ToyDirectory
December 13, 2017

TDmonthly Magazine

August 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 8


Kids Crooked House Heads Straight For Success

Cartoonish Appeal and Handcrafted Design Bring Kids Home

By A. Antonow
August 2007

“Internet is king. It’s the only way we have been able to reach the customers and the numbers we had to reach to create our company.” Glen Halliday, Kids Crooked House
The story behind Maine-based Kids Crooked House, winner of this year’s Yahoo! Ultimate Connection Contest, is part and parcel of the American dream.

Glen Halliday couldn’t find a creative and affordable playhouse for his kids, so, inspired by the colorful cartoons that sparked his children’s imaginations, he built a bright and slightly crooked playhouse — a high-quality construction that looked as though it could have come straight out of a kid’s show.

ROADSIDE REVIEW

“The company was really an accident,” Halliday, now owner and creative director of Kids Crooked House, told TDmonthly Magazine.

“All my friends and neighbors were asking about [the playhouse] and they wanted one. I thought that they must sell, so I signed on my cousin as a partner,” he explained. “We put one on the side of a busy road with a phone number and that’s literally how we started. The phone started ringing, and we were building these things in the barn.”

COMPLICATED CUTS


Halliday pointed out, though, that learning to make the playhouses assembly-friendly took some time. “All of our playhouses are handcrafted, and every cut is a compound angle. It’s tricky to get all that to work together and be easy to assemble.”

Marketing proved even more difficult than the design, especially when it became clear that the playhouses needed to be marketed outside their local area, to warmer states where playhouses could be used year-round.

ONLINE WIN BOOSTS VISIBILITY

“Internet is king,” Halliday has learned. “It’s the only way we have been able to reach the customers and the numbers we had to reach to create our company.”

“One of the best decisions I ever made,” he added, “was to take a few minutes to fill out the email form from Yahoo! to enter their contest.” Following the nomination and the landslide win, the company received thousands of website visitors and emails.

“The fact that we were hand-picked by Yahoo! and Ivanka Trump out of 9,000 companies was hugely rewarding for us,” Halliday told TDmonthly.

A PLAYGROUND FULL OF FUN

Although Kids Crooked House is less than a year old, Halliday has big plans for his company. “More and more, the playhouses are being used by businesses, by ice-cream stores and by daycare centers,” he explained.

In the future, Halliday and his team hope to create entire playgrounds from their playhouses. Already, there are some orders from resorts and hotels. Halliday imagines entire “crooked playgrounds, with many playhouses connected by swings and slides — a sort of toon town.”

See Halliday’s cartoonish creations here:

Kids Crooked House - Standard Playhouse by KIDS CROOKED HOUSE

Kids Crooked House - Standard Playhouse by KIDS CROOKED HOUSEThe Kids Crooked House Basic playhouse is carefully handcrafted in Maine out of 2 x 4 wood pieces, cedar shingles and other high-quality materials. Accessories such as a roof dormer or front porch can easily be added for even more fun, and the house can be painted with a number of fun colors, including Tigger Orange, Red Barn, Deep Woods Green, Garden Green, Camp Brown and Rustic Blue/Gray. White or black trim is available. 7/3/2007 (MSRP: $1949.00; Age: 2 and Up)


Crooked Castle Playhouse by KIDS CROOKED HOUSE

Crooked Castle Playhouse by KIDS CROOKED HOUSEThe Kids Crooked House Basic playhouse is carefully handcrafted in Maine out of 2 x 4 wood pieces, cedar shingles and other high-quality materials. Accessories such as a roof dormer or front porch can easily be added for even more fun, and the house can be painted with a number of fun colors, including Tigger Orange, Red Barn, Deep Woods Green, Garden Green, Camp Brown and Rustic Blue/Gray. White or black trim is available. 7/3/2007 (Age: 2 and Up)


Kids Crooked House - Junkyard/Gas Station Playhouse by KIDS CROOKED HOUSE

Kids Crooked House - Junkyard/Gas Station Playhouse by KIDS CROOKED HOUSEThis playhouse comes with accessories such as a stove pipe, custom signs, a porch and a dormer. Each accessory can be personalized for a one-of-a-kind playhouse. A secret door and a back hideout make imagination even more fun. The base of this playhouse is 4’ x 6’ for plenty of play space. The frame is carefully assembled with nails, screws and bolts for easy set-up. Ready-to-assemble, this house can be constructed and ready for play in minutes. 7/3/2007 (MSRP: $5149.00; Age: 2 and Up)


Kids Crooked House - Wagon Playhouse by KIDS CROOKED HOUSE

Kids Crooked House - Wagon Playhouse by KIDS CROOKED HOUSEThe Crooked Wagon Playhouse features a stovepipe, window boxes and authentic, handmade wagon wheels. An optional dormer and porch allow for a custom design. Available in an array of colors, this playhouse is perfect for anyone who loves to plant or garden, or for anyone who likes pretending to be in the Old West. Like all Kids Crooked House playhouses, this one is handmade in Maine with windows, exterior wood siding, a cedar shingle roof, a peep hole, and a kid-sized door with a handle. 7/3/2007 (MSRP: $4989.00; Age: 2 and Up)


Crooked Train Playhouse by KIDS CROOKED HOUSE

Crooked Train Playhouse by KIDS CROOKED HOUSEFor the train enthusiast or would-be station engineer, this playhouse provides hours of fun. Quality wood construction and careful hand-crafting in Maine ensure safety and quality. Customized details allow for the creation of a unique playhouse. This house includes a stovepipe, customizable signs, wheels and even a tiny house that acts as a train car behind the main playhouse. 7/3/2007 (Age: 4 and Up)


Crooked Restaurant Playhouse by KIDS CROOKED HOUSE

Crooked Restaurant Playhouse by KIDS CROOKED HOUSESetting up a lemonade stand will never be the same again. This playhouse features outdoor seating, customized signs and an extra-large window for serving customers. For children who want to learn all about business, it provides hours of fun and stylish business opportunity. For both pretend play and real kids’ businesses, this playhouse lets children design the company of their dreams. Quality wood construction and hand-crafted detail mean the playhouse will stand up to the seasons and to years of fun. 7/3/2007 (Age: 4 and Up)






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