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Debbie Sterling, a 30-year-old Stanford engineering grad, wanted to create a toy that taught young girls how stuff works, the kind of toy she wished she had had as a kid. But everyone said it wouldn't sell: "I was told you can't fight nature." Now nature's looking different. In seven months last year, GoldieBlox—a building kit with an accompanying storybook that brings to life engineering principles like leverage—went from Kickstarter success to the shelves of Toys "R" Us and Amazon, where its products are bestsellers. Sterling has sold more than 100,000 toys.
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