Tegu: the Toy Company that’s Changing the Game


Kids these days… the only thing that can hold their attention is their smart phones and shoot’em video games.  Whatever happened to the rocking horse and wooden blocks?

Well, the toy company Tegu is bringing back the wooden block and with a twist.  Tegu has taken blocks,  inserted magnets and painted them bright and vibrant colors.  The result is an innovative and sturdy toy that enables children to run wild with creativity.  But, that’s not the reason I’m so highlighting Tegu.

The company was initially founded by two Christian brothers with one purpose:  To bring jobs and industry to Honduras.  Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the world and has the highest murder rate per ca pita due to it’s location on the drug  route from South America to the US.  TOMS Shoes has been criticized for falling to make a dent in the underlying causes of poverty.  Giving a poor child shoes will only protect their feet for several months; little else in their lives change.  Tegu’s approach, however, is noticeably different.

For example all the blocks are manufactured in Honduras, by Hondurans, and from Honduran hard wood trees.  Also, for every set of blocks sold, Tegu plants 100 tree saplings to mitigate their environmental impact.  On top of that a portion of profits go to funding schools in some of the poorest neighborhoods of the capital Tegucigalpa (also where the company derived its name).  The company is a for profit business that is accomplishing social good.  Not only does the company seek to care for all stakeholders, but its reason for existence is to bring about positive social and economic change in Honduras.

Any praises, criticisms or thoughts on the Tegu model?

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5 responses to “Tegu: the Toy Company that’s Changing the Game

  1. I think the Tegu model is amazing. Not only are they attempting to turn around an entire culture (where the blocks are made in Honduras), but they are also hoping to change the culture of the buyers, or the children who the toys are made for. They are making a better life for the workers who live in the poorest part of the world and who have most likely been without work for a long time. Simultaneously, they are trying to bring traditional toys back to children like blocks rather than iPhones. This is a very hard task, but I like how Tegu made “blocks with a twist”. I think this has the potential to really stretch children’s creativity. In the long run, I think this will have a great impact.

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    • Exactly, in a sense Tegu accomplishes the work of a non-profit organization. But in a sense it is much more sustainable because it is not dependent on donor support to raise revenue. Also, interesting point about trying to change the culture of the buyers. Hopefully now consumers will come to expect more from toy manufacturers (also among many other industries).

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  2. Everything here is fabulous, they are accomplishing multiple great business aspects at once. Bringing jobs to a country that needs it while providing sustainable, interactive, and learning toys. With any luck, their competitors will be forced to change their ways to stay in the business, a shift that can be beneficial for everyone.

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  3. I think this is a very interesting way to go about giving back. Its seems like instead of finding the cheapest labor that will benefit their company the most, they found an area of the world that need jobs they most and went from there. I think this is a great way to help poor areas in the world, as long as they keep working conditions good.

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  4. Pingback: Blog Council: Our Favorite Companies | Stakeholders:Uncensored·

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