Bobbye Gorrell – Miniaturist of the Month

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Bobbye Gorrell

Meet Bobbye Gorrell, our Real Good Toys Miniaturist of the Month. She hails from Beavercreek, OH which is near Dayton. Bobbye hasreal Good Toys Miniaturist of the Month been building dollhouses and miniature displays since 1980, with at least 30 dollhouses Bobbye Gorrell, Miniaturist of the Monthand miniature scenes under her belt. Bobbye is very good at taking an unlikely container and turning it into an intriguing miniature scene.  She took an old cuckoo clock apart and made it a little miniature cottage. Bobbye also took an old silverware chest and turned it into a beautiful outdoor wedding display.

Bobbye A FrameBobbye Gorrell Miniaturist of the Month

 

Bobbye built two Imagination Houses for her granddaughters and a Lilliput Kiwi Cottage that she says, “…everyone who sees it loves it. ” She also had a custom one of a kind A-Frame dollhouse built for her, and at present, she is working on a Front Opening Country Victorian.  Bobbye really enjoys building Real Good Toys dollhouse kits.

 

Bobbye's dollhouse replicaI had a lovely conversation with Bobbye and she gave me the lowdown on how the dollhouse replica of her real home came about. At a miniature show in Dayton, Bobbye met a man from Old World Craftsmen Dollhouses in Oconomowoc, WI. He was also a cabinet maker and used his leftover materials to make dollhouses. So when Bobbye and her family moved into their new home, she contacted this fellow to build a replica of her new home. She sent off the blueprints for him to work from and after two years, the dollhouse was ready. To take it a step further, Bobbye sent pictures of her real furniture to a fellow from Mayberry Miniatures in Parma OH, who made replicas of her furniture for her dollhouse. Then came wiring, finishing and landscaping. To say that this project has been a labor of love is a bit of an understatement. I believe it may be the dream of every miniaturist to have an exact likeness, or replica, of a structure near and dear to their heart.
Bobbye 5Bobbye 6Bobbyes replica 1Bobbyes replica 3

 

 

 

 

 

Bobbye gets building help from her husband. He helps her put the dollhouses together and then lets her put the finishing touches on the dollhouse, such as paint, wallpaper and decorating. He also helps her out with shingling.

Bobbye has recently retired from her job, which she described as a one person accounting department for an engineering firm. Now that Bobbye is not working full time, she would like to refurbish old dollhouses and donate them to local charities. She also likes to travel with her husband, seeing the country and going to miniature shows. When she is not working with miniatures, Bobbye enjoys playing bridge with her friends.  She also sews and creates counted cross-stitch furnishings for dollhouses.

Thanks so much for sharing your dollhouses and miniature scenes with us Bobbye.  We love your unique pieces and how they came about. 

Would you like to be our next Miniaturist of the Month?  Just email your information to [email protected] 

I want to let your talents shine!! sunshine

 

 

NEW – Real Good Toys Large Dollhouse Electrical Kit

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Haven’t you always wanted to electrify your dollhouse kit and light it up?  Our NEW Large Dollhouse Electrical Wiring kit includes enough materials to adequately electrify a dollhouse up to 36 inches wide.  (You could electrify our Ultimate Queen Anne Dollhouse kit simply by purchasing an additional 30 Feet of Tapewire and another package of Small Hollow Eyelets.)  With features like our awesome and unique EL66 Electrification Piercing & Drilling Tool and our superior Power Jack & Plug Set, our Large Dollhouse Electrical kit makes electrifying your dollhouse soooo easy!  We include our detailed instructions and free wiring guide to help you along your way.  Of course, we also offer extended technical support via email or phone because we want you to succeed.  I’ve done it a couple of times now and I must say that it’s much easier to do than expected.  Plus the final results are simply amazing.  People make their dollhouses look so life-like and when they are electrified and all lit up, it’s so worth the effort.  You will not be disappointed.

We’d love to see pictures of your electrified dollhouses.  Please email them to us directly at [email protected] and we’ll feature your dollhouses on our Facebook page as well as the Photo Gallery on our website.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!
Mini wishes – Jennifer

Ms. Peggies Place – In the Spotlight

Friday, April 11th, 2014

 

Ms. Peggie's Place, San Diego, CA

Ms. Peggie’s Place, San Diego, CA

A group of dedicated miniaturists at Ms. Peggies Place.

