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September 2005 | Vol. IV - No. 9
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Become Enchanted With Dervish Toys

During the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, 9-year-old Vasili Romanov ? was one of the few Russian royals to escape ? Years later, he captivated his granddaughter with stories of the Domovoi, or Russian household fairies.
After six years in development, the husband and wife founders of Dervish Toys (ToyShow), Charles Erdman and Tatiana Romanov, are finally ready to bring their old world fantasy to life. Beginning this October, Legends of the Faery Folk dolls will be available online and in specialty stores across the United States.

The project would have taken flight one year earlier, were it not for design issues that sprung up just before the manufacturing plant in China had a chance to begin production. Development of the prototype took place in the United States, but required subtle refinement during its final phase. Due to cross-cultural communication difficulties between Dervish Toys and the manufacturer, this caused a delay in the development process.

With these issues resolved, the company is freed up to work on a Faery Folk book, expected to come out in June 2006, as well as a DVD series. Filming is scheduled to begin in late 2006.

Today, Erdman handles the business aspects of Dervish Toys while Romanov acts as the creative director. The company was her idea from the get-go.

During the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, 9-year-old Vasili Romanov, grandfather of Tatiana Romanov, was one of the few Russian royals to escape with his life. Years later, Vasili captivated his granddaughter with stories of the Domovoi, or Russian household fairies. The younger Romanov has now realized a lifelong dream by infusing her image of these fairies with form and sharing them with today´s generation of children.

"I think one of the most exciting moments for us was to put the products in front of children and see how they responded ? a kid´s face lights up and gets enthusiastic,? she said. ?That continues to drive me and inspire me."

Each fully posable seven-inch doll has a poly-resin head and comes dressed in handmade costumes. There are six characters, each with its own distinct personality, such as Puck, the mischievous prankster, or Tempestia, the feisty autumn fairy.

Erdman feels the doll design adds kid appeal. A Faery Folk doll represents the actual size of a fairy. It is not a scaled-down adult figure. This is a feature that adds distinction from other major toy characters.

"The dolls are lifelike. They come alive," said Erdman.

Each doll comes with a storyline that encourages kids to be environmentally conscious. The nature-based craft project instructions that are included in each set teach kids ? and their parents ? how to make a leaf crown or a set of gnomes from nuts.

?We feel that kids need strong motivation to take care of the world we all share," Erdman stressed. The message helps boost the product?s marketability at the same time. "The environmental aspect to our product does make it stand out,? Erdman said.

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Christina ChanWriter's Bio: Christina Chan graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Architecture. She practiced architecture for several years before pursuing writing. Ms. Chan writes freelance for the educational sector, magazine market, and TDmonthly Magazine. Read more articles by this author

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