A still from GoldieBlox's 'Princess Machine' commercial.
Photo: GoldieBlox's YouTube Page
Holy smokes. Please look at this new video from the toy company GoldieBlox because it is EXCELLENT. Set to a remake of the Beastie Boys’ “Girls,” it features a Rube Goldberg machine (an overly-complicated contraption that relies on a sort of domino-effect to complete a simple task) that destroys tea sets, marabou feathers, dolls, a rolling pin, a see-saw, a badminton racket, and a parasol, delighting a crew of really frickin’ adorable girls. If you’re not familiar with the company, GoldieBlox was launched last year with help from a gobsmackingly successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $285,881; way over their $150,000 goal.
Founder and CEO Debbie Sterling, a Rhode Island native who studied engineering at Stanford, wanted to start a movement to “disrupt the pink aisle and inspire the future generation of female engineers,” attributing the discouraging lack of women in her profession to a dearth of maker-minded toys for girls. GoldieBlox features a book, a tool kit, and a construction set, with the book as a sort of Trojan Horse for girls who tend to be more verbally inclined (“boys like to build; girls like to read,” she says in her Kickstarter video).
But really, REALLY though. Let’s get back to this video. It was directed by Brett Doar, the dude behind the Rube Goldberg machine in OK Go’s “This Too Shall Pass,” which got like a bazillion views. The creative is based on how the trio of brilliant (conspicuously multi-culti) girls are sick to death of the princess, frou-frou, imagery they’re inundated with. And so they build and wreck shop with all their wack toys and the whole time the rewritten Beasties anthem is being sung real angry-style by children which is just adorable since they’re so wee and determined. The thing I particularly enjoy is that their machine is MASSIVE. Like, it winds all the way outside, smashing everything, gets the garage door involved and there’s impressively big moving pieces like ladders falling and kid-sized toy cars swinging through the air. And I love that all that awesomeness was just to switch the channel on the TV that’s three feet away from them. It’s classic! Like the bowling ball machine that opens the door for Chunk when he does the “Truffle Shuffle” in the Goonies. Or the Breakfast Machine (that also feeds Einstein the dog) in Back To The Future. Good stuff.
GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine.
Of course I’ll sound like a contrary belly-acher when I gripe about this but I can’t help but wish that the animated girl at the end wasn’t a lithe, gorgeous, uber-popular sort who seems very dialed-in and non-awkward for her age group (though I understand with her curly hair, she may just be modeled after founder Debbie AND she’s *supposed to be, like, a Punky Brewster type*) and I also wish so much of the toy wasn’t actually pink. As a kid who played with Legos and the first-gen Transformers, I would’ve probably gotten a huge kick out of something like this but would’ve actually been turned off a bit by all that pastel. I realize the toys are for younger girls but even when I was tiny, I tended to be drawn to bright, loud things that seemed “cool.” (Like, I loved anything neon and glitter or jelly but I am also very old and possibly out of touch [I do not actually believe this; I have flawless taste.]) REGARDLESS, I love this video so much because it is loud and cool. And the lyrics (which I’ve taken the liberty of including below) are particularly terrific. Bonus: If you want to read something super interesting about Rube Goldberg’s granddaughter go to here. And check out this awesome book about Rube Goldberg’s art which won the Pulitzer in 1948. Oh, and just watch this GoldieBlox video from earlier this summer too since it’s kinda great.
GoldieBlox and the Parade Float.
"Girls" GoldieBlox remix
Girls, you think you know what we want girls
Pink and pretty is girls
Just like the fifties it’s girls
You like to buy us pink toys
And everything else is for boys
And you can always get us dolls
And we’ll grow up like 'em: FALSE
It’s time to change
We deserve to see a range
Cause all our toys look just the same
And we would like to use our brains
[This is when it gets really good and chanty]
We’re. All. More. Than. Princess. Maids!
Girls who build the space ships
Girls that code the new app
Girls who grow up knowing that they can engineer that
Girls, that’s all we really need is girls.
So bring us up to speed, girls.
Our opportunities, girls
Don’t underestimate girls
GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS