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Made in USA Toy SaleTo honor American workers this Labor Day, we’re offering one of our best sales ever:

20% off Made in USA toys

I noticed that some big toy makers and toy stores are having sales this weekend but I noticed that they didn’t mention anything about American-made products.  Then it dawned on me – it’s because they don’t sell anything that’s made in USA!

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According to the US Department of Labor:

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

So let’s celebrate the wonderful craftsmanship of US toymakers!   Use code LABORDAY at checkout. Choose from among:


Sale through September 3rd. We carry other fine made in USA toys and furniture but are unable to include them in this sale.  Sale excludes Vermont Dory, Mountain Boy Sleds, Little Colorado Furniture.

Remember that when you buy American made toys you are supporting your neighbors and contributing to a strong US economy!

Please check out these groups support Made in USA:

Made in USA Challenge

Buy Direct USA

For more information on the value of buying made in USA, please read my earlier posts:  Toys Made in USA, Made in America Toys – At What Price? and Made in USA Still Matters according to Businessweek.

Photo credit: Old Shoe Woman / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

summer camp care package ideasSchool just ended and now we’re thinking of what our child should bring to camp and how we might surprise him while he’s there.  We frequently get calls from parents who want to put together a special summer camp care package and here are a few things to consider:

Before you send anything…

  • Check with your camp to get an idea of delivery options  (how often do they get mail, when is it delivered to your child, maximum size of package, etc.)
  • Also – find out if they allow food in care packages.  More and more camps are prohibiting food treats in care packages because of food allergies and wildlife.  Our camp favorite has always been chocolate chip cookies.  Rice Krispies treats are also sturdy and yummy.  Just make sure it won’t melt or attract critters while en route.
  • Send things that your child can share.  Some camps don’t want campers to feel excluded and what better way for your camper to make friends.

What should you put in your camp care package?

  • Honestly, you’re sending a care package because you love and miss your child.  So, we think the answer is: Love!!!  Anything you send will remind your child of how much you love him or her.
  • To help your camper share with fellow campers, look for items that come in bulk packs and that don’t need assembly.
  • Any traditional toy is great because it’s quiet and doesn’t require batteries or electricity.

Parents have told us that balsa airplanes are favorites so here’s a list of items we carry that will make your life easier and your child happy!

Flying Toys  balsa airplane ready-to-fly summer camp care package idea

  • Balsa airplanes – inexpensive bulk packs are great for group activities and lightweight to ship!  Options include:
  • Firefly rockets –  elastic launched toys with colored LED lights for nighttime flying.  See my earlier post about how much fun Fireflys are. Just make sure there is an open space for launching. Quantity discount available.
  • Flying Sticks – available in a 16-pack.  Sophisticated version of the folk-toy that you can tweak by wetting and bending the rotor.
  • PowerUp kit for paper airplanes – Attach a motor to your paper airplane and watch it fly for 30 seconds or so.  How cool is that?
  • Whitewings Hotshots Paper Airplane Templates – make the BEST aerodynamic paper planes and see whose flies the farthest (with or without the PowerUp!)

Spinning Toys

  • Yo-Yos & Spinning Tops –  Camp can be a good time to hone throwing skills.  Think of all the tricks they’ll be able to do by the end of summer!  classic whirly toy summer camp care package idea

Choose from basic wooden ones to more technically advanced models.  The Whirly Toy Classic is super fun, mesmerizing and lights up.  A great night-time activity!

There are many other toys and activities that you can send.  Don’t forget a handwritten note!  Sometimes simple is best.

What are you sending your child?

5 Great Gifts For DadLooking for the perfect gift for Dad on Father’s Day?  Look no more because we have great gifts for Dad on Father’s Day! 

Dad appreciates any and all gifts from his family but what he secretly wants to do is PLAY!  Nurture Dad’s inner child with any or all of these great gifts.  The best part?  He can play with these with you and the kids – the  BEST way to spend Father’s Day.


