Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 7, 2013.

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Toy houses and storybooks based on classic fairytales. Reading and playing under one roof!

Our Kickstarter campaign is over, but you can still buy our fairytale toy houses and storybooks!

For more information, visit www.storytimetoys.com


A Toy House that's 'Just Right'

Dollhouses are amazing toys for children.  They allow them to role play, create their own stories and physically manipulate objects and spaces.   I wanted to buy one for my daughter the second she was old enough!  But when I shopped for one, I found those on the market today to be either very expensive and elaborate (a huge investment!) or cheap and uninteresting (won't be played with for long!).  And they're typically marketed toward girls, even though boys can also tend to love toy houses.

Hi, my name is Kara Dyer and I'm a product designer and a mother.  My dollhouse shopping trip reminded me of the Goldilocks tale - what I found was either "too hot" or "too cold." I knew there was a better way to to design a dollhouse, so together with artist and friend, Sara Argue, we set out to design a toy house that is "just right."  

We created a line of toy houses based on classic fairytales that each come with their own storybook.  The stories set the stage for children to act out their own happily ever afters with the toy houses.  

Introducing Storytime's Toy House and Storybook Sets

Creating our Toy Houses

Our design process started with a few pencil sketches of the Goldilocks house, characters and furniture
Our design process started with a few pencil sketches of the Goldilocks house, characters and furniture
Once we had a clear design for the house sketched out by hand, we made our computer model (CAD model)
Once we had a clear design for the house sketched out by hand, we made our computer model (CAD model)
We considered many different materials to make the toys out of, including wood and plastic.  We decided to try something different and construct ours from a composite made from EVA foam and cardstock
We considered many different materials to make the toys out of, including wood and plastic. We decided to try something different and construct ours from a composite made from EVA foam and cardstock
We made our first prototypes from cardboard to quickly make sure that all the pieces fit
We made our first prototypes from cardboard to quickly make sure that all the pieces fit
Our artist, Sara, hand painted every wall, ceiling and floor of the houses, each tiny piece of furniture and all of the characters to make the toys really fun to look at
Our artist, Sara, hand painted every wall, ceiling and floor of the houses, each tiny piece of furniture and all of the characters to make the toys really fun to look at
When it was time to make our final EVA foam prototype with artwork on it, we cut all of the foam and cardstock pieces using our laser cutter
When it was time to make our final EVA foam prototype with artwork on it, we cut all of the foam and cardstock pieces using our laser cutter
Here is our final hand-made prototype inside and out.  We think it's pretty magical!
Here is our final hand-made prototype inside and out. We think it's pretty magical!

The Finished Products

Read and Play

Each toy house comes with its own storybook so that kids can read along while they play.

Reading and playing are fun with a classic fairytale
Reading and playing are fun with a classic fairytale
Storybooks are bright and colorful, with age appropriate re-tellings of classic fairytales
Storybooks are bright and colorful, with age appropriate re-tellings of classic fairytales

Characters and Furniture Included

Toy house sets include dolls representing all the characters from the story that easily stand up on their own, along with tiny furniture.  No need to buy anything separately!

The dolls from Hansel and Gretel - they look just like the illustrations in the Hansel and Gretel book and they stand on their own
The dolls from Hansel and Gretel - they look just like the illustrations in the Hansel and Gretel book and they stand on their own

Easiest Assembly of Any Dollhouse on the Market

The houses are designed so that you can put them together without tools or screws.  

STEP 1: Press the pieces with tabs into the correct pieces with tab holes

STEP 2: Play! 

The houses hold together perfectly until you're finished playing and ready to take them apart.  

Children can safely assemble houses without tools or screws
Children can safely assemble houses without tools or screws

Stores Flat in a Carrying Case

When children are finished playing with the toy houses, they can take them apart and store the pieces in a small carrying case.

House, furniture and character pieces can be stored flat
House, furniture and character pieces can be stored flat
All house, furniture and character pieces fit into a tidy carrying case
All house, furniture and character pieces fit into a tidy carrying case

Smart Materials 

The toy houses are made from laminated EVA foam and cardstock.  This lightweight, yet rigid material has allowed us to use use a very common and low-cost manufacturing process called die cutting. This means we are able to deliver a durable, high quality toy at a great price! 

Amazing details to spark imagination

When designing our toy houses, we made an extra effort to create something that was beautiful and fun, that kids would want to play with again and again.

Artist, Sara Argue wanted the artwork on the toys to feel familiar and classic yet with a fresh new look. 

