LumberJocks

Wooden toy. Worth it?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Sweating for Bucks Through Woodworking forum

Forum topic by Jackcarter0714 posted 06-13-2017 09:33 PM 1783 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Jackcarter0714's profile

Jackcarter0714

17 posts in 235 days


06-13-2017 09:33 PM

I’m your average weekend woodworker, and have been for some time. I’m young, and of course, money is tight. I have often considered using my woodworking skills to earn more for myself.
I have recently come across an old set of plans and patterns from the 1940s covering how to make a wooden M1919 30 caliber machine gun, for a children’s toy. My first thought when coming across this was that I absolutely had to make one for my future sons. After this, I thought this could be my opportunity to start making more income. If I loved it so much, others would too, right?
So, I’m here to ask a simple question.
Would you as a consumer buy your son a life size (scaled for a child) wooden machine gun?
Keep in mind, this is a big toy. Materials would cost upwards of $50. The final price would be $100-$250.
Those of you who have experience selling, specifically toys, is this something a consumer would want?


19 replies so far

View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 3201 days


#1 posted 06-13-2017 09:37 PM

Not sure about buying one for kids, these days people are kinda nuts about non violence toys and such. That said, build them out of nice hardwoods and gun collectors and gun shops will buy them for display.

View DS's profile

DS

2819 posts in 2253 days


#2 posted 06-13-2017 10:02 PM

There is a reason you don’t see many wooden children’s toys for sale commercially in today’s litigious society.

Too many small parts, or sharp pieces, or fasteners when it breaks. Too many personal injuries and lawsuits to be commercial viable.

You would have to child-proof anything you offered for sale and that is NOT easy to do in wood.

Kinda makes me miss the 40’s even though I was not around back then.
Can you believe they used to let us throw lawn darts? ! ? !

You would have to sell the pieces as art and not children’s toys.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Jackcarter0714's profile

Jackcarter0714

17 posts in 235 days


#3 posted 06-13-2017 10:13 PM



Not sure about buying one for kids, these days people are kinda nuts about non violence toys and such. That said, build them out of nice hardwoods and gun collectors and gun shops will buy them for display.

- papadan

Gun guys, I hadn’t thought of them, genius. We all know plenty of old vets and collectors that could use a few more toys and displays.

View Jackcarter0714's profile

Jackcarter0714

17 posts in 235 days


#4 posted 06-13-2017 10:19 PM



There is a reason you don t see many wooden children s toys for sale commercially in today s litigious society.

Too many small parts, or sharp pieces, or fasteners when it breaks. Too many personal injuries and lawsuits to be commercial viable.

You would have to child-proof anything you offered for sale and that is NOT easy to do in wood.

Kinda makes me miss the 40 s even though I was not around back then.
Can you believe they used to let us throw lawn darts?

You would have to sell the pieces as art and not children s toys.

- DS

I’ve heard the horrors of today’s toy laws. We do have to protect the children, but I’m sure we could draw the line somewhere else.
Hopefully there are still some dads out there that will buy some “art” for their children.

View Rich's profile

Rich

1970 posts in 422 days


#5 posted 06-13-2017 10:26 PM

I was born in ‘54. I got my first Case brand 6” hunting knife when I was 4. The Mattel Fanner-Fifty was the hottest toy gun on the market. My first BB gun came shortly after. Heck, we used to take those suction-tipped bow and arrow sets, pull off the tip and sharpen them in a pencil sharpener…lol

As for the original question, I agree with the above posts. Kids toys of any kind are risky. You’d need to research government regulations for part sizes and you’d also be smart to hire a lawyer, form a LLC and get insurance. Pretty costly for someone just starting out. And that’s just for a plain old toy. You go building replica machine guns for kids, and there will be hell to pay with all of the activist groups.

I personally think it’s a cool idea, I just don’t see it working out for you. My advice would be to head to any farmer’s markets or craft shows in your area where wooden pieces are sold and see what’s popular. I’ve seen some guys with nice looking wooden spoons and the like looking pretty lonely. Also take a look on Etsy, Pinterest and other sites online to see what’s popular there too.

Stick with it and you just might get lucky. I wish you the best.

EDIT: P.S. I didn’t mean don’t build the machine gun. Go for it and post some pics here. The suggestion to shift your market demographic to adults is a good one.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View Jackcarter0714's profile

Jackcarter0714

17 posts in 235 days


#6 posted 06-13-2017 10:42 PM


I was born in 54. I got my first Case brand 6” hunting knife when I was 4. The Mattel Fanner-Fifty was the hottest toy gun on the market. My first BB gun came shortly after. Heck, we used to take those suction-tipped bow and arrow sets, pull off the tip and sharpen them in a pencil sharpener…lol

As for the original question, I agree with the above posts. Kids toys of any kind are risky. You d need to research government regulations for part sizes and you d also be smart to hire a lawyer, form a LLC and get insurance. Pretty costly for someone just starting out. And that s just for a plain old toy. You go building replica machine guns for kids, and there will be hell to pay with all of the activist groups.

