Pressure Games

Award-Winning Toys that Merge Playground Games with Tech

Last Funded April 2020


raised from 85 investors


Winner - 2019 Outdoor Toy Awards. Nominated - "Best Startup Product" at 2020 CES Toy Awards
Strong economics - $12 COGs, $40 MSRP
Q3 2020 Product Launch.
First toy game mechanics are patent-pending, providing 20 years of protection

Our Team

Kids today need more interactive play experiences not only with other kids but with the whole family. For kids there is a constant need to hop from screen to screen, tablets, laptops, mobile phones, and parents today are "always on" now. Our toys are meant to reinvigorate traditional active play in a way that resonates with kids and families alike.

~~ Campaign Closes April 10th ~~ There is an Opening in the Toy Market for Tech Toys that Encourage Traditional Play.

Problem: Screen Time is Up and Playtime is Down

Childhood today has a growing dilemma- as kids have been spending more time engaging in the digital world, they’ve been engaging in the real world and traditional play less and less. Parents are always “plugged in” and family time is suffering. This is having negative affects on healthy development for kids. Unhealthy kids equal unhealthy adults and thats a major bummer.

“Parents can think of screens like they do giving junk food to their kids: In small doses, it’s OK, but in excess, it has consequences,” says JAMA Pediatrics author Sheri Madigan

Opportunity: We Discovered Something Pretty Awesome

In looking for a fun alternative to screen-time in their own home, our founder and his son came up with a new take on “hide & seek” and the toy Countdown was born. This hide & seek toy inspires a new perspective, where tech was a tool of the play - but not the total focus. This retro inspired toy is used to help shape social, imaginative and active engagement in playtime for both kids and adults.

Countdown encourages kids to get creative and play anywhere with each other

Solution: Meet Countdown, Our First Toy

This toy combines the old school play of "hide and seek"  with modern-day tech innovation for endless childhood fun, as well as three other game modes to offer something for everyone in the family. The toy encourages all of the components of healthy play by reinterpreting the game and it works like this:

  • One player sets the level of difficulty and timer on Countdown and hides it. Then they return to the other player(s) (who all have their eyes covered of course!)
  • Countdown will start to give visual and audio clues for the finder(s) to locate it.
  • The player who finds it then has to play a series of puzzles to stop the timer and beat the game. Then a new round can begin!

But the fun doesn’t end with hide & seek! Countdown means Game on! for everyone with other family game night staples. With three other modes kids and families can try Table Co-Op to see if the team can beat the puzzles before the clock runs out, play Hot Potato to see who’s the last man standing, and Single Player to beat their personal fastest time.

Development: How We Got Here 

After months of thorough research, development, iteration and refinement on our toy we realized we were onto a unique experience and have filed for a patent on the Countdown game-flow.

 In the last 3 months, we've sent nearly 100 test units to reviewers, testers, and media outlets across the United States and feedback has resoundingly positive.

    Development: Under the Hood

    We’re packing a lot of tech punch in Countdown to make sure we’re ready for the future. There is a sophisticated foundation within Countdown to ensure we can keep play fresh through new types of games using any of our sensory or tactile features: bright lights, buttons, accelerometer, speaker and screen.

    Total & Initially Addressable Market

    The total toy market is huge at $89B worldwide. Pressure Games is initially focusing a $10B slice of the US market comprised of Youth Electronics, Outdoor Toys and Puzzles & Games. Our current toys and concepts focus on these main sectors, which is an ample opportunity on its own.

    In short order, we plan to move outward into other toy verticals and wider distribution into other countries.

    Why We Get Attention

    Screen time is at epidemic usage levels. Parents are actively searching for alternatives. The problem is that there's only so many STEM toys a kid wants and parents are tired of 'cheap plastic' toys that get a hot-minute of use before being discarded for a tablet or video game controller. 

    Most toys just don't have the social or interactive aspect that kids want and Countdown delivers.

    Our Toys Market Themselves

    Marketing is always difficult for startups. You have to spend money to make money, but startup budgets are always tight. We have a strong advantage with our market segment as there is widening coverage through articles, newscasts and parents struggling with too much tech-encroachment into their kids lives. 

    Even before launch, this is providing ample opportunity to demo our vision for how tech toys can be an aide to play as journalists are seeking us out to back up their stories.

    Below is an interview with our founders on ABC Sarasota's "Morning View" show. We've also been covered in SW Florida newspapers, SWFL Parent & Child Magazine and other outlets. Once we launch, our nationwide reach will only grow.

    The Opening For Pressure Games Toys

    Parents aren't alone in thinking screen time is taking over. The American Association of Pediatrics is now recommending doctors prescribe playtime to kids (seriously!). 

