David Wakefield has been creating toys in southeastern Ohio for about 35 years. Among my favorites is the Tyrannosaurus shown below.
Wakefield is also the author of the classic book How to Make Animated Toys, which features detailed drawings, patterns, and step-by-step instructions showing you on to make a Gallivanting Gorilla, Ornery Lobster, Cantankerous Triceratops and 27 other animated wooden toys.
So, why animals? Wakefield has given this question some thought:
Each of us yearns for that wildness at a very deep level, even though (as with the wolf) there is quite often a bit of fear associated, whether founded or not. There is something about the raw guileless innocence of all animals, especially wild ones, that makes us feel alive and inescapably rooted in the present, even if only momentarily. Stand by the bars of the Jaguar’s cage at the zoo and look into his eyes. You know exactly what I mean.
Children know this without us telling them. They are so clear that little can stand in the way of their simple love for all animals. They are the ones that can’t resist the stray cat. They are the ones who go down by the water to pick up frogs and salamanders and bring home turtles. They are the ones out on the ferry boat who have to keep throwing bread up to the seagulls even though everyone is getting crapped on. They are the ones who will do anything to see the baby calf be born, and go out in the dead of night to see if they’re o.k. These are our children. They know, even as we may start to forget.
The available animals include: walrus, tyrannosaurus, turtle, shark, seal, lobster, hippopotamus, frog, beaver, apatosaurus, crocodile, and wolf. Each is made from select hardwoods and finished with a food-safe mineral oil.
See the full line of animated toys by David Wakefield on his web site.