Sunday, December 2, 2007

TOYS: Roy Toys Vs Lincoln Logs

On the Roy Toy web site the About Roy Toy history page is an interesting read.

According to the information on the site, the original owner/founder was Roy K. Dennison. The company began making it's wooden toy construction sets in Maine in the 1930's. It went out of business in the 1960's.

Fast forward thirty years and
grandson, Bruce Dennison, revives the company and brings it to the Internet. The company is still located in Maine.

I emailed the Roy Toy company. I asked if all their products were made in the USA? The customer service rep (?) reply is below: (btw, the answer is YES!) Sun, Dec 2, 2007 at 7:38 PM
To: LeadFree<

We do manufacture all of our products100% in Maine USA.

Thank you for supporting USA products,

Sue Dennison

Roy Toy Manufacturing
599 Jacksonville Road
East Machias, Maine 04630
Ph: (207) 255-0954 Fx: (207) 255-0955

On the other hand, a message on the K'NEX company website by President/COO, Michael Araten, says,

"K'NEX Brands manufactures and sells building sets under the KID K'NEX® and K'NEX® brand names and Lincoln Logs®.* We are also the exclusive distributor of BRIO® products in the U.S. and Canada. Lincoln Logs are manufactured in China by an ICTI certified factory. "

K'NEX bricks are made in the US however. But then, a lot of LEGO'S are too.

Lincoln Logs on the other hand are no longer manufactured in the US at all, they are now made in China.

So if you're looking for "Lincoln Log" type toys, buy Roy Toy. Besides being made right here in the USA, the Roy Toy log sets are less expensive and look cooler than Lincoln Logs.


UPDATE: Jan 23, 08

I bought the 250+ pc. Deluxe Building Set ($49.95) of Roy Toy logs for my granddaughter for a Solstice present. The set is huge! The logs fit together well and it is a good bit of construction style toyworks. My granddaughter and I have played with it several times, building the farm house, barn and fences. It was a lot of fun, once we finally figured out how to build them.

Overall, it is a great toy but I do have a couple minor complaints. One is the instructions that come with the set. They are rather sparse and unhelpful. I wish the company had included better instructions or at least offer some to download from their web site...maybe a PDF or two...that would be nice.

Also, the bag that the logs come in is pretty useless for storage. In order to play with the set you must dump all 250 pieces out and sort thru them (imagine a jigsaw puzzle of 250 logs) to build anything. This takes forever. To solve this problem, I fashioned an open top storage tote out of the shipping box. I cut the lid flaps off, put a couple slits in each and slide them together to make cubby holes -- one for each size/color of logs. A little pink duct tape for reinforcement and we now have a nice little organizer for the set.

If you have a little kid that enjoys building stuff, then get them a Roy Toy set. It's a sturdy, imagination inspiring, safe, USA made toy. But make sure you buy or better yet, make an organizer to keep the parts sorted and ready to put together. It makes playtime much easier and more fun for everyone.