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South Jordan Journal

Bingham High grad creates Best Outdoor Toy of the Year nominee

Oct 12, 2023 02:02PM ● By Peri Kinder

Cosmic Kick the Can, created by Starlux Games, has been nominated for Best Outdoor Toy of the Year by the American Specialty Toy Retailers Association. Starlux Games founder, Judd King, is a Bingham High graduate. (Photo courtesy of Starlux Games)

As a kid, Judd King remembers playing outside with friends until it was too dark to see. Games like Ghosts in the Graveyard, Hide and Seek, and Capture the Flag were staples for King as he was growing up. 

King went on to graduate from Bingham High School in 1997 and is the founder of Starlux Games, creating updated, nostalgic games. His company was just nominated by the American Specialty Toy Retailers Association for Best Outdoor Toy of the Year. Its “intergalactic upgrade” to a timeless classic, Cosmic Kick the Can, replaces rusty tin cans with a kickable and luminous spaceship that lights up on impact. 

“With kids in the U.S. spending an average of four to six hours a day glued to their screens, and with the intense focus on competitive sports, play as an enjoyable, creative and physical engagement is more important than ever,” he said. “We strive to create thrilling games that bring people together and do so in a way that’s active, social and imaginative.” 

This isn’t the first time Starlux Games has been nominated for Best Outdoor Toy. The company was recognized for its Seek & Hide Sardines game, which includes a wriggling fish that randomly bursts into song while hiding. The Ghosts in the Graveyard REDUX is a spooky game of tag and Capture the Flag REDUX is a glow-in-the-dark game of stealth and speed. Both games were past nominees.

King’s always had an eye for entrepreneurship, earning the Sterling Scholar recognition at BHS in the business category. He attended Colgate University, studying philosophy, and earned his graduate degree at the University of Southern California majoring in film 

production. King went on to teach filmmaking and photography for nine years.

He decided he needed a break from teaching and thought he would go back to what he loved to do as a kid: play outside. In 2014, he found some Oggz (glowing ostrich eggs) in a novelty store and his first Capture the Flag game was born. He threw the idea up on Kickstarter and Starlux Games was created.

For their newest toy, King’s colleague, Becky Skinner, loved playing Kick the Can as a child and convinced him to upgrade the game.

“That was her favorite game growing up,” King said. “We always try to inject some sort of narrative component to our games. We didn’t have anything alien-themed, and we knew we wanted to do something that was light up, so it felt very intuitive.”

“Today’s kids and teens need opportunities more than ever to get active and make memories with friends and family,” Skinner said. “I’m thrilled about our new alien-themed Cosmic Kick the Can and how it turned out. It is just what today’s generation needs to motivate them to get out and play. Plus, there is that awesome ‘nostalgia factor’ for all the parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles that played it growing up. It’s the best!”

The company has sold more than 300,000 copies of their games and earned over a dozen awards, including “Top Summer Toy” from Toy Insider in 2023, “Best Toy” from Good Housekeeping in 2022 and consecutive nominations for best active game from ASTRA (2023, 2022, 2021).  For more information, visit

King likes that his games encourage people to put down their phones and get outside. He wants to bring people of all ages together to inspire teamwork, increase physical fun and provide a unique way to connect generations. 

“It’s just felt like there’s a lot of separation from each other,” he said. “I think in our culture we’ve lost sight of the value of physical movement just for its own sake and enjoyment…our mission is to bring people together through thrilling active and imaginative experiences. We just do that one product at a time, one store at a time, one person at a time.”  λ