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13. October 2014

We are flexible

Heros connecting blocks allow even small children to build sturdy, yet flexible structures. The developers have already been able to celebrate winning the
“Toy Award”. The connecting blocks are now available on the market.

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The new Heros connecting blocks

Sturdy castles or moving snakes – with Heros connecting blocks, children can build shapes and figures that are firm
and flexible at the same time. The innovative plug-in connection, comprising of round studs and holes, allows the building elements to be firmly joined together. At the same time, they can
be pushed or twisted in all directions, without falling over. The toy is therefore suitable for builders aged 18 months and above: they can train their coordination skills and build a wide variety of shapes.
And it doesn’t matter if they accidentally bump into them: Heros connecting blocks stay standing.

“When my children knocked over one of their toy towers, they were naturally heartbroken”, says Peter Dahlhausen. That is what the 50-year-old banker had in mind when embarking upon the pursuit of a long-time goal – to invent something!
Having got the idea for the connecting blocks, he quickly came up with the new
trick: “building blocks are mostly put together at right angles”, the man from the Rhineland region says. “I thought, that should be tried some time with circular elements.” So he drove to the DIY store, bought a slat and a round rod in beech wood and tried out his idea. And he found that he could make almost anything with the building blocks. Shortly afterwards, he sent an email to the Simba Dickie Group.

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Peter Dahlhausen (middle) is delighted about the “Toy Award”, as are Thomas Sobotka (l.) and Stefan Häusinger from the Simba Dickie Group.

Short sentences or finished samples
Here, the idea was forwarded to Stefan Häusinger, who as Senior Product Manager is responsible for the wooden toys of the brands Heros and Eichhorn. Most ideas for toys come from the Development department, but the Simba Dickie Group is also open to ideas from outside. External developers – people of all ages and professions – often send
in suggestions, and these vary in their stages of development: from a few short sentences right through to very detailed samples. And all of these drafts are checked carefully. “The Product Managers discuss them with their colleagues
from Marketing”, explains Stefan Häusinger. “We check whether the idea really
is new, whether the product fits into the portfolio and how expensive it could be.
” Then they advise company management as to whether the toy should be sold
or not.

“With the connecting blocks, it was quickly obvious to us that the idea was very good”, says Häusinger. Heros decided to put the idea into practice. The high-quality wood products were produced in the company’s own plant in Lam in the Bavarian Forest. And already by January everyone had cause to celebrate: at the Nuremberg Toy Fair, Heros connecting blocks won the “Toy Award” in the “Baby & Infant” category.

But the connecting blocks are by no means only suitable for small children: you
can build structures at all levels of difficulty with them. “My nieces and nephews are between two and 15, and they’re all crazy about them”, says Dahlhausen. Even his 17-year-old son is always building things with the blocks. “But he always says that he’s not playing”, says Dahlhausen, “he’s just testing them.”

Press contact
Isabel-Weishar (JPG)

Ms. Isabel Weishar

Fon: +49 (0) 911-9763-263
Fax: +49 (0) 911-9763-162

E-Mail: i.weishar@simba-dickie.com