott - CPO
Past Kickstarter2013 - £56,666 raised, 651 backers
2016 - $1,596,457 raised, 6,553 backers
Investors & AdvisorsRandi Zuckerberg
Incubators and partnersPitch@Palace - Spring 2017
Highway1 - Fall 2015
Emerge Education - Fall 2014
AwardsRed Dot 2016 - Best of Best
Cannes Lions 2016 - Gold
Junior Design 2016 - Platinum
FastCo. Awards 2016 - Finalist
London Design Award 2016 - Gold
Forbes 30 under 30: Europe 2017
German Design Award 2017 - Excellent Product Design
Early Years Excellent 2017 - 5 Stars
Countries sold to96
Who is Primo Toys?
Primo Toys make smart toys for playful learning, and we’re here to build the best educational toy company in the world. We make toys specifically for girls and boys age 3 to 6, that introduce STEM concepts without the use of screens. We don’t just look at toys as tools for mindless entertainment, but as infinitely superior instruments of active learning. Great toys should be a gateway to great play experiences. The kind that last, and shape who we become.
What is the Cubetto Playset?
Cubetto is a playful wooden robot that helps young girls and boys ages 3+ discover computer programming away from the screen, through storytelling, and hands-on play. It’s the first coding toy of its kind to work without a screen or digital interface, and lets children learn to code before they can read or write. It’s the most crowdfunded ed-tech invention in Kickstarter’s history, and is now a standard in early years education across 96 countries.
What does the Cubetto Playset consist of?
The Cubetto Playset consists of four elements: 1) Cubetto, a friendly wooden robot that likes to be told where to go and how to get there. 2) A set of colourful coding blocks that make up a coding language you can touch. 3) An Interface Board, which you can think of as a keyboard or a blank piece of paper. 4) Cloth Maps and Storybooks that guide children through thematic adventures for Cubetto to complete. We call these Adventure Packs.
How does Cubetto work?
Children take Cubetto on an adventure, guiding him from A to B by writing their very first computer programs using the tangible blocks. Children actually program Cubetto by compiling the Coding Blocks into meaningful sequences on top of their Interface Board. They arrange the blocks in the order they want them executed, and when they press the blue button, Cubetto executes the sequence.
Who is Cubetto for?
Cubetto is an educational toy for girls and boys ages 3+. Whether at school or at home, young children can use Cubetto to learn the basics of computer programming, away from a screen, and without needing to read or write. It’s their first step into the world of programming, giving children the language and logic necessary to understand real coding later in life while encouraging imagination and exploration.
Why did you create Cubetto?
Coding is an important 21st-century skill. One that should be taught at a preschool level, alongside reading and basic numeracy, but it needs to start young, it needs to be fun, and it needs to be accessible to all cultures. We were looking for a way to introduce coding in a tangible way that could provide coding experience while respecting sound “hands-on learning” Montessori tradition.
What are the benefits of playing with Cubetto?
Computational thinking is the logical process that underpins computer programming, and much like playing with Cubetto, computational thinking is about breaking down tasks into a logical sequence of steps to reach an objective. In fact, computational thinking is something we do every day to solve all kinds of problems, big and small. Thinking about the world around us the same way we think in the world of Cubetto is empowering.
And why is coding with Cubetto so important?
A “programmer’s mindset” gives children the confidence to try new things out, break the rules, and shape our environment. Which is pretty amazing! Playtime with Cubetto is collaborative, because you learn that complicated tasks are best tackled by more than one person. It encourages creativity by showing you there is no right or wrong way to reach your objectives and make the impossible possible. It’s about an attitude more than a skill.
Why is coding important at all?
There are almost 9 billion connected devices in the world according to Cisco, but only 50 million people who know how to actually talk, program, and truly control them. Learning to negotiate and thrive with the digital infrastructure that surrounds us is a must. Ultimately it’s less about a career path as it is about having the freedom to create, and not just consume the technology surrounding us, and that is what learning to code is all about.
How does Cubetto differ from competitors?
Cubetto doesn’t require screen devices to operate, which makes it a uniquely age-appropriate coding system for children ages 3 to 6. Its iconic use of wood also makes it a far more tactile and natural experience for young children than current alternatives. Finally, what makes Cubetto unique is the block-based programming language that powers it. It looks and feels like a toy, but it’s actually a real, scalable, procedural programming language.
