Press Coverage & Awards

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You may also visit our press kit. Thank you!

Award-Winning Building and Storytelling Toys

Beach HouseMalia’s Beach House:
TOTY Rookie of the Year Finalist
Parents’ Choice Gold Award

Dr. Toy’s 2015 Best Classic Toys
PAL Top 10 Language Learning Toys
Parents’ Choice Gold Award
ASTRA Best Toy For Kids Finalist
Family Review Center Gold Award
The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval


Marine RescueMarine Rescue Center:
TOTY Construction Toy of the Year Finalist
Mr. Dad’s 2016 Seal of Approval 

Creative Child 2015 Building Toy of the Year
Toy Association (TIA): Top Toy Trends of 2015
The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval
Parents’ Choice Gold Award
PAL Language Learning Toys
ASTRA Best Toys for Kids Finalist


7Day at the Beach:
Mr. Dad Seal of Approval
Parents’ Choice Gold Award
The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval
PAL Language Learning

Fairytale TheaterFairytale Theater:
Parents’ Choice Gold Award
Dr. Toys 100 Best
Dr. Toys 10 Best Building Toys
PAL Language Learning

Pet_portraitPet Portrait Studio:
Mr. Dad’s 2016 Seal of Approval
Parents’ Choice Gold Award

Tillywig Best Creative Fun Award


Build & Imagine Founder, Laurie Peterson:
Rising Star Toy Inventor of the Year, Toy & Game Inventors Awards
Wonder Woman in Toys Nominee

What journalists are saying

  • chronicle_logo2 "Reimagining the building block: Oakland mom creates innovative toy to teach science, technology, engineering, and math."  see article
  • women2 "Founders to watch in Oakland." see article
  • "Smart toys for girls that defy the pink isle"—Cool Mom Picks see article
  • dr_toy"Perfect for little hands and big imaginations! Will provide hours of fun and language development."—Stevanne Auerbach, PhD (Dr. Toy)
  • pal_sliderTop 10 toys of 2014 award: "A perfect intersection of engineering and language learning." —Play on Words see article  
  • bragging_mommy "Sometimes I feel like their aren’t many girls construction sets but this one is perfect!"—Briann (The Bragging Mommy) see article

Press Releases

November 2017: Build & Imagine named as a Dr. Toy “10 Best Building Toys of 2017” view
December 2016: Start-up Build & Imagine nominated for two Toy of the Year awards view
October 2016: Build & Imagine inks exclusive with QVC view
October 2016: Build & Imagine named on of Amazon’s Hottest Holiday Toys view
January 2016: TAGIE’s Rising Star Toy Inventor of the Year to Demonstrate Build & Imagine sets at ToyFair Booth 5855 view
December 2015: Build & Imagine toys raises $1M in funding to fuel its line of girl powered magnetic building sets view
November 2015: Build & Imagine’s Founder Laurie Peterson Named the “Rising Star Toy Inventor of the Year” view
October 2015: Encourage kids to build their own stories (literally) with two new sets from Build & Imagine view
July 2015: Build & Imagine Construction sets engineered by girl power view

Press & Awards Highlighted on our Blog

Laurie accepts the award for “Rising Star Toy Inventor of the Year”

Video Review of Fairytale Theater

Video Review of Malia's Beach House

Gift Guide Mentions

UC-San-Diego-logoTriton Holiday Gift Guide


Innovators Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide

10 Non-LEGO Toys that Make Better Builders

giftsToy of the Week: Just Imagine

Fairytale Theater on NBC

Video Review of Pet Portrait Studio

Mom's a Genius, Gift Ideas, on ABC (TV)

Some of our Favorite Press Quotes

The_B_Globe“Build & Imagine’s ingenious magnetic playsets will keep kids entertained on their travels, from their plane seat and hotel room to grandmas house. The award-winning playsets help develop creativity, spatial reasoning, language skills, and more, but most importantly, they’re lots of fun. Read article.

