I have this really awesome friend who has a pretty awesome job – toy designer/inventor. We lost contact for a number of years and thanks to the wonder that is the internet we found each other again. Anyway, I always assumed that he finished art school and did something awesome with it.  Hell, I don’t know what people do with an art degree other than become a tattoo artist like Evan Olin. Well, he never finished art school but did go on to do something awesome, and he’s very good at it.  Thanks to him and a talking interactive Winnie the Pooh bear that he designed (at the time I bought it I didn’t know it was one of his creations) one of my daughters became scared to death of Winnie the Pooh.  The toy traumatized her.  She’s 14 now and still wants nothing to do with Pooh.

Thanks Steve ;0).

I started to write this blog last night and it just wasn’t coming out right.  Instead of promoting an independent film that he told me about, it ended up being a rather embarrassing and personal thing about why I find Steve so awesome.  That wasn’t what the blog post was supposed to be about.  It was supposed to be about this documentary called Toyland about the toy business that Steve was interviewed for and makes an appearance or two in.  So, I had to delete the post and come back to it today.

It’s kind of hard to review and promote something you haven’t seen.  I was sent the link to the movie two days ago and I have yet to order it and watch it.  It’s on my list of things to do hopefully today.  Order it that is.  I have no idea how long it will take to get here.  What I do know is that Toyland won Best Documentary at the Naperville Independent Film Festival.  It also has interviews with Betty James, the developer of Slinky, Burt Meyers who invented Lite Brite, Reyn Guyer who invented Twister and Nerf, a number of other people who made some pretty neat and popular toys and my friend Steve.

You can read about Toyland HERE and find out how to purchase it if you are so inclined.  For the record, I wasn’t asked to promote this and I don’t know the people who made the film.  All I know is that my friend Steve is in it and that is really all I need to know.  Even if he wasn’t my friend and even if I wasn’t biased where he’s concerned, he’s come up with some pretty cool stuff that makes me wish I was a kid again.

Here are some examples of his awesome Steveness*:

Gobler Toys – Just click and experience this awesomeness for yourselves.  Johnny Voodoo and Kiki the Fashion Tiki have permanent spots on my desk.  No,I can’t tell you where you can purchase either of them since the company that was selling them went out of business (my understanding is that the guy that owned that company was a bit of a jerk).  I only got mine because I have connections.  Sorry.


My kids have had tons of fun with these things doing all kinds of strange and creative things with them.  Somewhere I have a picture that was taken by one of my kids of a Furberry in toy safety goggles with a toy chainsaw cutting up a Bratz doll. Yes, my kids staged that. Yes, my kids are weird. Yes, I sent the picture to Steve who thought it was awesome.   When they first came out I was trying to sniff them in the store while they were still in the box.  Needless to say I got a few weird looks from other people in the store thinking I was a total nutcase.  Not the first time people have thought that, won’t be the last.


I was sent one of these as a get well present after my surgery.  The worst part of it was it hurt like hell to laugh with stitches in my belly and my Sing-a-ma-jig made me laugh.

D-Rex and Screecher

Since D-Rex came out my now 14 year old daughter has wanted one for Christmas. Yes, the same child who was traumatized by Winnie the Pooh. The problem is, I haven’t been able to find one. These things sell out so quickly. I think I am going to be forced this year to order one off Amazon.com or eBay. There are a number of other Prehistoric Pets that came out this year that she’s after as well.

I can’t find the advert for the traumatizing Pooh toy on YouTube, but here’s a link to it on Amazon.com if you want to traumatize your children as well.

Maybe I should also mention that he’s the genius behind Tattoo Barbie, a Barbie that was released two years ago that got a number of soccer mom’s panties in a bunch because they felt it was “inappropriate” and set a bad example for children.  Never mind that Kids Bop has kids, who probably still play with Barbie, sing songs with somewhat questionable lyrics.  Sorry, but the lyrics from Single Ladies by Beyonce isn’t exactly appropriate for the audience Kids Bop caters to.  But I guess it’s cute to hear kids who haven’t reach puberty sing:

What I deserve
Is a man that makes me, then takes me
And delivers me to a destiny, to infinity and beyond

This is acceptable but Tattoo Barbie is inappropriate? Seriously? Maybe someone should make a music video of Tattoo Barbie singing Single Ladies to Ken.  That will fix everything.

*No, I don’t get any sort of kickbacks or free toys or anything for “advertising”. I have to buy my toys like everyone else. I just happen to think that Steve is very creative and comes up with some awesome fun toys that I often wish I had when I was kid.