History of a Toy Maker

Posted by Laura Haddock on

"Once upon a time...a long time ago, there lived a little girl who was given JC Penny and Sears' catalogues to circle and initial toys she loved.  She spent hours upon hours gazing, circling, dreaming, initialing, and hoping the treasures she circled would find their way to her arms; I believe she may have even prayed for them a time or two...'Dear God, I promise to be really really good and pray more often if you will just let me have this doll".

It's me, that little girl? It's me.  And it was just a few weeks ago that I realized, the idea of giving me the catalogues wasn't to gauge what I wanted for Christmas or Birthdays, it was intended to keep me engaged and quiet.  It was a genius move on my Grandmother's part and I plan to use the same tactic, using the Toys R Us Big Book, with my little ones.

From my earliest memory, I remember my love of toys.  It didn't matter what kind, if it was a 'boys' toy or a 'girls' toy - I was a typical child and loved them all.  I would sit in our kitchen and play with Matchbox™ cars, making streets using blocks, design Play-Doh™ creatures using a butter knife and spoon, and forge construction sites with the enormous and heavy Tonka™ dump trucks.  I spent hours putting puzzles together, taking them apart, and putting them back together, playing board games by myself, role-playing 'Cowboys and Indians' with Lincoln Logs™ and little plastic figurines, and Barbie™ - oh, how I loved Barbie™.  My heart however, and the majority of my creative play, was with my baby dolls.  I had two favorites - 1. 'My Baby Beth™', who I swore was my real baby, and 2. 'Zippy™' the monkey doll who spent a lot of his time in the "hospital" because he was loved to the point of popped seams. 

My mom once told me, after leaving home to start my married life, that she knew I had grown up because when I left, the toys I so loved, stayed behind.  I assume I was more focused on doing the 'adult' thing; work, pay bills, cook dinner, housework, etc.  Then one day a bitty person joined our family and the enchantment was rekindled.  16 years and 2 more bitties later, I am hedged in toys.  I get to spend 6 - 14 hours every day, researching, planning, designing, creating, and ultimately playing with toys - and it doesn't get old, ever!!  I have said it before, but the realization that children (and adults) all over the world are playing with the toys I create...it's astonishing.

I am truly blessed to be living a humble dream of making toys and the prayers of that little girl are beyond answered; I may not have received the doll I prayed for, but He gave me the ability and desire to create my own and then some.

Have a blessed day!

Laura, aka Dory Who