A classic toy brand is finally putting its foot down on how NASA rockets are launched.
After 30 years of producing “kid-powered” projectiles of its own design, Stomp Rocket is releasing its first-ever NASA-themed set. The Space Collection will be available exclusively from Target and select toy shops starting Sunday (Feb. 4).
“It has always been a dream of ours to do something like this,” said Jill Jameson, vice president for sales and marketing at Stomp Rocket, in an interview with collectSPACE.com. “When the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex approached us about a collaboration, we jumped on the opportunity!”
Like their name implies, Stomp Rocket toys launch off the ground using only the force of air that is generated when kids stomp on a compressible “launcher.”
The new NASA set, which retails for $24.99, comes with three flying toys, each modeled after a different NASA launch vehicle, as well as the launcher needed to send each soaring. Included are a Stomp Rocket resembling the Saturn V, the historic booster that flew the first people to the moon; Space Shuttle Atlantis, one of the now-retired winged orbiters that like the real thing glides back to a landing; and the Space Launch System (SLS), the new Artemis program rocket that is set to return astronauts to the moon in the coming few years.
All three toys are based on other Stomp Rocket products, including in the case of Atlantis the brand’s patented Stunt Planes, but each has been customized to more closely resemble NASA’s iconic vehicles.
“Our engineer designed them to look more like the actual spacecraft,” said Jameson, adding that the NASA collection is safe for both indoor and outdoor use. “Some of our other rockets have plastic bodies. These are all made out of foam.’
Each of the toys’ design and capability to fly is based on concepts related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), which Stomp Rocket hopes will encourage kids to challenge themselves through play. The brand has been recognized for its toys helping to teach children about force, momentum and launch angles, while keeping them active as they run, jump, throw and stomp to send each rocket skyward.
The box for the Space Collection by Stomp Rocket also included a QR code to join the NASA Kids’ Club, which is “a safe place [online] for children to play games as they learn about NASA and its missions.” The Club is part of NASA’s website and hosts STEM content for children pre-K through grade 4.
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s Space Shop plans to stock the new set, in addition to offering each of the three NASA-themed Stomp Rocket toys as individual products. More joint projects between the Florida Space Coast attraction and the toy brand are also in the works.
“We’re going to be holding a giveaway on social media,” said Jameson. “The details are still being worked out, but by buying a Stomp Rocket set at Target or at a specialty retailer, you will be able enter for a chance to win a trip for a family of four to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.”
In addition to celebrating the Saturn V and Space Shuttle Atlantis, both of which can be seen on display at Kennedy, the NASA Collection by Stomp Rocket is one of the first toys to include the new SLS, joining only a few other brands’ products including LEGO and Estes Rockets.
“We love to see the joy and excitement in kids as they launch their rockets and dream of becoming astronauts one day,” said Jameson. “Having fun while learning is what Stomp Rocket is all about!”