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Cool Company Archives

TDmonthly scours the nation for companies that stand apart, whether for their unique visions or special products. Find out more about their history, present successes and future plans.

Link to the current Cool Company
 


  The Man Behind the Masks: Bump in the Night’s Chuck Jarman
Though some of his merchandise is tame, most of Jarman’s masks and puppetry are macabre and frightening. Vicious looking clowns...


  Musical Furnishings: Handcrafted Instruments
Tor Clausen, an artist based in Olympia, Wash., started Musical Furnishings with intent to succeed, but some thought he was nuts...


  Todd McFarlane Opens Showroom and Store in Tempe, Arizona
In October 2004 Todd McFarlane, who has an 11-year history in the sports and movie licensing markets, held the official grand opening of a showroom and store in Tempe...


  RobotiKits for the Robot Generation
OWI, Inc. is famous for their consumer and educational products. Known for durability and reliability, the company would seem a natural for producing robots...


  Schoenhut Toy Pianos: History in Music
Founded in 1872 by Albert Schoenhut, the award-winning Schoenhut Toy Piano Company has moved into the twenty-first century with finesse.


  Chaos: A World of Motion
Jim Rothbarth, designer of the Chaos kinetics system, has been an entrepreneur and inventor since college...


  Oregon Scientific: Children´s Learning Devices
Steve Jackson, executive vice president of Oregon Scientific and founder of the North American Oregon Scientific Electronic Learning Products division, oversees sales and marketing, and supervises distribution throughout the continent.


  All Aboard! Planes, Trains, Automobiles…and Picnic Coolers?
With what Life-Like calls some good old-fashioned American ingenuity and a little determination, the company turned again to its new foam material for the answers.


  Maple Landmark Woodcraft: The Classic Wooden Toy
Maple Landmark, a Vermont-based wood toy manufacturer, has grown from a small business to...


  Applause: Licensed Plush and a Dream
Coming from a man who´s been on the pop culture pulse for two decades, his spontaneity is refreshing...


  Old-Fashioned Treats: Regennas Toy Candy
Established in 1894, Regennas Candy, Inc. is a five-generation, family-owned-and-operated...


  HuckDoll: Go to the Extreme
Founded by professional extreme athletes in North Lake Tahoe, California, NSM Resources/HuckDoll...


  Levymann Entertainment Creates From the Heart
LevyMann Entertainment is less than two years old, but the company has already formed product agreements with such recognized names...


  Fractiles-7: The Smart Toy with a Sci-Fi Name
Fractiles-7 was developed by Beverly Johnson and Marc Pelletier to “help bring the beauty of geometry into the mainstream"...


  Ravensburger’s Commitment to Quality Key to Longevity, Success
Even with over 30 years in business, Ravensburger is still a relatively new name to North American toy buyers...


  Taurus Toy Hasn’t Outgrown Small Town Service
Since 1995, Taurus Toy Corporation´s Block-N-Roll has won 14 major awards, including the “Oppenheimer Toy Portfolio Award”...


  Design Science Toys Unfold a World of Science
What started out as a friendly debate between Stuart Quimby and his wife in 1986 turned into a model that would be the basis of a unique educational toy co....


  Costuming Success is No Make Believe Story
When slaying a dragon, the last thing a brave knight needs is a tunic that itches his tummy...


  W.J. Fantasy Builds on Block Success
After spending years in art publishing, John McGrath decided to buy a failing toy company, W.J. Fantasy...


  Deciphering the Code
From creating puzzling whodunits to some of the hottest trading card games around, Decipher has garnered a loyal following in its 20 years of business...


  Bringing Back Low-Tech Fun
In the year 2000, three career dads in Seattle were having trouble finding classic fun for their families, so they founded Front Porch Classics...


  Tuning into Imagination
Concerns about the time children spend watching TV and playing on the computer have motivated Little Tikes to offer alternatives. "


  Cardchess Reinvents Two Classic Games
Jeff Widderich is not your ordinary board game inventor...


  Action Products Find Inspiration in Today’s Heroes
Action Products Inc. got its start in the educational toy market in 1977 as a distributor to museums...


  When Worlds Collide
Neurosmith tunes into the marriage of high tech and high culture...


  DraganFly: Bringing the Wild Blue Indoors
“Our job is to build the coolest flying toys in the world,” claims Zenon Dragan...
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