About Us

About Us — PlyPlay Designs Modern Handmade Toys

The Importance of Play:

PlyPlay Designs believes that play is essential in the development and well being of children.  It contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well beings.  It is the child’s way of learning about the world.  Through play, children are allowed to try out new skills, explore their imagination and creativity, and develop relationships with other people.  Play is so important to the development of children that the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights has recognized Play as a birthright.

How PlyPlay Designs Modern Handmade Toys came to exist:

It all started with a never ending search for quality playthings that not only engaged our children to play imaginatively and physically, but also fit our simplistic lifestyle.  Throughout the search it was evident that a majority of toys are garish plastic concoctions that typically leave little room for the child’s imagination.

The majority of toys found in large toy chains and department stores are character based with predetermined personalities, traits, and behaviors which have been developed by some very creative people, but since are being sold through large toy corporations are obviously limited in what can be accomplished.  These character toys’ personalities are further regimented through a very good marketing technique of being stars in their own TV shows.  This not only creates a confine of the perceived toys behavior, it also pre-creates storylines and adventures.  As a child watching and playing along with these toys, it sets a limit on what can and cannot occur.  Recent observations of our children playing with these types of toys, it is evident their imagination has been limited by this.  They end up replaying/repeating the same stories and adventures over and over again.

So how do we find something for our girls to break this mold?  There are some great toy companies out there that create the type of thing we are looking for, but they too were not quite right.  At this point it was determined to create our own toys for our girls.  We have received tremendous feedback on our designs, so we decided to share them with the world.  Thus PlyPlay Designs:  Modern Handmade Toys was born.

What we do:

We have all heard & told the story about how the box the toy came in became more valued than the toy itself.  But what if the toy inside the box allowed for the same imagination, creative spark, and utilitiy as the box itself?  That is PlyPlay Designs’ strategy.  Create something beautiful, useful, and creatively engaging.  A blank slate for a child’s imagination, but a beautiful object that parents have no problem leaving around the house.  A work of art with a purpose.

We try to achieve this lofty goal by remembering our past and the modern area of the middle of the 20th century.  In this time period, manufacturing of consumer goods increased dramatically and product design became increasingly important.  The great designers of this time period made sure products had both form and function.  This was typically done with simplistic/minimalistic design attributes that let the beauty of the function of the product shine.

This is accomplished by limiting the number of parts and pieces, being true to what the toy is, allowing the toy to be a blank slate for sparking imaginative play and not forcing any preconceived notions on the child.  Then we incorporate the minimal design aesthetic with the beauty and elegance of bent plywood, natural wood, and circles.

Who we are:

PlyPlay Designs is a small business startup in Saint Louis, MO specializing in Modern Handmade toys.  It is owned and created by Jon Marten, an engineer and musician, and his wife Amy, a stay at home mother and artist.  They have four beautiful daughters who have inspired their toy creations.

Each product is handmade with care by Jon and Amy.  Cut, sanded formed, and sealed with their own hands using hand tools.  PlyPlay Designs’ creations are not mass produced and each item is made to order just for you.

Please view our products to find the perfect fit for your modern family!

If you don’t find the perfect fit now, please check back regularly or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or even signup for our newsletter below to receive notice of new products as they become available.

We understand how hard it is to find the perfect toy, if you have something in mind, please feel free to contact us and maybe we can help you out.

 jon@plyplaydesigns.com

Thanks for visiting our site,

Jon & Amy