WABA Fun commissions SMU students to design
tallest toy in contest to set world record

WABA Fun has commissioned SMU engineering students to design the world's tallest toy.

tallest toy contest

DALLAS (SMU) – WABA Fun LLC and SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering are partnering to construct a prototype for the world’s tallest toy. 

tallest toy contest
Lyle Engineering students Andrew George (left) and Matt Tonnemacher test the WABA Fun Superstructs™ before the competition begins Friday evening.

The intense, round-the-clock, four-day design competition will take place Oct. 11-14 in the Innovation Gym on SMU’s campus as part of its prestigious Immersion Design Experience program.

The winning design will be built by WABA Fun in Washington D.C., in September 2014, the 100-year anniversary of the rod and hub style construction toy, with the goal of setting a new Guinness World Record.

WABA Fun will provide five teams of SMU students with Superstructs™ construction toys – a system of interlocking rods, hubs and panels – to build the prototype for the world’s tallest toy on the Dallas campus.  Judges from WABA Fun and the Lyle School of Engineering will choose the winning design on Oct 14th.

Watch the students at work.  Tap into the live-stream from the Innovation Gym at http://www.smugym.com after the competition begins Friday, Oct. 11, at 6:30 p.m.

WABA Fun will fly the winning student team to Washington, D.C., to oversee the construction of the full-scale design at the National Building Museum in conjunction with the museum’s September 2014 Big Build Festival. A representative will be on hand to confirm the structure sets a new Guinness World Record.

SMU engineering students will be asked to surpass the previous “world’s tallest” design, measuring in at a height of 103 feet, to set a new record.

This is the first collaboration between SMU’s Lyle School and WABA Fun. SMU’s Immersion Design Experience program previously has included large engineering companies, small startups, individual entrepreneurs, and military/government research labs in an attempt to solve real world problems in an impossibly short period of time.

“The goal is to inspire everyone to build bigger dreams,” said WABA Fun General Manager Shannon Gray. “Never before have the stakes been, literally, so high! Through this project we aim to encourage everyone to learn, play and build big in their own lives.  SMU proves special for many reasons; chief among them are their superior engineering students.  An added plus for us is that two of the top directors of SMU’s program are former leaders in the toy industry.  Together, we are collaborating to build the World’s Tallest Toy.  This will be an amazing event.”

“This is going to be fun,” said Innovation Gym Director Greg Needel. “We expect the models they build during the competition period to be pretty impressive – we’ll be setting a 20-foot minimum for entries.  But imagine how great it’s going to be for the winning team to see their design built to full height in the museum.” 

  • Location: SMU’s Innovation Gym, Caruth Hall, 3145 Dyer St., Dallas, 75205
  • Competition kickoff: 6:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 11
  • Competition ends: 4 p.m., Monday, Oct. 14. Award ceremony to follow

The Innovation Gym is a large, multi-purpose space on the SMU campus specifically designed for students to brainstorm, design and prototype engineering solutions in one space. The sleeping bags and cots at the perimeter of the room are not window dressing – students frequently work through the night to complete immersion design projects.

About SMU

SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls nearly 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools. SMU’s Bobby Lyle School of Engineering, founded in 1925, is one of the oldest engineering schools in the Southwest. The school offers eight undergraduate and 20 graduate programs, including masters and doctoral degrees.

About WABA Fun

tallest toy contestWABA Fun, LLC was founded in 2002 when inventor and innovator, David McCloskey saw the need to fill a gap in a classic construction toy model. A few years and a patent later, Superstructs was born. Today, WABA has expanded to include many lines of open-ended products that allow children the chance to be their most creative while developing problem solving skills and self-confidence through PLAY! WABA Fun is committed to developing products that inspire imagination and encourage children to be creative during their playtime. We started in a garage in 2002 and have grown into offices in Colorado, Sweden and Asia in 2013. Its products have won more than 20-toy industry awards and are sold in over 60 countries worldwide.

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