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June 2004 | Vol. III - No. 6


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Front Porch Classics: Built To Last


Founder of Front Porch Classics (ToyDirectory, ToyShow), Steve Edmiston, coupled his entrepreneurial talent with his imagination to create games that measured up to his notion of quality. Created with a sense of nostalgia and permanence, Front Porch Classics’ games are reminiscent of a time when products were made to last – when quality took precedence over quantity and parents purchased items for their children to treasure rather than discard. Bred on traditional family-style concepts, Front Porch Classics games achieve virtual reality without electronics. The company pays specific mind to durability and each game provides an authentic portrayal of its theme, using wood instead of cardboard, or metal in place of plastic playing pieces. Employing such a worth-based strategy can be considered unique in the current market’s short term memory cycle. But Front Porch Classics has carved a niche for itself, modeling favorites like fairytales and sports into family games that transcend time to become classics in their own right.

Entrepreneur, Dread Pirate and Most Popular Dad

[Myself and two other founders] talked about the need for a new kind of game company. As a father, I thought a lot about the lack of high-quality toys and games available for my children. I had created a pirate game for my daughters as a Christmas present and that sparked my creative and entrepreneurial interest in games. That game has since evolved to become Old Century Dread Pirate. [The founders and I] set out to create a company that could provide consumers with old-school memory-making experiences and started Front Porch Classics in October 2000. I also manage a career as an independent feature film writer and producer. It´s great when your hobbies can turn into professional jobs. Now, I´m the hit at my kid´s school on career day when parents go to class and talk about their jobs.

Home Run Strategies

Our products are marketed toward consumers who appreciate high-quality games and who are looking for "good old fashioned fun" to share with their family. We use high quality materials to create our games, such as natural wood, cast metal playing pieces, and cloth maps instead of cardboard game surfaces. These lend a sense of authenticity to each game and we feel consumers appreciate the sturdiness and quality of the products. The games are also beautiful enough [so] instead of being stored in the closet while they´re not being played, they can double as decorative additions to any room in the house. Our consumers care about the look and feel of our games, and they are willing to pay a slight premium for a game that combines all these characteristics.

Old Century Baseball is our most successful product thus far. It remains our top seller and has won numerous awards, including a 2002 FamilyFun "Toy of the Year" award, a 2003 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award and a 2002 National Parenting Center Seal of Approval. Old Century Baseball is so well received, not only because it can be enjoyed by all ages, but because it also taps into ´s favorite pastime – Baseball – while incorporating the exciting element of pinball. Its high-quality design makes it a nice addition to a coffee table while not in use.

Treasure Lies Ahead

The toy industry seems to be responding well to low-tech toys, even in today´s high-tech world. We plan to embrace this welcome by continuing to make our "coffee table games" that cover a variety of topics and interests. We debuted three new products at this year´s Toy Fair: Stretch Run, Bull in a China Shop and Fish Bait. We´re also keeping our eyes and ears open for great stories that can create exceptional games. This last year we partnered with Twentieth Century Fox to create the official Master and Commander game, based on the movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Our goal is to continually provide an array of games to pique the imaginations of all children and adults.








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