Happy-Bugnalow-robot-movie-production-wooden-toys

Toy Robot Movie Production Troubles

It’s been well established that toys come to life under certain circumstances (ie: when placed in magic cupboard, or when the kids leave the room); our toys are no exception. Our animal toys are mostly content to graze around the living room or nap under the shade of the couch. The fairies buzz around the potted plants. The cars usually zoom around, always underfoot. But the robots? Oh boy those robots.

The robots are restless and always working on something. Of late they have taken up movie-making. They built their own equipment and took over a corner of the garage for production. They fooled around with physical props and sets, but couldn’t get the look they were going for. So up went a green-screen for later CG work. Everything was going well . .

toy robot movie production

I made it clear the movie was their project, and I also made it clear they could only have the garage for the weekend. I thought this was plainly stated in the contract. Whoever wrote the thing and whichever bot signed it were two different beings. I brought this to their attention (again) late Saturday evening. Wow! Drama!

Lot’s of yelling squeaks and bloobs and bips (I struggle to understand them when they talk fast). I caught every third or fourth word – lot’s of blame and name calling. But to their credit they worked out their differences, and then worked through the night. They finished up garage photography the next day and my wife and I were able to move the car back in.

The robots finished their movie. It had a limited release in all the art-house theaters (poster below). It’s a big hit as far as small movies go. Robot Lords from Cosmic Space is due for home theater release later this year; certain to be a cult classic.

Pick up your own robots and make your own movie today!

Vintage Looking Sci-Fi Movie Poseter With Robots

Happy-Bungalow-boy-floating-away-with-balloons

Boy Holds Too Many Balloons, Floats Into Sky

toy posed reenactment of child floating into air holding balloons

5 cents each or 15 / 50 cents. “I’ll take sixty please.”

The balloon barker was a large fellow. He could hold two hundred balloons and not budge an inch, but the Attleson’s boy? The Attleson’s boys was thin as a bean stalk. He handed over his money, took those balloons in his two hands, and ZIP! Off he went into the air.

It was a steady breeze that day so he made it a good two miles before he thought to let go of a balloon or two.  He loosed a few more and finally landed in John Southwick’s sorghum field. If you can believe that.

If you can believe it.  Our grandmother believes it.  She swears by this story, says it happened when she was a kid herself.  Though she lost the newspaper clipping, and wavers on being at the scene or simply hearing about it second hand.

Still, it’s a FUN story, One of our favorites, and we’ve recreated it here in toy story-telling form.

Want to act out your own adventures with toys?  Well, click here to purchase some.

toys pose for fanciful story of boy flying into air

Wood Vulture Toy

Okay, who doesn’t love to look at the pretty peacock?  And elephants, bears, and horses will always rank high on our favorite animals list.

Alas, the world is a diverse place with diverse needs.  The vulture may not be the loveliest or the most loved, but it is very important.  Though we will say that this wooden vulture toy is pretty darn cute and will turn a head perched in your playroom or lounging on your desk.

Pick up your own wood vulture toy from our online toy shop today!wooden vulture toy

wood toy giraffe

Giraffe Toy

The Giraffe

aka Mr. Long Neck

aka Stretch

aka How’s The Weather Up There

We just love giraffes here at the Bungalow.  At our local zoo you can feed the giraffes a little giraffe cracker.  Right out of the palm of your hand!  How cool is that?

Happy Bungalow’s giraffe is crafted from hickory, sanded smooth, and finished with a beeswax polish we make ourselves.  Pick up your own giraffe toy from our online toy shop.

giraffe toy

wood toy animal warthog

Wood Animal Toy Warthog

Introducing the warthog!  Now, to be honest, we haven’t had a lot of demand for a warthog toy, but now that we’ve made one, people just love them.  They are so darn cute!  Real-life warthogs,

[insert 80’s movie record screech]

Q:  Wait, where’s the warthog?  I only see is a rhino.
A:  Well, you know, rendered in wood, warthogs and rhinos look strikingly similar.  We create all our animal patterns from scratch, tweaking real-life animal profiles to conform to the realities of wood toys.  So you can call it a warthog or a baby rhino (as paired with our purpose-crafted rhino toy).  We call this little wooden animal fun.

Take home your own wood animal toy warthog from our online toy shop today!wood animal toy warthogLooking for a wooden toy rhino?  Pick it up here.

wood toy rhino toy for boys

Wooden Toy Rhino

Most animals are better admired from the far.  The rhinoceros, weighing “a million pounds” and armed with “giant sword horns” is certainly an animal better admired from afar.  Even without the exaggerated quotes from small children.

This rhino toy was one of Happy Bugnalow’s first animal toys and still one of our most popular.  We craft our rhino from red oak, carefully sand all corners smooth, and finish it off with a beeswax polish we make ourselves.  As with all our toys, it’s made to be passed along to another generation.

Take home your own wooden toy rhino from our online toy shop today!wooden toy rhino

decorative circle

One Simple Trick to Happiness

One Simple Trick to Happiness

You can’t flip through a family magazine, play a parenting podcast, or tune into a talkshow without being bombarded with advice, tips, tricks, and strategies to spend more time with your family and lead a happier life.

Want to spend more time with your children?  Have more quality family time, happiness, and all that?  Forget all the articles and books you’ve seen.  When it comes to spending more time with your family there is only ONE SIMPLE TRICK you need to know.

