Indiana Boasts Big Toy Heritage

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The holiday season is synonymous with the hottest toys and Indiana has carved out a solid place in the history of the industry. The state claims "Garfield" cartoon writer, artist and marketing entrepreneur Jim Davis and his company Albany-based Paws Inc. Norman Bridwell, children's author and illustrator of the "Clifford the Big Red Dog" series is from Howard County. During an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Hoosier freelance writer Kara Reibel and Children's Museum of Indianapolis ‎Museum Store and Food Service Director Jere Krueger discussed some connections that may not be as well-known.

Reibel says in addition to larger-scale manufacturers such as TEDCO Toys Inc. in Hagerstown, there are many small craftspeople pumping out toys statewide. TEDCO manufactures more than 330 products, mainly education-related, including the gyroscope and Pet Tornado.

On the high-tech side, Edwin the Duck, which is by Carmel-based pi lab Inc., is a modern rubber ducky toy that connects to digital technology to give kids and parents an ever-changing experience.

Krueger says the museum carries 4,000 items made in and out-of-state. He says traditional toys like those made by TEDCO are still popular, as are the more trendy selections. The museum shop picks toys that create "extraordinary family learning experiences," many of which are made in Indiana.

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