Blu Track photo

A small toy manufacturing company in eastern Iowa plans to devote its entire shift on Friday to building and packaging several hundred race car kits that will be donated to local Toys for Tots campaigns.

Amy Belding, spokeswoman for Blu Track, says the Anamosa factory makes flexible two-lane racetracks that allow kids to race two cars at once, side-by-side.

“In each of these boxes that are going for Toys for Tots, there are two cars that have been donated, so two race cars, and 15 feet of track, and what we call an anchor bar, so that can help hold whatever design the kids are trying to make, and then a suction cup.”

The dual tracks are also being used in school science and physics labs for basic force and motion lessons and even complex roller coaster designs.

The goal for Friday is to produce 500 kits for Toys for Tots, all of which will be destined to be placed under Christmas trees across eastern Iowa during December.

“Two-hundred units will go to Jones County and then 300 units will go to Cedar Rapids,” Belding says, “and then their local contact person will decide based on previous needs where those might be distributed.”

Blu Track has seven employees and Belding says Friday’s special shift will also include volunteers from a local bank, a veterans’ group and the Anamosa Chamber of Commerce.

“We’ll have staff and partners working side by side,” Belding says. “We’ll have people folding the boxes, we’ll have people putting cars in and sorting cars. We’ll have people putting in the other things that go in, and then we’ll have people pack those out and put them into case boxes for shipping.”

Blu Track was founded in Pella more than 20 years ago and ships the race track kits to individuals as toys — and to schools as learning tools — all across the U-S and as far away as Germany and Greece.