TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Across the country, people are logging onto their computers to try to score the best deals on Cyber Monday. One local company, Scientifics Direct, is giving online shoppers a chance to shop local while tackling their holiday shopping.
“We sell all types of wonderful, educational and STEM-related gifts,” explained Jamie Rexinger, who works in the Marketing Department for Scientifics Direct.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineer and Math, and those products have really taken off in recent years as part of a renewed national focus on STEM subjects for children.
Scientifics Direct offers a wide variety of those products for customers of all ages through its website: scientificsonline.com
Scientifics Direct reps say sales skyrocket during the holiday season. The company has a dedicated staff of about a dozen people for most of the year, but that grows to about 150 employees working to get orders out in the weeks leading up to Christmas. “Probably about 10,000-12,000 products left our warehouse onto a truck and into your homes last holiday season,” Rexinger said.
Hopes are high for another great holiday season this year, with a full inventory of unique items. “We are your source for Secret Santa gifts,” said Product Manager Greg Baumgartner as he showed our News 4 team some of the company’s hot sellers.
EXCLUSIVE | Get free shipping and handling on orders over $50 when you use the promo code WIVB at check out.
A lot of the featured products were new spins on the old classics, like a bioluminescent algea display that’s a big step up from the Sea Monkey kits of your childhood. The Chaos Tower offers a major upgrade on the old Mousetrap Game. There’s even a scientifically-engineered slinky to keep you entertained. “This has been redesigned for maximum performance,” Baumgartner explained.
The robotics kits are also designed with the customer in mind. The EM4 Robotics kit, for example, is made specifically for kids’ little fingers. It’s appropriate for ages 8 and up. Other kits include the Kingii Dragon Robot kit and the Code Gamer, which walks kids through the programming basics of gaming and coding. Adults can also experiment with building circuits with the Death Star Electronics Lab.
The company’s number one seller, though, is its Astroscan telescope. The sales have been boosted this year by hype over meteor showers and the Super Moon, but company reps say it will continue to be a popular item for the whole family “just because it is so portable, powerful, and really easy to use,” Baumgartner said.
Many of the products offered by Scientifics Direct make science and technology accessible to the average person, bringing things like 3-D printing pens into your home.
The technology behind these toys and gadgets is truly amazing.
“It changes every year and the future is really now. So everything we used to dream about or see on Star Trek or TV, it’s here,” Baumgartner said.
All of the products ship out of a warehouse on Main Street in Tonawanda, where the company has been based for the last five years. The business has been around since the 1940s, starting as a catalogue company and growing to the e-commerce operation it is now.
“We’ve always been educational. We were kind of STEM before it was cool, so to speak,” Rexinger laughed.
The company does not currently have a retail space for customers, but, according to its website, is working on that.