Pressure Games has been working for nearly two years on Countdown.
The countdown is on: Punta Gorda-based Pressure Games is working hard to get a new toy to market.
The company was launched in October 2018, and the idea for its toy dubbed “Countdown” came a couple of months prior.
Pressure Games CEO and Founder Alex Andreae tells Coffee Talk his kids wanted something to do one day when his son started hiding toys around the house, like a new version of hide and seek. “You can only fit yourself in so many places,” he says. “Little toys can go anywhere.”
It gave Andreae, who has an electrical engineering background, an idea: what if there was a toy kids could hide and then find, with a timer and puzzles to solve before it reached zero. Andreae kept brainstorming and formed a team to bring the concept to fruition, including an engineer to do the toy’s programming.
Since then, Pressure Games has worked on different iterations of Countdown, sought feedback from toy professionals and done play testing.
Liz Hughes, chief brand officer at Pressure Games, led play sessions with children at area Boys & Girls Clubs. “It’s amazing how they pick up right away on something new,” she says. “It’s really interesting watching kids hone into parts they really like.”
Hughes says the toy also gives kids and adults the chance to play together. “It really levels the playing field,” she says. “You can watch adults feel the same amount of stress and pressure.”
Another bonus? It encourages play that doesn’t involve screen time. “You can get a lot of children together to be both active and social, cooperative and competitive,” says Andreae.
A recent campaign on Kickstarter for Countdown allowed Pressure Games to test marketing ideas. It also provided good feedback about how to describe the toy.
Now the company is preparing Countdown for manufacturing. “Everything looks like we have a green light to be launching at the end of November,” says Andreae. The goal? Get the toy out in time for the holidays.
Pressure Games is working with Amazon to have Countdown included in its toy section. The company also wants it to be in a big-box retail store by the end of 2021. Pressure Games has plans for another toy, too. “We’re really building a company here,” says Andreae. “We’re very confident we’ve hit on something with this active toy idea.”