Vladislav Smolyanskyy hopes to build a relationship with a Shark when he pitches PinBlock, his new construction block toy, in Shark Tank episode 811. Vlad started the business after he and a childhood friend came up with the concept in 2014. He successfully raised $18,573 on Kickstarter inn February, 2015 after an earlier campaign failed.
PinBlock is a toy building block that comes in one shape and size in a variety of colors. It's designed to allow “builders” create anything they can imagine, without the limitations of “special” building blocks (think Lego). The design even allows for moving pieces.
There are tons of tutorial videos that show people how to build different models. PinBlocks come in a variety of packages with different color themes for about $40 a box for 1000 pieces. Individual colors in packs of 100 cost about four bucks. Vlad's goal was creating a toy that challenged the imagination while maintaining flexibility. So far, the business is fairly successful. PinBlock sets sell on Amazon and on the company website.
Vlad likely wants a Shark's help getting his new toy into major retailers. Will a Shark pay to play with this business?
PinBlock Shark Tank Recap
Vlad enters seeking $100,000 for 20% of the company. He explains that too many parents value school over play and children's creativity is being stifled. That's why he invented Pin Block. Vlad explains he only owns 85% of the business – the other 15% belongs to a partner who is no longer involved.He hands out samples to the Sharks; the samples are personalized creations made out of PinBlocks.
Vlad had $160,000 in sales. The “starter packs” he handed to the Shark cost him $3 to make and sell for $19.99. Kevin asked Vlad about his experience at the Toy Fair – a toy trade show. Vlad set up meetings and sent samples at the Toy Fair, but so far only signed up with small retailers. He further explained that he had a patent.
Kevin jumps in and offers $100,000 for 30%. He wants to license PinBlock to a large manufacturer and distribute it globally. Vlad says that's against his vision for the business. Barbara says she likes Kevin's deal so she's out. Lori says a toy is a “long road,” so she's out. Robert wants to license it too and since Vlad is waffling on that, he's out. Mark thinks the toy business is too brutal, he's out too.
Now Kevin says he wants 50%. He'll do deals with toy companies. Any deal Kevin makes, he gets 50%. Vlad has the right to refuse the deals. Vlad accepts.
PinBlock Shark Tank Update
The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. There is no evidence of this deal closing. Pin Block's Facebook page hasn't been updated since December, 2017. That said, after some problems in the post Shark Tank ordering chaos, PinBlock is selling well on Amazon and the company website.
While the deal with Kevin may appear to be dead, it could be in lengthy licensing negotiations, too. The fact that neither Kevin's nor PinBlock's site mentions the deal is strange.