I personally think it s a cool idea, I just don t see it working out for you. My advice would be to head to any farmer s markets or craft shows in your area where wooden pieces are sold and see what s popular. I ve seen some guys with nice looking wooden spoons and the like looking pretty lonely. Also take a look on Etsy, Pinterest and other sites online to see what s popular there too.

Stick with it and you just might get lucky. I wish you the best.

EDIT: P.S. I didn t mean don t build the machine gun. Go for it and post some pics here. The suggestion to shift your market demographic to adults is a good one.

- RichTaylor

No matter what, I’ll hold out and build a few of these to stockpile for my future boys. Expect some project posts soon.

View unbob's profile

unbob

800 posts in 1736 days


#7 posted 06-14-2017 12:55 AM

Gun related stuff is a hot market, the wood machine gun would sell in the right market, not the farmers market, some could have a melt down over it.
Build it, take it to where the money is waiting.

View Rich's profile

Rich

1970 posts in 422 days


#8 posted 06-14-2017 01:20 AM


Gun related stuff is a hot market, the wood machine gun would sell in the right market, not the farmers market, some could have a melt down over it. Build it, take it to where the money is waiting.

- unbob

For the record, I was not suggesting he take wooden machine gun replicas to the farmer’s market…lol. With all those Subarus in the parking lot, the man-buns and tie-dyed t-shirts, it’s definitely not going to be a friendly audience.

My point was that if you want to try to make a few bucks with your woodworking skills, you need to get out there and see what’s hot in the marketplaces. You can make cool stuff all day that’s beautifully crafted, but if it’s not what people want to buy, you’re out of luck.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View JCamp's profile

JCamp

470 posts in 383 days


#9 posted 06-14-2017 01:34 AM

Sounds cool but as a dad I’d spring for a cricket rifle which is about the same cost as ur talking. I do think it would b awesome prop for pictures and stuff tho or at war memorials

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View Jackcarter0714's profile

Jackcarter0714

17 posts in 235 days


#10 posted 06-14-2017 05:45 AM


Gun related stuff is a hot market, the wood machine gun would sell in the right market, not the farmers market, some could have a melt down over it. Build it, take it to where the money is waiting.

- unbob

All of the work is in finding where that money is waiting.

View becikeja's profile

becikeja

823 posts in 2646 days


#11 posted 06-14-2017 09:59 AM

Several years ago we moved from Tennessee up to Iowa. My son was around 6 at the time. We had been in the new neighborhood about 2-3 months. I was doing some yard work in the front when a couple of parents from my son’s school came walking by. Being a good neighbor I stopped and talked for a while. Somehow the conversation turned to how terrible toy guns were and they would never let their kid play with them. About that same time my son and his friend rolled out of the bushes and opened fire on us with their toy guns.
Never saw that kid or those parents again…...

I think the $100 price point is high for a toy gun. I would take the collector/novelty angle.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

9745 posts in 3261 days


#12 posted 06-14-2017 11:41 AM

If you think you might find yourself in a venue where your work could be misconstrued, it might be wise to prominently display a notice indicating that it’s not a toy…for display purposes only.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2587 posts in 2347 days


#13 posted 06-14-2017 12:12 PM

First off, I live in the South, SE Tennessee, to be exact.
ANYTHING guns down here is cool.

That being said, my neighbor is into scale model guns. He is also into scale model tanks, airplanes, soldiers in action, you name it. Oh, yeah, and scale model race cars.

He knows many, many others who are into this here locally. But the bar is high to be successful.
You cannot make just a scale model gun. They want the proper colors, decals, actual numbers that would be on the actual gun, and so on. An actual barrel, not just a rod of wood as an example. Basically the model builders find pictures of these guns from WWII, I, and other wars and copy them in scale to the nth’ degree.
It is not unusual for one of these army artillery field scale model guns to bring in the $4-500 range, if done properly. We’re talking a scale that produces a gun that is about 12” long. And to be honest, it takes a LOT of hours to do just the painting, since they usually have to be painted unassembled, then properly assembled.
And the highest priced models have things like rolling wheels, breeches that open, couple extra shells, etc.
Lot of work, something I decided long time ago that was not worth my time.

And even though we are in the South, these are NOT for children. Adults collect these things.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

1003 posts in 1828 days


#14 posted 06-14-2017 02:41 PM

Build two, see if you can sell one. If you sell one, build another and see if you can sell that. It’s not like you have to invest 1000000 in tools to set up a production shop to try. If the demand is there, make more. If not, dont

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Jackcarter0714's profile

Jackcarter0714

17 posts in 235 days


#15 posted 06-14-2017 04:26 PM



Build two, see if you can sell one. If you sell one, build another and see if you can sell that. It s not like you have to invest 1000000 in tools to set up a production shop to try. If the demand is there, make more. If not, dont

Brian

- bbasiaga

That’s my plan, going into it.

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com