null
Classic HABA toys are sure to be a part of a child’s life. Forever.

Classic HABA toys are sure to be a part of a child’s life. Forever.

Posted by Andrea Elliott on Dec 7th 2012

SKANEATELES, N.Y. – We talked with a Grandpa the other day and caught him waxing poetic about the toys of his memory. His favorite thing had been a wooden wagon that carried all of his other toys around, not to mention a few cats. His brother favored a Fire Engine truck – and it had to be white. His daughter, now grown, never parted with a plush panda bear and, a little bit tattered like the Velveteen Rabbit, it still stays cozy propped on her pillow to this day. It’s interesting to see things like this in other people’s homes, as well. A wooden rattle from a childhood more than eight decades ago displayed prominently on a visible bookcase. A scooter rescued from the basement storage compartment of an old woman by her son who hadn’t seen since he abandoned it for a bicycle some 50 years ago. A doll with one eye and yellowing and tattered clothing who, if memory served, was last seen at a tea party in 1964. What all of these toys had in common was that they were – are – cherished. Toy boxes then and now were/are full of fun things to play with, but every child has that favorite toy that goes beyond fun. That toy transcends its toy-ness and ceases to be simply fun, but rather takes on a life as if it was part of the child’s DNA. Forever. Want proof? Ask anyone of any age about that “special toy” and you’ll get a full description; if they have somehow lost it over the years they will admit that it feels like a part of them is gone. And let’s be honest – the “special” toys for people aren’t the loudest, the most faddish or even the most popular at the time. They are classics. The stand the test of time and the rigors of a three-year-old’s play habits, only slightly worse for the wear. Something new can cause excitement for a period of time, and the old toy might sit on the shelf or in the bottom of the toy chest for a period of time. But when that kid goes off to college, the classic toy goes along. HABA knows a thing or two about classic, cherished toys. After all, we’ve been making fine hand-crafted toys since the 1930s, and many children of our acquaintance (or “inner children”) still have their favorite HABA creation from 10, 20, 30 even 60 years ago. It is never too late to get a classic for your own child or grandchild and HABA has a few suggestions that have been proven winners – true keepsakes – in our stable of fine toys for decades that remain in our line today. Classic Duck One of the key toys that has become a part of children’s lives and memories since we introduced it way back in 1974 is the Classic Duck Pull toy. This treasure is a hand-crafted wooden duck, made of beech wood and colored with non-toxic water-based stains, featuring a nylon cord for pulling. The Duck wobbles happily from side to side and is so popular with the 1- to 2-year old set that the only complaint we’ve ever had in nearly 40 years is that all of the other toys available to the child sit by idly. It is colorful – natural wood body and wings, red bill and wheels, and a yellow crown – and is an imaginative toy that invigorates play and teaches the basics of locomotion. Since the child him- or herself makes it work, it is highly interactive – and hard to give up when playtime’s over. Duck Pull Toy The Classic Duck Pull toy for a child today is a chief candidate for being the very toy that that child’s children will be playing with in the late 2030’s. Another favorite that quickly takes on cherished status for the just-ready-to-walk crowd is HABA’s Walker Wagon. When we introduced this marvel in 1994 we quickly discovered from our retailers and customers that it was an instant classic – a toy that other mother’s saw and went out and bought for their toddlers. (Turns out they had to because even in a room full of toys and children, every child wanted to push the Walker Wagon and sharing at this age is a developing characteristic). Walker Wagon With a sturdy construction and a high degree of stability for safety, this rugged wagon is made of hand-crafted wood, colored with non-toxic stains, and features rubber wheels on wooden rims. There’s a seat in the front for a much-loved teddy bear or doll, or for a brother or sister to hitch a ride. There is also a storage compartment behind the seat for taking along other children’s utensils and stuff. Once again, it is a highly interactive toy that will get played with constantly, and it will remain a cherished part of that child’s life, well, forever.   Catch Me Game Another classic in the HABA line from 1974 is our highly popular Catch Me Game that keeps kids aged 3 to 5 occupied for hours. Also highly interactive, each player has his little mouse on the table. The all-decisive dice throw lies hidden under the beaker which the cat lifts all of a sudden; the mice have to run for their lives when the previously agreed color or number appears. This game helps children recognize colors, it hones fine motor skills, it teaches numbers, and since it involves 2 to 7 players it stresses cooperation and just a little competition between children. With the same set there are also two other games that the children can play – Mouse Picnic, where the cat tries to catch as many mice as possible while the mice try not to be caught; and, Watch Out Mouse! Where the cat player has to catch the mouse whose color he or she rolls. Plenty of fun, fun learning, and a game they will remember even when they leave childhood. And let’s not forget our own 30-year-old – the large Marble Ball Track Building Set, introduced in 1982 and a wonderful plaything that we just knew was an instant classic the moment it was released. This flexible play system, which has fairly grown over the years, consists of tracks, bends, building blocks and balls. It was developed by our head designer, Horst Dwinger, and is every bit as exciting today as it was on the first day. HABA Ball Track “With the ball track, children experience things for life,” says Dwinger. “Thinking in three dimensions and experiencing physical laws works better with ball track pieces and building blocks than it does with any other toys. I want to help children to have significant experiences. And I want to encourage parents to give their children this classic toy with its many options. They will be amazed at everything that can be made out of building blocks.”