Bozeman toy maker creates buzz with new product - KBZK.com | Continuous News | Bozeman, Montana

Bozeman toy maker creates buzz with new product

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Bozeman man and MSU graduate has received a number of accolades after his invention was recently featured at the New York Toy Fair.

As an engineer and co-owner of Salient Technologies, David Yakos typically utilizes his creativity and engineering skills to help make prototypes and models for companies and individuals so their inventions can hit the marketplace.

But now it's Yakos who's creating the buzz.

"When I was a kid, I was a maker,” said Yakos. “I made everything out of toilet paper tubes, tissue boxes, my mom actually recognized that quality and carved out a dryer box and put it in the living room and called it ‘David's creative corner.'"

His toy, “Maker Studio,” won a Best of Fair for Tech Made Easy from Techlicious at the New York Toy Fair. It also won several top tens of the toy fair, including a nod from GeekDad.

What makes the toy special?

“We created a series of gears, axles, hubs of things that are difficult for a kid to make - working mechanisms,” Yakos said. “We wanted to leave it open ended, where kids could can use these working pieces and then take common household items to create their own unique toy.”

Maker Studio is aimed at an audience of of 7 years to adult.

Yako's daughter Bella explains in a YouTube video what her invention is, using her dad's toy.

“Each kit comes with instructions on how to do four builds - that's like a race car, a cable car, a tow truck,” Yakos explains. “It's just trying to get kids familiar with how to use the tools, but then there are 10 open-ended engineering challenges.”

The Thinkfun product kits will retail for $19.99 on Amazon and they'll start shipping in April.

The other inventor behind Maker Studio is California-based maker Parker Thomas. Yakos met Thomas through “The HATCH Experience” which encourages innovation and mentorship.

You can learn more about the endeavor at these links: www.salient-tech.com and www.thinkfun.com/makerstudiogears

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