Posted on | July 31, 2012 | 38 Comments
I absolutely adore supporting family-owned and operated businesses. I think that’s kind of the beauty of blogging. We can get behind companies we truly appreciate and support. Mandy & Randy is one of those special businesses that just stand out in a see of competitors. With a military history in the bloodlines of the creator, Mandy, you know I can’t help but have a soft spot for them. The company was born out of the search for safe, toxin-free toys that could be trusted. After yet another recall of a popular toy, Randy, a long-time wood-worker, and his daughter Mandy, set out to make 100% safe, wood toys. Mandy’s son, Emerson, was the inspiration for it all, and a company was launched.
The toys are beautifully crafted out of Maple and Cherry woods. Both woods are safe, poison-free, and sweet to boot. Rattles are filled with dried corn kernels, and any glue is natural and FDA approved. Toys are sanded smoother than you would think possible, so splinters simply won’t happen. The wood is harvested from local, sustainable farms. These toys are truly heirloom gifts that will last for generations to come.
The boys received a “Stanley the Stegosaurus” and a “Peace of Wood” to review. The packaging was adorable, and you could trust that these toys would make beautiful gifts to send.
We’ll start our review with Stanley.
Sully is in a dinosaur loving phase, so Stanley couldn’t have come at a better time. He currently believes that every little boy should have a pet dinosaur (as seen on “Dino Dan”), so he was thrilled to see Stanley arrive on our doorstep. Stanley is made of natural Cherry wood and has a 100% beeswax finish. He’s smooth as can be, and his wheels make for the perfect rolling toy. If you tie on a little piece of string, you’re good-to-go. Sully actually prefers just pushing him along the ground as fast as he can and pretending that Stanley is “running,” so there’s always that. You’re looking at a $55.00 price tag for ‘ol Stanley, so not exactly chump change. But when you compare the hand-crafted beauty of Stanley and the fact that he will surely last you through several generations of little boys or girls, his price tag doesn’t seem so hefty. Not to mention, Stanley became one of Sully favorites toys almost immediately. We’re getting way more play out of Stanley than any of the cheapie plastic bits of toys that were mass-produced in China. Take that to the bank. Bottom line? Stanley makes the perfect gift for any special occasion. We love him.
Next up, we have a Peace of Wood (see what they did there?).
This Peace of Wood is Arlo’s buddy (though, Sully likes to steal it, too). While it’s the “Rattles” category on their site, it works as a Teether. It also functions as a fun rattle because it’s filled with kernels of corn. It’s made Maple wood with a 100% beeswax finish, and it’s handcrafted like the rest of the toys Mandy & Randy offer. It’s the absolute perfect shape for a young teether. Arlo is getting older, so he doesn’t have as hard a time handling toys as he used to, but he can hang onto this even when he’s extremely tired and cranky from those awful teeth coming in (why must babies go through teething?!). It’s super smooth, and it seems to really help sooth his gums when he’s had enough. I’ve taken to tossing it in the fridge or freezer for a little bit to make it nice and cold when we’re having a particularly hard day. Even after over a month of gnawing, this teether looks brand new. It’s the first teether/rattle Arlo has taken any real interest in, and I think it’s all sorts of awesome. Coming in with a price tag of $28.00, it’s going to be pricier than the plastic ones you find in the grocery store, but it is absolutely perfect as a gift or that “special” toy you give your little one every now and then.
Also? You have the satisfaction of knowing you’re supporting an awesome, US company.
It will be hard to find a better company to support than Mandy and Randy. The products you receive are simply top-notch and beautiful. These toys are toys you can love for a long, long time. Yes, you’re going to pay more than you would pay for a big, China-based company. Toys like these may not be ones you can just toss in your cart any old time. They may be ones you have to save for the special events or as a way to make memories. But, believe me, I can’t find a single bad thing to say about them or the company that creates them.
From now until August 7th, 2012, receive 20% off your order using the code “militarymama.” When this code expires, there is a military discount code for all service members and their families. Use “redwhiteandblue” for 10% off!
Mandy and Randy are sponsoring a giveaway of Tye the Turtle Teether for one of my lucky readers! ($23.00 RV)
To enter: Comment below on which toy from Mandy and Randy you love the most.
As an additional entry, like their Facebook page here!
(This giveaway will end on August 7th at 11:59PM. Must be 18 or older to enter. Winner drawn with random.org and emailed. Winner must respond in 48 hours or another winner will be chosen)