Extreme Sandbox From 'Shark Tank' Is Available Now, But The Nostalgic Experience Will Cost You
Of all the childhood playground staples, one favorite that never goes away is the sandbox. Think about it — even as adults, we use the phrase "playing in the sandbox" to mean creatively exploring. All of the other playground analogies — being on an emotional merry-go-round, see-sawing about something — have more negative connotations. But is there anyway to make money off this lasting love of sandboxes? Of course there is. I'm surprised that it took this long, frankly, for someone to figure out how. Enter Randy Stenger, who will pitch his Extreme Sandbox on Shark Tank . But what is the series' latest contender, and how can you dig into one?
The idea for Extreme Sandbox is simple: There is sand (obviously). There is real construction equipment for digging. And there are adults willing to pay for the privilege of doing so, just to fool around. It's just like playing with your old Tonka trucks, but on a huge scale. You can get behind the wheel of a bulldozer, an excavator, a skid steer, and even a fire truck. I know what you're thinking — coolest birthday party ever, right? I'd be psyched if I were invited to one of those.
If this sounds like something you absolutely have to get your hands on now, there's good news. You don't have to wait for the Jan. 5 Shark Tank results to go and play in an Extreme Sandbox. It's already up and running, and doesn't need the investors to become operational. But, the bad news: You have to live near Hastings, Minnesota to play. That's where the only currently open facility is located. But there's big news if you live in Texas: Shark Tank or no, another location is opening in Pottsboro, Texas this spring.
Unfortunately, playing in an adult-sized sandbox is a lot more expensive than playing in a kid-sized one. It costs $195 for an individual to use one piece of equipment for one hour (including instruction). From there, it goes all the way up to $895 for a seven-hour experience on multiple pieces of equipment. Add-ons and group packages are also available. Meanwhile, you can get a Tonka bulldozer for $22.95 on Amazon.
This idea must've come from someone with a construction background, right? Wrong. Stenger, who was working for the Target corporation at the time, came up with the idea while driving past a construction site with his kids, according to his company's website. Since he came from the corporate world, he'll probably know the best way to pitch Extreme Sandbox to the sharks on Shark Tank. “The growth of the company has been amazing,” Stenger told the La Crosse Tribune. “You can’t call what I do a job. I get paid to play.” If Stenger can get the Sharks in his pocket, people will pay him to play, too.
Image: Michael Desmond/ABC