And honestly, feel free to substitute anything you’d like in place of spending time with your family.  This simple trick is fairly universal.

And unlike all those silly internet advertisements, this simple trick is real.

Looking for a way to spend more time with your children?  It’s easy:  JUST SPEND MORE TIME WITH YOUR CHILDREN.

But before the spade of “buts” come, there is one simple catch that accompanies this one simple trick:  YOU’LL ALMOST CERTAINLY EARN LESS MONEY AND HAVE LESS TIME FOR YOURSELF.

My wife, Liz, and I have been testing this trick since the day our oldest child was born.  We work(ed) very hard to spend a lot of time with our children.  On workdays we have breakfast at home, some days we even make pancakes or waffles from scratch.  We hunt for bugs under rocks or blow bubbles on the porch.  At a time when most people are still working at their desks, we’re sitting down to dinner.

The best of all, with few exceptions either Liz or I, if not both, have spent Fridays with our children.  For us three day weekends are the norm.  For us Fridays aren’t that slackadasical last day of the work week, instead they’re trips to the less-crowded zoos and museums, picnics in the park, hikes in the woods, puzzle-building in the dining room, block building in the living room, and all around fun-having.

Though we didn’t take up this grand experiment so willingly.  Initially we had no choice in the lifestyle.  I was laid off from my job as an architect when our oldest child was just four months old.  I made due with part time and odd jobs for a few years and in doing so Liz and I came to cherish all the time we had together with our growing family.  It’s nice to be up every morning before the sun is.

I had time to make some playthings for the Kids and heard a few too many “you should sell these” comments.  So I did.  Thus Happy Bungalow (famous wooden toy company) was born in our basement.  It has been a tremendous amount of work, but has allowed me to earn enough money while working from home and spending more time with my family.

Now every morning isn’t berry topped oatmeal for breakfast.  And every Friday isn’t a Mary Poppins inspired romp through the chalk drawings.  We have to leave early or work late sometimes.  Fridays see sick or grouchy kids (or parents).  And now that our oldest is in school, mornings have become much tighter (and funny enough, the school doesn’t subscribe to our three-day weekend schedule).

The catch though?  Working less to spend more time with our children means earning less money.  This means we’ve become even handier at fixing lawn-mowers, repairing leaky gutters and toilets, and getting by with clothing that’s more worn than we’d like.  We make pancakes from scratch, because it’s so much cheaper (they taste pretty darn good too).  We eat in more because we can’t afford to eat out as often as we did pre-children.

Then there’s the stress, the worry, the anxiety, and the occasional fight.  Liz has had a full time (though flexible) job throughout our children’s lives, but I’ve largely had unpredictable work.  Initially as a part time architect, then as a newbie professional toy-maker.  So for several years the burden of supporting the family financially fell on Liz.  Again, very stressful for everyone.

BUT WE’VE MADE IT WORK

Sticking with this lifestyle hasn’t been easy on the accounting end, but it’s been wonderful on the personal side.  Our children will only be young for so long.  We’ll play catch-up on the monetary side in a few more years when the Kids aren’t so into spending an afternoon playing made-up adventure games in the park.

I know, this isn’t easy, and it may not be possible for you.  Though I will say that before we were put into the situation, we wouldn’t have thought it possible for us.

decorative do-dad

Disposable Stuff – Enough!

The world has enough cheap disposable stuff.  The world needs more hand-me downs – furniture, books, and toys that come with a history.  An object that conjures up a half-dozen stories from grandma.  We craft these memory-holding objects every day.  We call them wooden toys.

Old time? Maybe, but it’s certainly a fun time.

Lost art?  We don’t think so.  At least not while we’re around.

We make quality wooden toys.  Think heirloom without all the overused and ill-applied marketing gimmicks.  Our toys won’t break after a few afternoons of play.  They won’t run out of batteries (because they don’t need them in the first place).  Happy Bungalow’s toys are made to be passed down to the kids, then to the grandkids.

color wheel

Happy Bungalow Makes Fun!

Happy Bungalow makes fun.  We’re not crafters, makers and, even though we work with wood all day, we don’t describe ourselves as wood-workers.  We’re artisans crafting clean, honest toys.  Wooden toys, literally for all ages.  But when you think of wooden toys, don’t think grandpa whittling on the back porch, rather – roaring dinosaurs, zooming fast cars, flittering fairies, and the most awesome robots you’ll find.

We use only natural wood (no stains) and only make toys we want our kids to play with (and yes, that we have fun playing with as well).  We’re an old-fashioned family business – our woodshop is part of our house and holds a number of tools, but no lasers.  Every piece is cut by hand, sanded silky smooth, and finished with love.  Well, linseed oil and beeswax actually – it turns out love doesn’t adhere to wood very well.

circus ring with elephants

Circus in Town – All This Week

Smell the popcorn, taste the cotton candy, and hear the calliope music filling the air! It’s a Three Ring Circus! – right in your home. The circus will always be in town with this fantastic wood play set. The children in your life will love the lions, tigers, elephants, dogs, ponies, and people. And become a kid again as you relive your own circus memories.

Take home the excitement of the circus with Happy Bungalow’s 70+ piece wooden circus toy set.  (click here to purchase)

threee ring circus advertisement