    Our toys fill an unmet need for low-cost, active toys that kids want to play with and that parents are craving.

    Traction and Media

    On December 5th, 2019 it was announced that Countdown earned a nomination for "Best Startup Product" in the Kids@Play Initiative Toy Awards. This is a major toy event with award winners announced during the Kids@Play Summit at CES in January.

    Earlier this year, our early prototype won at the 2019 International Outdoor Toy Awards in London in the Outdoor Sports Category. The OTA is organized by toy industry expert Peter Jenkinson from Toyology and is the only event dedicated to Outdoor play. Hundreds of toy brands like Nerf and Aerobie compete for a winning spot in one of the ten outdoor categories. 

    We were also featured in the November issue of Southwest Florida Parent & Child Magazine as a new "Game Night" hit.


      We have started an early testing reviewer program called Countdown Club and feedback has been unanimously positive. Here’s a glimpse of what early testers have to say:

      “They’ve turned the TV off and are playing with it.” -Anthony
      "Our Countdown prototype from Pressure Games is a BIG hit! My kids are playing hide and seek without me.... and I’m a little bit jealous!" -Sarah
      “We had so much fun playing with the new game Countdown from Pressure Games. You can play hide & seek, hot potato, and more! So fun to play outside too!” -Austin & Caden
      “We've been having a blast trying it out and really we've been fighting for turns with it.” - Lindsay
      left: Toy Reviewers Austin & Caden right: Countdown Club testers


      Pressure Games is so excited to be working with some of the best of the industry to bring this toy to market. 

      • Val Vacante, an industry leading product innovation strategist and connected play expert is a key advisor on our Advisory Board. She has helped guide marketing and targeting of our brand and bring us visibility at huge marketing events like CES and SxSW. 
      • Design Edge, a leading design, development and sourcing agency who works with the top toy and game companies, manufacturers and distributors is a retained consultant to the Pressure Games team.

      Road to Success 

      We've covered a lot of ground over the last year and we have a many solid mile markers line up on our way to launch. 

      We Set Ourselves Apart with Updatable, Low-Cost Toys

      In the toy industry today, the lower price range of toys (under $60) are static, one-time buys. At the higher end, there are plenty of STEM toys that receive updates to enhance their learning aspect.

      Right out of the box, Countdown is ready to go with over a dozen awesome games and four different play modes. But gaming doesn’t end there, we think toys and play can evolve over time too. It's not just for the high-end of the market, and we're confident there’s a strong business model for bringing such updatability to Countdown and our future toys. Our update App is already providing new releases to testers as we refine the play experience, and will continue to do so well after launch. It provides a way for us to continuously engage with our users and will introduce them to new toys in the future. Most importantly, it keeps our toys relevant and exciting over time.

      Additional Revenue

      As noted, our toys will be updatable. Free updates will be available to all users for minor evolutions over time. On top of free updates, we’ll also be introducing an annual subscription for ~$20 / year to take advantage of major updates. The update service will allow us to add unlimited games, new play modes and other experiences over time. From a business and development perspective, updates are a low-cost, high-margin add-on that provides extra, optional value to our customers.

      We’re evaluating multiple revenue streams in addition to yearly subscriptions. Other possibilities include one-off sales of specific modes or puzzles, allowing users to choose from an a la carte style menu of upgrades.

      Future Toys

      Countdown is the first of a family of tech toys based on classic playground games. After Countdown, we plan to release two toys a year, increasing as our development team grows. 

      Pushing forward for Profit

      We are working with manufacturing partners to determine final pricing. Initial estimates call for a per-unit COGS of ~$12 per unit on 10k units. With a $40 MSRP, this provides a >60% gross margin for direct sales and approaches 50% gross margin should we enter into bigbox retail. We are currently modeling a 10-15% uptake in subscription revenue and, in time, we anticipate that subscriptions will comprise 20-30% of our total revenue and a larger share of our overall profits.

      Community Involvement and Business for Good

      Pressure Games is a Benefit Corporation with the mission of encouraging healthy and active play for children. We want that goal to be visible in our products, business goals, and community partnerships. 

      We are working with the local Boys & Girls Club and elementary schools to incorporate our first toys into playtime and curriculum activities. We aim to make healthy play available to all kids with the goal of expanding to the Boys & Girls Clubs on a national level.

      We believe in the visibility of social change and have partnered with the following organizations:

      • Pledge 1% - A non profit that helps companies donate 1% of goods or time to causes in need.
      • Florida for Good, a non profit organization that connects B businesses in Florida.
      • We plan to attain B Corp certification.