“Sneak in STEM Learning: Many children love playing with figures in imaginative play. With Build & Imagine, kids learn mathematical and engineering concepts while playing with magnetic tiles, diverse figures, and tons of accessories. Read Article

“Build & Imagine brings magnetic building toys to a whole new level by taking large magna-tile like panels that display varying backgrounds and scenes on each side.  This allows for children to freely experiment with building and creating narrative. Each set comes with a character like the Marine Rescue Center’s Thea who is a great role model for both girls and boys.” Read Article

“The Build & Imagine sets are a new take on building, the design and colors are trendy and fresh. As you can see there are endless storytelling possibilities, creative roleplay and open-ended interaction. The colors, style, themes, and overall design of this toy is geared toward girls but boys will also like playing and engaging with this creative building set. Read Review

dr_toy“I feel strongly they are the best newest play product I have seen since completing the 100 Best and Best Picks 2014…These  imaginative and creative sets are perfect for little hands and big imaginations and will provide  hours of creative fun, and language development.”—Stevanne Auerbach, PhD (Dr. Toy)

Reimagining the Building Block: Oakland mom creates innovative toy to teach math, science, technology, engineering. Read Article

parents_choiceParents’ Choice Gold Award Winner: “Build & Imagine StoryWalls; a well-suited name for a well-designed product. Players use magnetized pieces to build structures and multi-layered play experiences from the ground up. Our builders, boys and girls alike, fed, studied and saved sea animals, designed and decorated a beach house to rent for additional income, and a beachside town where lunch was free on Tuesdays.”

NPCThe National Parenting Center Seal of Approval: “Testers across the board praised this hands-on activity set as a terrific, gender-neutral, electronic-free, thought-provoking toy. Ideal for any child who loves to use their imagination and gravitates to creative, interactive play”

bragging_mommy“Sometimes I feel like their aren’t many girls construction sets but this one is perfect! Leah and I designed the house and built it together. These educational toys are such a great way to get the girls’ imagination flowing. Leah came up with her own storyline and Charlotte and her played together for over an hour!”

– Briann, The Bragging Mommy

cropped-Toys-Real-logo“A high quality construction set. The possibilities were endless.”—RJ Cullen, Read Review

Gifting_experts“They will quickly become an architect and designer right before your eyes! Easier to use and more engaging than building blocks, Build & Imagine is a toy that keeps on giving.” Read More

play on words“This toy does just what we want it to–be flexible enough to generate different directions of play and storytelling but let the child lead the play to gain the most learning. A perfect intersection of engineering and language learning, Build & Imagine builds skills while constructing.”Read Review

“I have not been as impressed by a toy in so long…These sets are creative and really make your child think.  My daughter plays with her set for hours and even includes other figurines. She is able to problem-solve in a way that a lot of similar toys do not seem to offer. These sets are “set” to inspire a new generation of boys and girls!” Read Review

Construction of buildings and stories partner to build language skills and story telling, preparing little engineers for later reading and writing.”Read Review

“It’s a neat way for both girls and boys to extend their creativity to building what they they choose within a fun story framework. Although magnetic tiles for kids have been around before, these come complete with themes and stories that make them innovative and unique. “—Read Review

“This is one fun construction toy for kids that combines playing with dolls with an active building experience.” Read Article

“Oakland mom and award-winning toy designer Laurie Peterson has launched her own toy company which aims to bring early engineering skills to girls on the floor of their playrooms.

Bringing storytelling into a three-dimensional activity offers children the opportunity to be designer, architect and storyteller while they play.”Read Article

This is a high quality construction set that allows children to not only create their own stories but to re-imagine and re-design the scene each time they play. It was easy for the kids to create different scenes and then to pack up and store once playtime was over.—Tiffany Noth, The Bloggy Moms Network. Read Review

“Perfect take-along to Grandma’s house and a great non electronic gift this holiday season. “Read Review

“She played and designed for hours with each structure getting even more grand than the last, and I loved to see how her building evolved from basic squares to tri-level designs. Of course, her brother had to get in on the building as well and help her design a beach house for them to play with which led to even more fun and cooperative play.”—Leanne, Rave & Reviews. Read Review.

