Thursday, December 6, 2007

Store Review: The Wooden Wagon

I'm really happy to be reviewing one of my favorite sites this week. The Wooden Wagon features toys and folk art imported directly from Europe (mostly Germany). They also feature a few specially chosen American brands such as Sarah's Silks, Fairy Finery and Heartwood Arts. The toys at The Wooden Wagon look like they belong in Santa's Sleigh.

The Wooden Wagon began when the Frost family's eldest child was born, and the Frosts discovered how difficult it is to find good wooden toys in the United States. Like many of us, they found the toys in their local stores to be lacking -- both in quality and in play value. However, toys were so different when they visited the toy shops near their family in Germany. In Germany, well-crafted wood toys were the norm, not the exception. When they brought these toys back to the U.S., people asked where they could find them, and the Frosts found themselves saying again and again, "I'm sorry, you can't get them in America." And from that, a family business was created.

While some of the German brands (Such as Spiel and Holz, Haba and Selecta) are offered on other sites, the selection differs. I especially like this set of Spiel and Holz wooden blocks ($60.00), and wish I had a child of the appropriate age to enjoy them. If anyone owns them, or plans to buy them, post a comment and let me know if they are as wonderful as they look.

Another German brand is Fagus. The Wooden Wagon features a large selection of Fagus Trucks. These trucks (many of which are winners of the Spiel Gut award) are made of beechwood in a workshop for the disabled in Germany. I don't own one, but I have heard nothing but praise for these trucks.

Pallet Truck ($66.00)

And the forklift to load it ($65.95). This looks like so much fun to me.

The Wooden Wagon also offers products that are unique to them. Such as beautiful, hand made German Waldorf dolls and doll house dolls ($13.95-$19.95), wool play cloths ($29.95), and a huge selection of Christmas ornaments.

Sarah ($50.00) is an 11 inch doll. Check out those cheeks!

Music Box($24.95)

Elephant Ramp Walker ($21.00)

And, this amazing Baby Activity Center ($130).
I wish I could rationalize buying this. It's so much nicer than the plastic activity centers available at super stores.
So, what did Sara buy? Hee hee! I can't wait for Christmas to see my daughter's faces when they see these fantastic dolls peeking out of their stockings.
Paula Gnome ($38.50)

Mama Dwarf ($25.00)

Paula and Mama Dwarf arrived today and are now safely hidden in the laundry room. They are about ten inches tall and made out of organic cotton and stuffed with 100% new wool. The tag says that "only raw materials stemming from permanently controlled bio-cultivation are used, guaranteeing zero content of noxious matters" - so safe for children AND environmentally responsible. And so cute and unique! They really look like they came straight from Santa's work shop.

The Wooden Wagon is offering free shipping with discount code STB07 until 12/31/2007.


blue circle bird said...

I stumbled across this blog and absolutely love it! I have found a few of the stores online on my own but now I have an even better list - and all with seriously great toys! Thanks! And I look forward to more posts. =) You can find my blog at:

kristen said...

I have the Fagus crane, skip truck and tow truck (older version). These are truly fantastic toys. They are incredibly well made, even when compared with other German toys. I have a kinderkram fire engine that I bought before I found Fagus and it doesn't work nearly as well as the Fagus one appears to. They have no nails or screws so when something gets broken it is so easy to fix. Our crane is a hand-me-down and needed a little TLC but it is now good as new. Other boys who are into trucks but used to plastic ones at first don't think much of these as they aren't flashy. Once they play with them, however, they can't put them down...they just work so well, everything fits together, no kiddie frustration over something not doing what it should do. The Wooden Wagon rocks!