PopUp Play – Design and Build a Playhouse

Today’s kids have it so easy, right? A world of activities and games is available to them with just a touch of a fingertip, and a swipe through their favorite browser or app store. Back in our day, we had only our good old imagination to get us through long, tedious summers with little to do. But do the modern world and last-generation sensibilities have to be at odds? Bryan Thomas and Amelia Cosgrove didn’t think so. That’s why they created PopUp Play. It’s an app, a real-life tangible toy, and a young engineer’s dreamhouse, all in one!

PopUp Play is an imaginative blend of screen time and old-fashioned play time, with one enhancing the other. Kids love their small, bright screens just as much as they love playing with their friends and letting loose (as only kids can). Bryan Thomas and Amelia Cosgrove wanted to combine both of these for an expansive creating experience, and they’ve done just that.

popup play shark tank 1

PopUp Play starts with the app, dubbed the Build Lab. The Build Lad exists for both smart phone and tablet, making it easy for small hands to navigate. Kids can choose their structure, a castle or gingerbread house (and soon-to-be rocket ship) to begin inside the build Lab. Then, they can make it all their own by adding towers, windows, doors and more. When the structure is ready, they can finish the job by tricking it all out. Images of dragons, butterflies, bunnies and other playful items can be added anywhere on the structure to make it truly one-of-a-kind.

When the job’s done, parents can step in to order the PopUp. The 4′ x 4.5’playhouse is shipped flat so it’s easy and simple to have delivered. When it arrives in 2-3 business days, it’s easy to assemble. Even the kids can help out. This is where the real-world fun can happen. The assembled playhouse is like a life-size coloring book on sturdy fiber stock. They’ll spend precious time making it bright and fun, and play in, on and around it.

When the family’s ready, it’s time to build another! Kids can create as many playhouses as they can dream up, and can save designs to show friends and family. When parents are ready to order another, it’s easy to start the process from the saved gallery of designs.

PopUp Play playhouses can be easily stored, and when it’s time to let it go, they’re even easier to recycle. Sound like a genius idea? You’re not the only one to think so! Thomas and Cosgrove’s PopUp Play won the 2016 SXSW Pitch Competition, along with the 2015 Apple Best New App For Kids award, among many others. BuiltIn named it one of the Top 50 Austin Startups to Watch, and the company has been featured on CNBC, Smithsonian and American Airlines.

Bryan Thomas and Amelia Cosgrove were inspired by their own imaginative childhood toys when crafting PopUp Play’s initial design. The days of “playing in a box” are back, in the best possible way. You’ll love PopUp Play’s unique design and how it encourages young minds to build, create and play. They’ll love the kid-friendly app and sturdy, solid build of the playhouse. And we can’t think of anyone who won’t love how fast it arrives and how long it lasts! Take imagination and tech to the next level with PopUp Play – they’ll be building houses and making memories in no time.


Shark Tank Air Date: 1/27/17 – Season 8 – Episode 14




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