A group of dedicated miniaturists at Ms. Peggies Place.

How can a 700 square foot dollhouse and miniature shop have anything and everything your miniaturist heart desires? It’s true. Ms. Peggies Place in San Diego, CA is filled to the brim with delightful dollhouses, miniatures and accessories.  Michael Sue Nanos, the Proprietress of this gem, brings a lifelong love of miniatures and a career of working for Lee Ward’s, the craft industry giant that merged with Michael’s in 1994.  While working for Lee Ward’s, Michael Sue became acquainted with then frequent customer and miniature artisan, Peg Devine, the original owner of Ms. Peggies Place. Ms Devine must have seen the love of miniatures in Michael Sue. Not only did she ask Michael Sue to create custom items for the store, but in 2003 when Ms. Devine retired, she sold the store to Michael Sue.

Michael Sue Nanos, Owner of Ms. Peggie's Place

Michael Sue Nanos, Owner of Ms. Peggie’s Place

 This compact shop is well organized and amply stocked with rows and rows of miniature displays showcasing just about every type of miniature imaginable. Miniature food to miniature garage tools. Electrical supplies, trims, floor coverings, wallpaper, doors, windows, and of course, dollhouses! Michael Sue says she only carries Real Good Toys dollhouses.  She says the selection is good and there is no better quality on the market. And she adds that our customer service is amazing! Michael Sue also stocks handmade, one-of-a-kind miniature treasures, and if she doesn’t have it, she will find it for you. She carries everything needed to make a miniature house a home. Michael Sue says, “I want this to be a feel good shop.” To that end, all displays in the shop are open and touchable. She has created an inviting and friendly atmosphere in her shop.

Displays full of miniature treasures

Displays full of miniature treasures

 The people that walk through the door are Michael Sue’s favorite part of owning a miniature shop. She says, “There is a constant exchange of ideas and I’m always learning.” Ms. Peggies Place offers onsite classes for children on designing and building dollhouses and miniatures. Just call the shop at 858-483-2621 for details. The shop is located at 5063 Cass Street, San Diego, CA 92109-1810. The shop hours are Monday & Tuesday – Closed, Wednesday & Thursday – 5pm to 8pm, Friday – 12 pm to 5 pm, Saturday – 10am to 5 pm, and Sunday – 11am to 5pm. Find them on Facebook at Ms. Peggies Place and online at www.mspeggiesplace.com. You will also find a delightful and informative blog on her website. Take a few minutes and look at all of her dollhouse building projects too. They are exquisite! Planning a visit to Southern California in the near future? Put a visit to Ms. Peggies Place at the top of your list!

 Here is what customers have to say about the only miniature shop in San Diego,

…So happy I finally found a great miniature store in the San Diego area.

…This is the best kept secret in town.

…One on one service, as well as unhurried advice.

Real Good Toys Dollhouse Factory Outlet Store – In the Spotlight

Monday, September 23rd, 2013
Granite Statue in Barre

Granite Craftmanship in Barre

Granite Quarry

Granite Quarry in Barre, VT

What does Real Good Toys, the leading dollhouse manufacturer,do when local miniaturists can’t find the dollhouse they’ve been wanting? The answer was right in front of us – open a Dollhouse Factory Outlet Store right here in our own warehouse, of course! Barre is centrally located in Vermont and just a little over 3 hours north to Montreal and the same going south to Boston. The city is touted as the Granite Center of the World, with many fine examples of granite craftsmanship throughout. Barre is also home to Rock of Ages, the Goliath of the granite industry. The Rock of Ages Granite Quarry is an open-pit granite quarry nearly 600 feet deep and 50 acres in surface area. What does this have to do with Real Good Toys? Real Good Toys lives in an old granite shed that was once occupied by Lawson Granite Company. Parts of this building are over 100 years old.  If you drive around the city, you will find quite a few old, rambling warehouses that were once active granite manufacturers that now house other types of businesses. Barre is a great place to live, work and visit.

Welcome to the Sale!

Welcome to the Sale!

In the Spring of 1988, Real Good Toys moved from their much smaller quarters in Montpelier to their own rambling 26,000 square foot warehouse here in Barre. Ruggedly built of massive timbers, there is still a crane in the rafters of our factory that was once used to move gigantic granite blocks from place to place in the building. We wasted little time in spreading out, and we filled every nook and cranny with inventory and raw materials. Real Good Toys now had the tools needed to push forward and continue to grow. We expanded our product line, designing exciting new products that gave our customers a greater selection of dollhouses.