“Every now and then, a product comes on the market that manages something truly remarkable: delighting children while simultaneously causing extreme pride in parents. This, my friends, is one to boast about. —Liza, Mamanista. Read Review.

“My favorite part? There are no instruction booklet, no rules, no limits. My daughter instantly fell in love with her playset. She’s built too many configurations to count… the possibilities are endless and with no right or wrong configurations, she really can do anything! Look at the concentration on her face… I love it. She’s really thinking and challenging herself – WHILE PLAYING!”—Melissa Angert, All Things Chic. Read Review.

fast-company-logo-300x300When Peterson started working for big toy companies more than 10 years ago, she wanted to get young girls excited about science. Somewhere along the way, she forgot her mission and found herself—like most in the industry—advocating for toys catering to boys simply because they’re more profitable.

Peterson has since founded her own toy company aimed at teaching STEM skills to both girls and boys, and featuring “adventurous leading female characters.”

“I now have the opportunity with my own startup to make up the rules, and we get to decide what’s important,” she says.  Read Article

examinerGifts for boys. Gifts for girls. What about gender neutral play? One new company is inspiring girls and boys by giving them tools to literally build their own stories. Build & Imagine, makers of colorfully illustrated magnetic building sets called StoryWalls, offers play sets empowering children to build customized scenes that spark storytelling. Kids construct magnetic panels using STEM skills like spatial reasoning and problem solving, and then make up storylines that heighten their language skills.  View Gift Guide

ap“The Build & Imagine StoryWalls playset is as a clever cross between Legos and a dollhouse. A great way to encourage young children to explore building and problem-solving.”  View Gift Guide

east_bay_timesOakland hills resident invents new hit toy for girls…breaking down gender barriers in the toy industry and encouraging the development of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math Read Article

What Parents are Saying

  • “It’s one small thing we can take on a trip and they will play with it for hours.”mom of Gigi, age 7.
  • "This set sparked my daughter’s interest in building and science. I love seeing her build like my boys always have."—Cher (Mom and More) see review
  • “Melds the good fun of magnets, doll houses, and building sets and is truly reinventing play time!”—Amber (Thrifty Mom) see review
  • “I couldn’t believe how long this play-set kept them occupied . . . and working together.”—Kailani (Island Life) see review

Build & Imagine featured on IndyStyle (TV)

Build & Imagine featured on Better Connecticut (TV)

Build & Imagine's Journey

  • Fast Company: Why Venture Capital Wasn’t Right for Me and 15 Alternative Funding Sources. Read Article
  • Kickstarter: Build & Imagine reaches it’s goal on crowdfunding site Kickstarter. Learn More
  • UC Berkeley: Build & Imagine is a finalist in the LAUNCH start-up competition
  • Amber Grant: Build & Imagine wins Amber Grant. Learn More
  • UCSD Triton Magazine: Toys for Tinkerers. Read Article
  • Thread MB: An interview with Build & Imagine Founder Laurie Peterson. Read Article
  • SkyDeck Berkeley: SkyAlum Build & Imagine on TV. Learn More
  • Fast Company: 7 Business Leaders Share How they Solved the Biggest Moral Dilemmas. Read Article
  • Gift Shop: Build & Imagine Founder Laurie Peterson named Rising Star Toy Inventor of the Year. Read Article

Speaking Appearances

  • Hera Venture Summit: Fundraising Stories Bridging Both Sides of the Tank
  • Athena Signature Series: Female Founders – From Concept to Realization
  • Digital Kids Conference: Gender Disruption in Construction Toys
  • UC Berkeley Haas School of Business Speaker Series: The Unlikey DNA of an Entrepreneur
  • Diablo Magazine Launch Party: Embracing your Inner Entrepreneur
  • ASTRA’s 2017 Marketplace & Academy: How to Leverage Being a Woman in Business

Laurie presents at Haas: The Unlikely DNA of an Entrepreneur

Laurie demos Build & Imagine on live TV

For press inquiries, please contact
You may also visit our press kit. Thank you!