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Group of Designer Chairs

The Benefit of Buying Local

Why you should consider making the investment in locally made products. In response to the recent Local First Utah's story about Eric Jacoby Design, we wanted to highlight the characteristics that distinguish us as a local business: Eric Jacoby Design's studio is located in the 9th and 9th neighborhood of Salt Lake City, Utah.  But beyond being located in Salt Lake City, there are other factors which make us ultra-local: We have several partners within Salt Lake City who help machine or finish varying components for our products. We also purchase our major materials from local suppliers and our products are hand-built right here in Salt Lake...

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wooden toy snake

The Best Species of Snake For Your Home

When design is open to interpretation. A few months ago, my family did a small hike together.  It was a super low- key walk up the little canyon behind the Natural History Museum of  Utah.  We had a small picnic, did a little bit of sketching, then decided to head back home. On our way back down the trail, we ran across a snake (which is common on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail)   I took a look at the black diamond pattern on the snake's back and quietly encouraged my kids to stay clear - remembering that I’ve seen rattlesnakes with the very same patterns...

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and made toy prototypes built by Eric Jacoby

Why wooden toys are back in vogue

Several reasons why wood is a superior toy material When I founded Eric Jacoby Design, I took some inspiration from an NPR How I Built This podcast interviewing the founders of Melissa & Doug who told their origin story. The contemporary toy company has become a household name for high-quality toys, often wooden toys. Melissa and Doug (re)paved the way for a resurgence of wooden toys. Why do we find wooden toys so appealing?   It isn’t simply nostalgia; although their retro image makes us realize what older generations played with.  In comparison, my childhood toys were Lego,  Voltron,  He-Man, and NES 8 bit video games. My theory is...

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Image of a Tectonic Bison Family - a bison cow and calf walking together

Inspired by All Of The Bison

Interesting bison facts that influenced their Tectonic Toy namesake: Inspired in part by the current exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Utah. The exhibit is called Yellowstone Invisible Boundaries, occurring from June 29, 2019 to September 15, 2019. It is focused on the park’s migratory animals impacts on their lives from within and outside the Park boundaries....

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Image of a young blond boy cutting wood on a scroll saw.  The boy is wearing red safety goggles, a respirator with pink P100 filters, and large hearing protection

Five simple ideas for building your own toys

Looking for ways to spend creative and educational time with your kids? I build toys with my son, mostly for fun, but I like that it gives him exposure to designing and making. Sometimes people ask me how to approach building toys with their kids. I have a simple answer: have your kid make a drawing of the toy, then work with them to build it…This blog post outlines a more detailed process: Start by having your kid make a drawing of what they want to build. DO NOT DRAW IT FOR THEM. If they aren't sure what they want to build, prompt them:...

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Geared engineering system for Tectonic Dragonfly mechanism

What an Insect Can Teach You About Mechanics

Three engineering systems in Tectonic Toy Insects that facilitate STEaM education. STEaM is an approach to education which integrates Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics for guiding a student's inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. The process is for a student to engage in observation, questioning, self-guided discovery, problem-solving, and synthesis into a creative process. Although STEaM is generally a curriculum within a classroom, we believe that toys at home can promote this type of education without having to be a formal teaching instrument. Tectonic Toys are a fun way to promote education and discovery surrounding different engineering systems, each allowing multiple levels...

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