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Fort Magic "Life-Size" Building Toy Inspires Childhood Fun On Shark Tank

SARASOTA, Fla., April 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- How do you get successful billionaires to play like children on national television?  Build forts with the Fort Magic fort building kit, of course!  Fort Magic founder and Director, Erika Pope, will pitch her business to ABC's "Shark Tank" investors in an episode airing Friday, April 18th at 9:00 p.m. EDT. She will be attempting to gain a partnership and investment to take her educational toy company to the next level.

Robert Herjavec plays in a Fort Magic castle design.  While mom turned “mom-preneur”, Erika Pope, pitches her educational toy company to the Sharks.

What is Fort Magic?

Fort Magic is a patented, creative building and construction toy that combines the joy of building and engineering with unlimited "life-size" make-believe play. Similar to classic toys such as Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, or Lego, but large-scale, Fort Magic's unique combination of sticks and connectors encourages children to use their imaginations to construct an infinite number of possibilities – all from just one Fort Magic kit. Fort Magic was awarded the Dr. Toy Best Classic 2014 toy award for excellence in Creativity, Construction, Educational Skills and Activity Play for children. Fort Magic creates opportunities for children to develop interest, readiness, and capacities to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as well as develop language skills, artistic skills and a host of other educational benefits through hands-on play.

Mom turned "mom-preneur" on Shark Tank

Founder Erika Pope is a stay-at-home mom turned "mom-prenuer." One day while watching her 8-year-old son play in an old dryer box, she noticed that he became frustrated that the dryer box could only become the first thing he created. She was also not thrilled to have a big, tattered dryer box falling apart in her living room. She began thinking of a better way to satisfy her son's desire for "life-size" creative play, and that's when she invented Fort Magic. After two years of R & D, this life-size creative building toy was ready for sale and Fort Magic opened its doors in December 2011.

Pope says about her experience on Shark Tank, "I am thrilled Fort Magic is being presented to the Shark Tank audience.  Fort Magic is a toy that celebrates the greatness and uniqueness of every child as an individual. As a mother, I am extremely passionate about our mission as a company.  We believe that every child deserves to become a confident human being, experiencing life in its most loving, abundant and unlimited potential.  Achieving happiness through individual and creative self-expression, with positive and meaningful connection to the world and others around them. Fort Magic believes that any child can build the life they dream of.  This is why we work so hard every day."

As a "mom-preneur" business woman, Pope brings a relatable and inspiring perspective to the show, "Being on Shark Tank was a tremendous learning opportunity that allowed me to engage first-hand with some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world.  Like other women in my position, being a stay-at-home mom reflects my values, not my potential in the professional world.  Yes there is a learning curve in business, but my hope is that my segment will encourage other moms who are considering creating a business to have courage and go for it, and take the steps to begin.  If you can dream it, you can do it.  Anything is possible with hard work and determination." 

To find out whether Fort Magic receives a deal from the Sharks, tune in on Friday, April 18 at 9:00 p.m. EDT on ABC.

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