This sounds great, but where’s the proof?
Cubetto has received multiple awards from the global design community such as a Gold Lion for product design at the 2016 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, a Red Dot Design ‘Best of the Best’ Award, Product Innovation, and a Platinum Junior Design Award for Best Toy Design (3-5 years old) in the UK (beating Lego). Cubetto has also toured the MoMA in NYC, and MIT, paying homage to the LOGO Turtle’s birthplace.
What about education?
We’ve also gathered quite a few awards from the Education Community as well. A Learning Technologies Award – Gold – Most innovative new learning technologies product, an Early Years Excellence Award – 5 Stars – and received a special mention for the Science Toy Award in the UK, while in the US we’ve received an Academic’s Choice Award, a best Brain Toy Award, as well as an Innovation Award from GESS in Dubai.
What else can you do with Cubetto?
Cubetto is a cross-curricular learning tool that helps with more than just programming. Educators use Cubetto as a creative way to inspire other subjects, such as science, geography, and history. Our themed Adventure Packs cover subjects such as space exploration, ancient civilizations, and natural environments. The fact that Cubetto has no screen encourages collaboration, developing important skills like spatial awareness, teamwork, and storytelling.
Do I need to know coding to enjoy Cubetto with my children?
You don’t! Which is the best part of it all. As an adult, the process is as intuitive and easy as it is for your littles. Even if you don’t know the fundamentals of computer programming, you can still enjoy being a part of your child’s discovery through collaborative play and storytelling. Everything about the Cubetto Playset is beautifully simple. It works right out of the box, and if you get stuck for ideas, the activity manuals are incredibly easy to follow.
Does Cubetto cater to special needs?
Cubetto was designed to be a tangible and inclusive coding experience. Because of its tactile construction, it’s the only early learning coding system of its kind that can be used by sighted and non-sighted children alike. Cubetto is also used for children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), helping with issues of executive functioning, by introducing sequencing and communication skills.
How much does Cubetto cost?
The Cubetto Playset costs $225, and is exclusively available on Kickstarter for early birds for $175 USD from June 20th to July 19th. The pack includes: 1x Cubetto robot, 1x Interface board, 16x Colourful coding blocks, 1x World Map + Story Book. A Cubetto Playset Deluxe version is also available for $265, and exclusively available on Kickstarter for $235. The pack includes 6x additional thematic Adventure Packs: Polar Expedition, Swarmy Swamp, Space Odyssey, Big City, Ocean Deep, Ancient Egypt.
What is an Adventure Pack?
An Adventure Pack is a themed kit that includes a 1×1 meter cloth map, accompanied by an eight-chapter illustrated activity book. Each Adventure Pack is a unique theme. The first four, Deep Space, Ancient Egypt, Deep Dive, and Big City, were launched in 2016. The next two, Swarmy Swamp, and Polar Expedition, are launching exclusively as part of this campaign, with six more Adventure Packs set for release in the next 24 months.
Where can I get Cubetto, and when does it ship?
The Cubetto Playset, along with a Deluxe version, will be available via our Kickstarter campaign, launching June 20th 2017. You can still get a Cubetto Playset online, but backing through Kickstarter gets you a $50 discount. The Cubetto Playset Deluxe however, which contains the Swarmy Swamp, and Polar Expedition Adventure Packs, is exclusively available on Kickstarter, along with a storybook personalised for each backer. Rewards ship September 1st 2017.
Can you tell me about your previous Kickstarter campaigns?
We first came to Kickstarter in 2013. Cubetto was a raw prototype back then, and we raised £56,000 from 651 brave backers to develop our concept into a viable, scalable product. We succeeded. In 2016 we returned to Kickstarter to launch a new, improved Cubetto. We ended up raising $1.6 million, from backers in over 96 countries, making Cubetto the most crowdfunded education technology invention in Kickstarter’s history.
So what is this new Kickstarter campaign all about?
We believe that toys are only as good as the memories and experiences they create, which is what this campaign is all about. Cubetto was developed to be the little centre of a universe rich with maps, storybooks, activities and games. With this campaign, we’re launching the next two Adventure Packs in a series of awesome expansions that make Cubetto’s world bigger, more colourful, and a lot more fun.
Who’s behind this?
