GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine Puts a Playful Spin on Movie-Making

© GoldieBlox
© GoldieBlox

GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine is one of the latest GoldieBlox construction kits to hit toy store shelves, and the only one that makes great use of a free companion app. Wary of criticism that GoldieBox toys don’t offer much incentive to play more than once, I’ve never picked up one of the kits before, but my five-year-old got a kick out of the app—and it piqued her curiosity to explore the concept of movie-making. I was happy to see the construction kit have the same effect. GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine is a fun kit for girls (and boys) that encourages the development of building skills and inspires creativity for unending play.

© GoldieBlox
© GoldieBlox

If your little builder is reluctant to give the kit a try, I highly recommend starting with the opening cinematic in the GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine app. Not only did my daughter watch it three times in a row before we even got the kit, she insisted on watching it again before we got started building for “ideas.” The high-quality animation, full of personality and energy, gets kids genuinely excited to start building.

The kit’s storybook and colorful pieces caught my five-year-old’s interest immediately. Instructions for building are clear and concise, with diagrams she could easily follow as a pre-reader. The kit is aimed at kids ages 6 and up, but preschoolers can have just as much fun with a parent’s help and supervision. I only had to step in with the building when she wasn’t able to push in an axle or other piece hard enough to get it to stay in place.

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Once the zoetrope is constructed, the fun doesn’t end there, to my relief. The kit comes with several different card sets for different movies, and the booklet includes quite a few “DIY” how-tos for even more ways to make one-of-a-kind movies with paper and pencils. And you can make even more with the companion app.

The GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine app walks kids through making an animated 12 frame movie, with tutorials voiced by GeekMom/Mythbusters alum Kari Byron. The app offers the option to AirPrint any movie your child creates, which can then be placed into the zoetrope for more movie fun without a screen. Unfortunately, it took some jerry-rigging to get this to work with our printer; an option to save and email a PDF version of the cards would be a lot more convenient.

GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine is a fantastic starter kit for giving a little girl the confidence to build something all by herself.

Photo: Kelly Knox
Photo: Kelly Knox

The zoetrope (my daughter’s favorite new word) inspires creativity with one-second movies that can be played without end. While the kit pieces can’t be used to build much of anything else than the zoetrope, they can be combined with parts from other kits to build original creations or those found on the new BloxTown.com web site. All in all, the kit comes with enough pieces and ideas that it put my fears about a one-time toy to rest.

GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine is now available on Amazon.com and Toys R Us for a suggested retail price of $29.99.

GeekMom received a promotional copy for review purposes.

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Kelly Knox is a freelance writer in Seattle, WA, where she contributes to local parenting magazines. She also writes for StarWars.com, Geek & Sundry, Forever Young Adult, and more. You can find crafts and art projects for geeky families at her blog The St{art} Button.