Blast from the Past: Surprise Ride’s Low-Tech Products Echo Back to the First Toy Fair

February 2018

New York City – At the first-ever Toy Fair here in 1903, children played with kid-sized planes and trains, tin soldiers and dollhouses. Back then, imagination powered their play. No batteries included—or even needed.

Fast-forward to this year’s event, 115 years later. You’ll find the same idea—a child’s imagination—behind the educational experiences promoted by Surprise Ride at this event for the first time.

Company founders, sisters Donna and Rosy Khalife, eschew digitally dominated toys for interactive, screen-free fun. “Kids should be wise, not only wired, to the world around them,” says CEO Donna. Surprise Ride believes in children creating with their own hands and spending quality moments with family.

Though new to Toy Fair, Surprise Ride is not new to the industry. Founded as a subscription business, it has brought over 50 products to market. They credit their success to this model. “We’re fortunate to have direct access to customer feedback. We’ve honed this, and channeled it into our 2018 retail collection, which we’re launching at Toy Fair,” Rosy explained. Bringing a modern twist to a more traditional industry.

Powered by Make-believe

Packaged in themed boxes, kids open Surprise Rides to find the magical elements of make-believe. With them, they become explorers, inventors and even pirates through hand-made projects and the included book.

In creating the company, Donna recalled their childhoods: “Our Dad was an artist. We worked alongside him, crafting things. Those memories form the basis of Surprise Ride—families, kids and parents, creating and learning together.”  

Adds Rosy: “It’s only fitting that our company’s philosophy aligns with how the Toy Fair began. Catering to kids’ imaginations.”

Shark Tank-funded Company

Earlier this week, the Khalifes appeared on ABC’s “The View,” along with Kevin O’Leary of Shark Tank, who’s invested in Surprise Ride.

He’s been quoted saying he makes more money with women-owned businesses. When The View host Meghan McCain asked him about it, he said simply, “I make more money with women.”


About Surprise Ride

Surprise Ride invents products to help people take a break from technology.  Surprise Ride’s kits include all supplies for a DIY activity, such as building a model moon, or painting a  birdhouse, an original book, and collectible keepsake. The kits were inspired by founders Donna & Rosy Khalife’s artist father who created similar fun and educational DIY activities for them growing up. The two sisters vowed to build a company with a mission and are currently leading a revolution of incorporating a healthy relationship with technology into everyone’s personal wellness routine. Surprise Ride has brought to market 50+ products, and has appeared on ABC’s hit shows Shark Tank and Beyond the Tank (where they received funding from Kevin O’Leary!), The View, The New York Times, Forbes, Tech.Co, Star Magazine, and Success Magazine.

Contact: Bethany Mulcahy, 888-984-2779, [email protected]

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