Sara paints each candy piece for the Hansel and Gretel House
Sara paints each candy piece for the Hansel and Gretel House
From sketch to finish!  The Hansel and Gretel house looked delicious starting with the early sketches, but really came to life when covered with Sara's hand-painted candy pieces
From sketch to finish! The Hansel and Gretel house looked delicious starting with the early sketches, but really came to life when covered with Sara's hand-painted candy pieces

Special Features

Each house is designed with cool features that children love!

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

The Goldilocks and the Three Bears toy house includes a working swing and a tree house for Baby Bear.  Each bear has its own bowl of porridge, chair and bed.  And there are many secret animals hidden in the artwork all over the tree!

A swing and tree house for Baby Bear are among the many surprises in the Goldilocks and the Three Bears house
A swing and tree house for Baby Bear are among the many surprises in the Goldilocks and the Three Bears house

Hansel and Gretel

In addition to looking delicious, the Hansel and Gretel toy house includes a candy garden that children can plant, a chocolate bar staircase that leads to a treasure loft.  And, it wouldn't be complete without the Witch's oven!

The Hansel and Gretel house has many delicious and interactive features, including a candy garden to plant and a chocolate bar staircase
The Hansel and Gretel house has many delicious and interactive features, including a candy garden to plant and a chocolate bar staircase

The Three Little Pigs

The Three Little Pigs houses come together to make a fun and exciting neighborhood to play in!  The straw and stick houses are designed to "blow down" easily while the brick house stands strong.  The wolf actually fits down the brick house chimney, only to land in a real pot of boiling soup.

Try blowing down the straw and stick houses! They fall over with just a small push, but the brick house stands strong
Try blowing down the straw and stick houses! They fall over with just a small push, but the brick house stands strong

Ready for Production

Now we are raising funds to produce our first full run of toy houses so that they can go into stores for the 2013 Holiday Season. 

Our toy houses, books and product boxes are completely designed and tested and we have even done a short production run to work out any kinks.

We have been working with a well-respected manufacturer in China to produce our products for us.  We are very happy with the high-quality products they delivered for our short production run.  

Testing the fit of Hansel and Gretel house pieces from our mini-production run
Testing the fit of Hansel and Gretel house pieces from our mini-production run

We're ready to go!

Thank you for your support!

We wanted to make something really special for children and we're very happy with how the toys turned out!  Thank you for your support and for helping us take the next step towards getting these beautiful toys into the hands of kids!

PS - that awesome song in our video is called "Heartless" by Adrien Reju!

PPS - very special thanks to Michael Ficara (mfajaro@gmail.com) who made our awesome video.  It was a real pleasure working with him!!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

We have worked with our manufacturer to produce many prototypes and are very satisfied with the quality that they were able to achieve. However, we have not yet tackled an order of this size. Our manufacturer is experienced in delivering high quality/high volume orders, but to mitigate the event that they are unable to deliver on time, we are working to identify back up manufacturers who will be able to complete the order. Die cutting is a common manufacturing process and we have been able to find many manufacturers who could meet our needs.

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    Downloadable image of Storytime's characters for computer desktop, iPad or iPhone background

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    Printable Paper Dolls: Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Hansel and Gretel, The Three Pigs and Wolf

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    Collection of Storytime's Three Fairytale Storybooks: Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Hansel and Gretel, The Three Little Pigs. Includes shipping for US orders.

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    Hansel and Gretel Toy House and Storybook. Includes shipping for US orders.

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    The Three Little Pigs Toy House and Storybook. Includes shipping for US orders.

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    *EARLY BACKER SPECIAL!* Storytime's Fairytale Neighborhood - includes all three Toy Houses and Storybooks (Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Hansel and Gretel and The Three Little Pigs). Includes shipping for US orders.

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    *PROCRASTI-BACKER SPECIAL* Storytime's Fairytale Neighborhood - includes all three Toy Houses and Storybooks (Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Hansel and Gretel and The Three Little Pigs) PLUS 3 Limited Edition 2"x3" Paper Dolls. Includes shipping for US orders.

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    Storytime's Fairytale Neighborhood plus Print of individual painting of Goldilocks signed by artist, Sara Argue. All prints are done on high quality watercolor paper. Includes shipping for US orders.

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    Storytime's Fairytale Neighborhood plus Collection of Character Prints from your choice of fairy tale, signed by artist, Sara Argue (e.g. by selecting Goldilocks you would receive individual paintings of Goldilocks, Baby Bear, Mama Bear and Papa Bear). All prints are done on high quality water color paper. Includes shipping for US orders.

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    Storytime's Fairytale Neighborhood and Activity Table. Table has a large flat surface to fit the whole neighborhood of houses and is painted with Storytime artwork. Includes shipping.

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    Workshop by Artist Sara Argue - artist Sara Argue will visit a school or library of your choice to give an interactive 3 hour workshop on creating storybook characters (USA only).

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Funding period

- (30 days)