Great Gifts for Dad #1: Rockets  Estes Model Rockets

I can’t tell you how many men’s jaws drop when they come into our warehouse store and see our rocket collection.  We carry a full line of Estes Rockets – individual rockets and kits.  My husband wrote in an earlier blog post about our model rocket collection.    He profiled an all-in-one model rocket, the  Estes 1491 Taser Launch Set.  The launch sets include the rocket kit, launch pad and launch controller and offer great savings over buying those items separately.

Great Gifts for Dad #2: Pedal-Powered Go-Karts    Berg Go-Kart Ferrari Exclusive

Who wouldn’t want their own go-kart?  We carry the Berg Go-Kart line of pedal carts for both kids and adults.  Indulge Dad with his own Exclusive Ferrari FXX Pedal Kart or maybe Dad would prefer a Berg Jeep Wrangler off-road pedal kart or something more modest like the Berg Basic AF Pedal Go Kart.  These go-karts are for kids and adults.


Great Gifts for Dad #3: Ready-to-Fly Airplanes & Ornithopters  G76 Sky Launcher Balsa Airplane

You’re probably detecting a theme – flying toys for dads.    We have a great selection of ready-to-fly balsa gliders from the most basic balsa gliders that Dad flew as a child to more complex balsa airplanes that require some assembly such as the G-76 Sky Launcher that has a 17″ wingspan and a mechanism that releases a parachute or small “rocket” at peak of flight. Requires careful assembly & following directions, some experimenting and fine tuning.

I’m partial to our ornithopter, the Tim Bird because of it’s colors and how “life-like” the wings are when they flap. Tim Bird Ornithopter Flying Toy

Ornithopters are “mechanical” birds.  Some, like the Tim Bird, require no assembly and others like the Illusion Ornithopter Kit need to be assembled.

Great Gifts for Dad #4: Balsa Model Airplane Kits  Spitfire Model Airplane

Dad might have built model airplane kits with his dad when he was young.  What a great way for him to reconnect with his childhood and pass along a love of the hobby to your kids now.  We carry a variety of kits – from historical planes such as the Balsa Spitfire model, the most recognizable WWII British fighter plane to the Avion de Penaud  inspired by Alphonse Penaud’s “Planophore”, the first rubber band powered miniature aircraft.  Penaud was an aviation pioneer whose work was years ahead of its time. Among his other inventions is the Wright Bat, a toy helicopter that taught Orville and Wilbur Wright basic aerodynamic principles.

Great Gifts for Dad #5: Power-Up and Paper Airplane Templates   Power Up Airplane conversion kit

Who doesn’t love paper airplanes?  Maybe Dad can fly these at work and astound his co-workers.  The Power-Up is a great invention – clip on the power-module and your plane will fly for up to 30 seconds.  Of course, you need to make a good paper airplane first.  Get fancy with our Whitewings Hotshots Paper Plane templates.  For more information about these, check out my post on Flying Toys for Kids – Paper Airplanes.

Wait – I know I said “Five Great Gifts for Dad” but here’s another:

Great Gifts for Dad #6: Hobby Supplies!

Turner Toys also carries a complete line of hobby tools and supplies for any of Dad’s projects. We have a variety of glues including hard to find Ambroid Cement, hobby tools and paints from Floquil, Polly S and Testors Model Masters.

 What are you planning to get for the Dad in your life?

To coincide with today’s blog on Image Aeronautics & Flying Toys for Younger Children

Turner Toys is offering 15% off all Ready-to-Fly Toys.

Just use the code FLYING at checkout on our website  Sale runs through Sunday, March 3rd.

Happy Flying!

Flying Toys for Beginners from Turner Toys

In an earlier blog, we talked about Great Science Toys for Children.  Right now, we’ll showcase flying toys for children as young as age 7 (or younger, depending on how hands on you want to be with your child.)  In upcoming blogs, we’ll highlight intermediate and advanced level flying toys and kits, as well as other science toys.

Playing with science toys is a great way for both boys and girls to explore the world around them and develop a love of science.  Turner Toys is proud to carry science toys that are classic and appeal to both genders. For thoughts on gender-neutral toys, see our earlier blog “Gender-Neutral Toys.”

