The term "garage start-up" is often used to describe companies with humble beginnings - whether they really started in a garage or not. But in the case of Fat Brain Toys, the garage was actually a stepping stone from a mere subterranean beginning.
In the fall of 2002, then 10 year-old Adam Carson received a magnetic building toy called Geomag for his birthday. Fascinated with the toy and looking to spend some additional birthday money, he went online to see if he could buy a larger set. Discovering how difficult it was to find online, he suggested to his father, a web developer by trade, that they create their own online store to sell the specialty toy. The rest, as they say, is history!
Shipping the toys out of the basement of their home in the small community of Elkhorn, Nebraska, this unlikely online toy store managed to challenge the likes of Toys R Us and Walmart to become one of the largest online retailers of Geomag in the world. Quickly outgrowing the basement, the family moved the entire operation several times before finally settling into an office, a warehouse, and two retail stores that they operate from today.
The business has grown in other ways too. Beginning with a single online store focused exclusively on magnetic toys, the company now boasts over 7,500 in stock toys, games, and gifts. In 2006, a sister company, Fat Brain Toy Co. began development of their own original line of educational toys. Their first creation, Dado Cubes, found a receptive market among consumers seeking quality toys that develop design and visual-spatial skills. Since that time, over 60 original toys and games have been developed and can be found at finer retailers coast-to-coast, including SFMOMA, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Barnes & Noble, Learning Express, The Smithsonian, and many others.