I don't know how it happened, but Trobo somehow walked away with a deal during the April 8 episode of Shark Tank. As each of the Sharks gave their opinion of the business and proclaimed whether they would like to invest or decline making a deal, it didn't sound like Trobo had a chance of surviving in the Tank. But it did, and once you hear about this product's inspiring success story, you're probably going to want to know where to buy Trobo from Shark Tank ASAP.
But first, let's dive in to a bit of a recap of last Friday night's episode of Shark Tank, shall we? The entrepreneurs behind Trobo, Chris Harden and Jeremy Scheinberg, entered the Tank offering a deal of $100,000 for a 10 percent stake in the company. After an adorable demo that included Daymond John interacting with the educational smart toy, most of the Sharks quickly bowed out for a variety of reasons, including the high price of the toy, the absence of orders from big-box retailers, and the lack of compelling content in the app.
However, after a heartfelt story of resilience and a passionate plea on the part of Harden, which you can see in the video clip below, Robert Herjavec seemed inspired. He spoke about his plans for getting Trobo a licensing deal with DreamWorks, which would be (hello?) ah-mazing! He made an offer, then Harden and Scheinberg countered, and Robert actually took the deal of $166,000 for a 33.3 percent stake in the company.
Welp, that didn't turn out at all how I thought, but I'm sure glad it didn't because I'm a huge fan of educational toys. I had several innovative ones when I was a kid, so any toy that is going to help kids have fun with learning is a winner in my book. Read up on what makes Trobo so special below, including info not seen on Shark Tank, and you'll be glad Robert made a deal with the company, too.
It's More Than Just A Toy
Trobo had me at cute robot plushie, but the toy is actually so much more than that. The plushie connects with a smartphone or tablet and reads aloud the STEM-focused story or game being presented on those mobile devices, covering topics ranging from how honey is made to what lightning is to how cars work, according to Trobo's website. The child interacts with and learns from the story onscreen, all the while having an adorable robotic companion by his or her side, as you can see in the above clip. Trobo's voice is alarmingly monotone, but what do you expect from a robot sidekick?
It Gets Personal
In addition to all the learning and fun that's to be had while using this product, what's really quite cool about Trobo is how personalized you can make it. As you can see in the above clip, your child can be part of the story and have his or her name read aloud by inputting it in the program. Users can also create a customizable avatar to appear onscreen. There's also a Trobo with a primary color scheme named Newton and a pastel-colored one named Curie.
You can also build up your own Trobo experience beyond the four stories and four games that come pre-loaded with your purchase with other stories and games available as in-app purchases (more on that later) so that your child can learn exactly what he or she is interested in. For that reason, Trobo is meant to grow with your child as he or she grows, too. Does that mean there are Trobo stories and games designed for twentysomethings? Asking for a friend.
It's Available Now
By the time Trobo appeared on Shark Tank, the company only had small boutique orders of about 600 units. But I bet after the Shark Tank airing, Trobo experienced a huge spike in its online sales, as is usually the case with the products that appear on the show. Well, if you still need to get your hands on a Trobo, it's easy to do so. Trobo is available for iOS devices from the company's official online store for $59.99 or Amazon for $117. You can also buy a coloring and activity book ($12.95) and a playful birth and adoption certificate ($10) separately or as part of the Shark Tank bundle ($72.94) that also includes the Trobo plushie through the company's website. The company is currently taking pre-orders for Trobos for Android devices, according to the homepage of its website.
And once you have your Trobo, you can keep the fun and learning going by buying more stories and games through in-app purchases, as I previously mentioned. These are mostly available for $4.99 each, though some are only $0.99. There's also a one-year subscription option for $36 per month if your child is really loving the Trobo.
The Founders Know STEM
You've got to have a little know-how or hire someone who does to get a product like this off the ground, and Harden and Scheinberg fall into the former category. Harden's background is in software and design engineering and development, and he has worked for EA Sports, BSQUARE, and Alcorn McBride in the past, according to his LinkedIn profile. Scheinberg also worked as the chief operating officer at Alcorn McBride, his LinkedIn profile says, which creates audio, video, and lighting products for the entertainment industry. Throughout his career, Scheinberg has worked with brands like Disney, Universal, and Lego, so clearly he knows what it takes to wow kids in this day and age.
The Inspiration Hits Close To Home
Though they've both had hands-on, professional experience with technology, Harden and Scheinberg really got the inspiration for Trobo from their own children. “Witnessing his daughter Sophia spend hours learning to be a princess, led Jeremy [Scheinberg] to want something more foundational for her future. He wanted to share his love of learning technology and engineering with his daughter,” Harden told Tech Crunch about the inspiration behind Trobo in September 2014. “I had a similar experience with [my child] Asher, who spends a significant amount of time with Hot Wheels cars and mindlessly watching cars on YouTube.” Kids are often the best muses, after all.
The Future Looks Bright
Now that Trobo has a Shark in its corner, there are a lot of exciting plans in the works for the company, which aims to be "the new 'Bill Nye' for the newest generation," Scheinberg said in a recent interview with News 13. This includes more stories, books, and museum exhibits around Trobo, as well as possibly new plushies in the future, according to the news outlet.
Here comes Trobo, indeed.
Images: Beth Dubber/ABC (2)