Primo Toys was founded by Filippo Yacob (CEO), and Matteo Loglio (Interaction Designer), but we wouldn’t be here without the additional herculean efforts of founding employees Valeria Leonardi (COO), and Ben Callicott (CPO). There’s 17 of us today, working from our little London HQ. We come from all walks of life, but all share the same vision, values, and passion. A world where children don’t just consume, but also create with technology.
Where is Cubetto currently being used?
We’ve built and shipped over 20,000 Cubetto units, currently being loved and appreciated in homes, schools, nurseries, coding programs, and STEM classes worldwide. Programming in early learning is a global issue, and by making our playset language- and culture-neutral we’ve managed to find an instant solution for parents and educators all around the world. Cubetto is now an early learning and coding standard in more than 96 countries and counting.
Why did you decide not to use a screen?
We’re surrounded by screens, everywhere we go. Our entire lives are mediated through them. Existing programmable toys currently function as extensions of tablets and smartphones only, but when it comes to young minds, children still learn best through hands-on play. We chose to create a tangible programming language that kids can actually touch, supporting the Montessori principle that young children learn best with their hands.
Sounds like a simple product extension, so why another Kickstarter campaign?
In 2016 we saw more than $4 million in sales, half of which were for units that came with 4 additional thematic maps + storybook packs which we call Adventure Packs. It’s clear to us that producing a great educational toy isn’t enough, and content is what sets our products apart, turning a great toy into a great experience. These next 2 Adventure Packs are the first in a series of 12 that we’ll be releasing over the next 24 months.
What are children doing or learning now that they couldn’t before?
We’re increasing average play and learning time at home on a Cubetto Playset from 15 to 21 hours. We want to engage young children in learning about the world around them through code. Our new Adventure Packs achieve this. Part of this launch is also about releasing a set of 120 lesson plans, developed with our global education community, that give schools the tools to introduce programming through a holistic, age appropriate, experience.
What I love most about Cubetto is that it will give girls and boys all over the world the opportunity to learn about the basic building blocks of coding, without being glued to a computer screen. As a mum, that's a dream.
Randi Zuckerberg, Investor & CEO of Zuckerberg Media
It invites children to explore programming in a developmentally appropriate experience that is challenging and exciting.
Brian Puerling, Director of Education Technology at Catherine Cook School
To see the children totally absorbed, and intrinsically motivated whilst manipulating Cubetto was a very special Montessori moment indeed!
Melissa Stockdale, Montessori school owner and director
It enables open-ended play and allows you to create your own different narratives around the same toy.
Massimo Banzi, Arduino CEO
Cubetto is the perfect first step in a child’s coding education. Once pupils have mastered basic skills with Cubetto, they have a great platform from which to advance.
Susan Wells, Founder of Camp Tech Terra
A highly accessible introduction to programming. Easy to get started and offers challenge and complexity at many levels.
John Galloway, ICT and Inclusion Educational Specialist at Cyril Jackson School
The design of the playset is simple and open-ended enough to provide a starting point for pupils’ own creativity and invention.
Ann Gadzikowski, Early Childhood Coordinator at Northwestern University
A boy aged 4 years with limited speech and possible autism engaged with Cubetto straight away. He celebrated his success with cheers and clapping.
Louise King, Principal at Foxglove Montessori Nursery
Play quickly moved from making programs with the blocks, to dancing, jumping and moving with the robot, which you don’t get with onscreen tools.
Ruth Woodward, ICT teacher at Orchard Primary School
An excellent teaching and learning resource which gets the students engaged and excited about programming.
Martine Mannion, ICT & Digital Learning Coordinator at Wellingborough School
I used Cubetto with our 1st grade class for Hour of Code. They LOVED it!
Maer Ben-Yisrael, Director of Technology at Presidio Hill School
The reaction from the pupils was wonderful! Our class included children with different types of special needs, so they responded to Cubetto in different ways.
Hilary Norton, Advisory Teacher for ICT, SEN & Inclusion at London Borough of Tower Hamlets
The children were completely engaged, grasping new concepts, and extremely happy!
Loretta Hopper, Teacher at Autism Population
This is the 'first' computer science product in 17 years that I have incorporated without hesitation.
Ana Stocks, Director of Information Technology
Kids don’t need to read in order to understand the real fun and creativity that comes with coding.
Chris Mairs, Computer Scientist
In the news
- March 17 2016 TIME
- October 31 2016 Tech Crunch
- May 6 2016 Le Monde
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