Design Blog

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...

Read more

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....

Read more

Image of a boy cutting wood on a scroll saw.  The boy is wearing red safety goggles, a respirator, and 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:...

Read more