Why Doesn't Uncle Goose Make Presidential Blocks Anymore?
Uncle Goose doesn’t make Presidential Blocks anymore. And we won’t be making them again.
Along with 10 other toys, Presidential Blocks won't be coming back. They are permanently discontinued.
Why? Three key reasons:
1. Presidential Blocks don’t sell well.
2. Their basswood case only holds 45 blocks and we've had 46 presidents.
3. The polarized political climate in the US sucked the fun out of making them.
For a bit of history: Uncle Goose Presidential Blocks featured informative facts plus handcrafted illustrations of 44 American presidents. You could arrange the blocks inside their sustainable basswood tray to create a red-wood-and-blue American flag. This set also included one special "Oath of Office" block to round out the set.
Fun, right? Sure was!
And for a time, the Presidential blocks sold well. They were never a top 10 seller, but they did OK. They were a fun educational toy, and enough people liked them enough to buy them.
We knew this set had to come to an end, though. The tray only holds 45 blocks. We figured that once the US reached 46 presidents, it would be time to retire the set.
But then, 2016 happened. It was a long and bitter presidential campaign. Across the country, people felt angry and divided.
And when a candidate who didn’t win the popular vote became president: almost no one wanted to buy the Presidential block set anymore. Uncle Goose discontinued making and selling the Presidential set in 2017.
This was about 8 years earlier than we planned to retire the set. But lack of sales? It was definitely time for them to retire!
Fast forward to 2021. A candidate who won the popular vote is in office. Your Uncle Goose is now getting enthusiastic inquiries about bringing the Presidential Block set back.
But it’s not going to happen. The Presidential Blocks are over. It was a 45 block set, and now we’ve had over 45 presidents.
The country has moved on. And your Uncle Goose has moved on, too.
We’re not interested in revisiting this set. Sure, there’s the 45 block case limitation, but it’s gone way beyond that.
It’s not fun for us to make them anymore.
A big part of "why not?" is the tone of the calls and emails we’ve been getting about the Presidential blocks for the past 4 years. The calls and emails have informed our opinions about revisiting this set.
The tone of the calls and letters has been peculiar. Few express enthusiasm or love for the blocks. Rather, the tone tends to be either vague, aggressive, or demanding.
Many emails coyly ask why we aren’t making the set. They don’t state any interest in buying the blocks. They demurely pose the question and demand a response.
That’s not a good sign. We can’t stay in business making toys that people feel curious about, but not curious enough to buy.
But even if the letters ended with, “We’ll buy 5,000 sets as soon as you make them!” — we’re still not going to make them. Because the aggressive and demanding phone calls we received for four years sure haven’t been fun for us, either.
We’ve been accused of all kinds of things: being cowards, hating history, and hating America. Getting confronted with these emails makes us believe that Presidential Blocks aren’t inspiring fun or learning at this moment in history.
It's like we said. The Presidential Blocks had a good, solid run of fun. But it's over.
So we’ve moved on. We make other educational toys that are way, way more popular. For example, right after we discontinued the Presidential set, we introduced another historic set. We released the Women Who Dare set in 2017.
The Women Who Dare block set vastly outsold the Presidential block set. In its first 4 months, Women Who Dare outsold the entire run of the Presidential Block set! And the Women Who Dare set continues to be a top 10 seller for your Uncle Goose.
We hope we’ve made this clear.
We’re not going back to old designs that don’t sell well and aren’t fun for us to make. We’re only going forward with new designs that show potential for learning, fun, and growth.