Flying toys are a great way for children to learn about aeronautics, engineering and science – plus, they’re fun!   We have great memories of launching balsa gliders in our backyard and, to our moms’ dismay, in the house!

Basic Flying Toys

Wright Bat        The Wright brothers for children come alive with the Wright Bat Helicopter Toy.   Wilbur and Orville Wright played with a wooden version of this toy in 1878. Wind the 9 1/2″ rotor and let go – it flies straight up 20 or more feet!
Flying Stick Toy
Our Flying Stick (the manufacturer calls it the “Easy Spin”) is an aerodynamically sophisticated version of the old folk-toy stick helicopter. The pitch of the rotor can be be changed by wetting and bending. It takes a little practice to get a good flight.  Great for group activities. For kids 7+

Guillows Design Studio 


Design your own balsa model airplanes, biplanes, gliders. Contains all the components needed to build 4 motorplanes and 4 gliders.  For kids 7+

Ready-to-Fly Planes (Balsa & Plastic)

Even if your child isn’t ready for a science competition, here are two recent press mentions of regional Science Olympiad competitions.  They give you a sense of what students do in these competitions and how valuable they are for budding scientists.

Turner Toys is proud to carry almost 100 toys that are made in the USA.   Why do we carry American-made toys when we could probably buy less expensive products?  Many of the American companies that we work with have been crafting their toys for generations and share our values and love for “the toys we grew up with.”   We feel confident in the safety and quality of American-made toys.   Most importantly – these are great toys!



Some of our American-made products

These include Slinky– still made in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania with the original equipment Richard James created.  The Slinky has changed little in over 50 years. A crimp was added to the ends of the wire to ensure safe play.  Though it was developed to be a toy, other applications for the Slinky have been discovered. The Slinky has been used as an antenna by soldiers in Vietnam, as a therapy tool and for coordination development. The possibilities are endless.

Roy Toy Log Cabin Toy Set

Roy Toy Log Cabin Frontier set

Roy Toy log cabin toys are made in Maine, the “Pine Tree State”.  Roy Toy was established in the mid 1930’s by one of the earliest pioneers in the wooden toy industry, Roy K. Dennison.  Roy would often say, “There’s no greater feeling for a parent than helping their child explore their own imagination”.  After Roy died in 1960’s, the business was shuttered.  Roy’s grandson, Bruce Dennison, decided to revive the Roy Toy business in 1992.  He has honored his grandfather’s vision by producing the precisely made realistic  square logs that fit together perfectly.  All the parts are cut from fresh Maine Pinewood, colored with non-toxic dyes. You know that Roy Toys is the real thing when you open the box and smell the wonderfully fragrant pine! Bonus – Roy Toy log cabin sets have no plastic parts!

Uncle Goose Classic Alphabet Blocks

Uncle Goose Classic Alphabet Blocks

Turner Toys carries heirloom-quality alphabet block sets from Uncle Goose in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  They offer an array of classic alphabet blocks and  foreign language blocks (Chinese, Arabic, Greek, Russian, Korean and Hebrew.  Pete Bultman runs the family business that his father started in Michigan in 1983.  Uncle Goose blocks use quality materials to recreate nostalgic toys that mix playing and learning in a graphic, tactile way.

G70 Folding Wing Catapult Balsa Glider 12 inch wingspan.

Balsa wood Folding Wing Catapult Glider

We also have a collection of Guillows balsa wood airplanes – from the basic balsa gliders you had as a child to  complex balsa model airplane kits of famous military and civilian aircraft. The Guillows model airplane company was founded in 1926 by Paul K. Guillow, a World War I U. S. Navy Aviator. His experience as a Navy pilot created his passion for  aviation which led him to create a line of small balsa wood construction kits of famous World War I combat aircraft.

In upcoming blogs, we’ll highlight other American-made toys.  Turner Toys is s a resource on Buy Direct USA‘s website and our products are featured in their 2012 Made in the USA Gift Guide.  Turner Toys is also listed on Americans Working site.

Is buying American-made products important to you?  Tell us why.

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