June 11, 2010

The Rocket Rocker, Take Two

I don't really get the obsession with kids' toys, quite honestly.  It's like a man designing high heels or a bra.  It's like vegetarians who smoke.  Or homeschoolers with bad attitudes.  We don't have kids yet but oh if we did they'd have the coolest toys and most imaginatively explosive playrooms ever.  In the meantime, it's this weird paradox.  Gepetto in his workshop churning out stoves and rockets and wooden cradles for - everyone else's kids.

It's funny because we do know a few things about babies.  Diapers, burping, and some of them don't like scratchy beards, (DUSTAN).  But we have no clue when it comes to little people.  So the whole time Dust is making toys we're all "How high does a two year old stand?" and "Would a six year old really play with this?  Can a six year old even fit into this?  WILL ANYONE'S KID PLAY WITH THIS TOY?"  To the point that when the toy is all said and done, to see a little body playing with it is elating.  We look at each other like It really works!

The imaginings of the Rocket Rocker took shape soon after the little stove, and in one take Dustan busted this puppy out.

The Rocket Rocker has serious rocking capacity, but the thing kids loved most was the interactive joy stick that pivots in all directions.  I think the hardest part of wooden toys is the balance between making it interactive while allowing for imagination.  You want to keep it simple, but it's tempting to keep adding stuff.  Makes me totally understand how someone somewhere made a really cute doll and was like "But she needs to eat, drink, cry, pee, and say Mama, too!" 

Dust ran the RR by Lindsay when it was in the finishing stages and she's the one who suggested he leave the backend open, so another child could make use of it as a little seat.  She was totally right!  (Leave it to a mother of a 2, 4 and 5 year old).  At the grand opening of RG Natural Babies, where the RR is on display, the ninos really did that.  It really worked!


  1. daaaang. looks like dustan found his calling!

  2. I really hope there's something from the Balkcom Elves in NJ's future. :)

  3. WOw!!! go Dustan...a true gift that you have...making RR's and Betsy! :-)

  4. homeschoolers with bad attitudes! hahaha.....I can introduce you to a few :) This is awesome

  5. @Paul and Betsy - that's a great question. I have no idea.

    @Carrie-Anne - but you were never one! :)

  6. Ron was discribing this project to me and I immagined it to be a lot different. I feel you on the kids toys thing. Keep blogging; sorry sometimes I just lurk and don't comment.

    Noah W.


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