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.

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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.

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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

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All the World is a Circus

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

All the World is a Circus

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Throw Back Thursday – Too Many Train Buildings

Just because you make it, doesn’t mean they’re going to buy it.  Say like you make 300 and some odd little toy train accessory buildings for your first craft show (that’s modestly attended by the way).  Let’s say you make all these buildings.  Not everyone wants to buy them.  You can worry all you want that you’re not bringing enough product, but there’s no need to.  YOU WON’T RUN OUT.

toy railroad track and buildings

Ok.  I didn’t expect to sell 300 little buildings at my first [small] craft show, but there was like 12 different kinds of buildings, so there’s only 20 of each type . . .

We’ve had big runs on one items at shows before.  You know, big shows in the Fall when people can’t buy enough cool toys.

The train buildings were one of the first Happy Bungalow toys.  The thinking was:  everyone sells those little toy train track and magnetic trains, but accessories are hard to find.  And if you can find any buildings, they’re always painted.  How about some plain and simple accessory buildings?  Guaranteed to sell right?  We identified a product missing in the marketplace.  A NEED that all those business books always talk about.

Being one of our first toy lines, it took a while to figure out just how to cut the wood safely.  The saws in our shop cut fingers just as easily as they cut wood – and these toys are so small – and if you don’t/can’t hold the wood firmly in place it will fly away from the machine at high speed.  So once we figured out the techniques and process we maximized our tool setup overhead and ran off a few hundred buildings.

toy railroad track and buildings

For our first show we put together a train demo display on the ground for the kids to play with (see below).  Then on the table above we lined up a few dozen of the buildings.  We really fussed over the best train layout too.  Probably went through a half dozen configurations beforehand (don’t miss those days).  So it was a lot of work, you follow?  And did it pay off?  Did it pay off?! The NUMBER ONE product people wanted to buy that day?

Yeah, the trains.  The dumb old trains.  The only thing on display that we didn’t make.  [insert Charlie Brown hopeless sigh]

This was the first and only show the train and tracks were ever displayed at.  The buildings come to shows from time to time, and they do well enough.  Though we still have a box full of the suckers.

first art show booth

For all the fussing about the layout we did come up with a cool idea for the table toppers – using a sort of butcher paper that we wrote little product descriptions and prices on.

A note about the first two pictures.  They were part of our first photo shoot.  We drug furniture, ladders, props, and back drops out into the back yard.  Spent and afternoon shooting hundreds of pictures and another afternoon editing them.  Eek.

Read the rest of our Throw Back Thursday series here.

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