Hand carving the head

The Making of a Wood Optimus Prime

How do you recreate in wood an iconic childhood toy? With a little bit of wood, some sandpaper, great attention to how close your fingers are to a sawblade, and time. Lots of time.

Cutting small pieces of wood on the bandsaw
It’s a nervous chore to cut such tiny pieces without cutting off pieces of yourself! Please do not attempt yourself.
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Handmade Wood Optimus Prime Toy (it transforms!)

wood toy Optimus Prime made by Don Clark and Happy Bungalow

Being a child of the 80s, I’m a big fan of the Transformers. As a young parent I still had a number of my original toys as my kids got into the series. It is one of my dearest memories; watching the cartoon with my kids as they played with those same toys.

I’ve made wood toy cars and wood toy robots, but not both at the same time. The cars could be stood up on end and be made into a “robot”, and the robots could be rearranged to make a “vehicle.” But I never got around to making a transforming robot vehicle.


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robots holding hands

Happy Valentines Day

Hold your loved ones hand, and for one day pretend you’re a tiny wooden robot.  Or, if there’s no hand to hold, don’t sweat it.  With all the advances in technology, it won’t be long until robots become the overlords of mankind.  And when that happens people won’t have any time to hold hands.robots holding hands


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

Robot Lords from Cosmic Space

Vintage Looking Sci-Fi Movie Poseter With Robots

“Vintage” movie poster:  Robot Lords from Cosmic Space.  Looks nice, and maybe passably real at a glance.  Though we made this one up ourselves.  The robots in the poster are renderings of our own wooden robot toys available for purchase in our online toy shop.  Pick one up and make some fun of your own.

Robot Disco

robot toys dance on circuit board dance floor

Love Always Wins

Two handcrafted wood robots holding hands with the caption, LOVE ALWAYS WINS

Robot Dogs Never Drool

wood robot dogs with metal legs and magnaized headsAll of Happy Bungalow’s wood robot dogs come fully housebroken.  In addition they respond astronomically well to the STAY command.  Adopt your robot dog today.

Robot Comic Art

A sort of promotional item we’ve put together a robot comic art poster.  Featuring your favorite Stobor robotS rocketed-powered robot, the 413-RE (popularly known as Rocket Rob).  Read more about Rocket Rob here.

robot comic robot art

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Rocket Rob robot comic

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This comic is the second pass at things.  Below is the first.  We’re happier with the second with one exception.  Hidden in the below image is a sci-fi reference we’re proud of.  If you spot it, send an email to don @ happybungalow.com

Of course the comic is based on our wildly popular wooden robot toy Rocket Rob.  Check out all of our wooden robots in our shop.two wooden robot toys


Model 80 “Heavy Lifting Hal”


The Model 80 was developed by QreXion Inc. Utilizing revolutionary actuator systems, staggered limb jointings, and slim-line power systems, the robot was able to lift and carry extreme loads over long distances.

Unfortunately QreXion was as deficient in accounting aptitude as it was rich in engineering skill and the company fell into financial troubles before it could turn the Model 80 into a production robot.

QreXion was later acquired by Stobor robotS. Stobor retained the prototype Model 80 name (the quirky company preferred robots with whimsical names). Nicknamed “Heavy Lifting Hal”, the robot was sold to the industrial facilities around the globe. Firmware upgrades later made the robot autonomous, eliminating the need for human supervisors.

Fun Fact: A tremendous success, “Hal” is credited with the obsolescence of the forklift.

Pick up Hal today in the Bungalow’s shop