Real Good Toys Dollhouse Factory Outlet

Real Good Toys Dollhouse Factory Outlet

Fast forward to 2009. We learned that the last of the retail businesses selling our products in Vermont had closed their doors, leaving no alternatives for dollhouse shoppers. We continued to receive calls from people traveling through the state asking where they might buy our products. It was very discouraging not to be able to offer sources where folks could buy Real Good Toys dollhouses within Vermont. After much thought, speculation, planning, some renovating, and then more planning, the Real Good Toys Dollhouse Factory Outlet Store was born.

Sue,Assembly Manager

Sue, Real Good Toys Assembly Manager

The store resides within our Assembly Department, allowing Sue, our Assembly Manager, to wear two hats. Frequently she will be assembling or painting a dollhouse just behind the front desk while folks browse and ask questions. When they are ready to check out, she hops behind the cash register to tally their purchases. Sue is happy to run through the basics of beginning your dollhouse project with anyone who needs help. The store is a bright and friendly place, with lots of dollhouse models, furniture, accessories, seasonal miniatures, and depending on the holiday, lots of life size decorations nestled in between the dollhouse and miniatures. Recently, we spruced up a part of the factory to create our Clearance Area, which is adjacent to the store. Here is where you’ll find old prototype and sample dollhouse kits, odd components and trims, and sometimes you’ll come upon a box of miscellaneous parts that even we can’t identify. You’ll find the Clearance Area is packed full of great deals you just can’t pass up.

Wiring Demo

Gary giving a wiring demo at the 2012 sale

Discover Great Deals!

Discover Great Deals!

With Mid-September upon us, everyone at Real Good Toys is gearing up for our 3rd Annual Fall Foliage Clearance Sale on Saturday, September 28th, 9 am to 4 pm. It’s all hands on deck, as we stock up all the shelves and dust off some more merchandise so you can rummage to your hearts’ content. We’ll have those special grab bags, door prizes, drawings and refreshments. Gary, our Production Manager and resident Dollhouse Wizard, will be hosting a free workshop at 11 am entitled “Creative Uses of LED Lighting”. You’ll find us right next to State Farm Insurance at 10 Quarry Street. You can’t miss the store front – it looks just like a dollhouse. Come early and stay all day. Late September promises to be a beautiful time of year with our fall foliage at peak color.  Perfect for sightseeing and snapping photos. We can’t wait to meet you! Everyday store hours are 9 am – 4 pm, Monday through Saturday. If you can’t make the sale, not to worry. There are specials deals everyday! The direct line to the store is 802-477-6464, or call Jodi or Jen at 802-479-2217. While you’re in the area, check out the many activities Central Vermont has to offer. Read more about the sale and the store at www.realgoodtoys.com.

Fall in Vermont

 Come and visit the spot Real Good Toys has created for all the dollhouse and miniature enthusiasts in Vermont, and neighboring states, to get the dollhouse of their dreams!

 

  

 

Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart – In the Spotlight

Monday, August 26th, 2013
Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart, Cheektowaga, NY

Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart, Cheektowaga, NY

Nestled in Western New York, just 10 minutes from Downtown Buffalo and 30 minutes from Niagara Falls, you’ll find Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart, the “Biggest Hobby Store in the U.S.A.!” With thousands of square feet of store to explore, Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart has a rich history filled with family traditions. While building traditions in their Cheektowaga, NY store, they celebrate families. They focus on products that you and your family can grow with…not out of.

The 1949 red Cabbose at Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart

The 1949 Red Cabbose at Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart

John Kavulich, Sr., the founder of Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart, began in the hobby business in 1945. After becoming more and more successful, expansion was the natural next step. In 1954, Mr. Kavulich started the wholesale distribution of hobbies and crafts with Niagara Hobby Distributors. From there, came the present day Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart. The store boasts four interactive working train layouts and carries HO, N-Gauge, Lionel, MTH and LGB trains. For the train history buffs, Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart has a fully restored 1949 Red Caboose in their parking lot. Just perfect for pictures! For the younger train lovers, they can have their picture taken in front of a 10 foot “Thomas the Train” engine. Speaking of interactive, families love their 150 foot six lane slot car track. They even have a 32 foot aluminum Pinewood Derby Test Track!

The Dollhouse Department at Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart

The Dollhouse Department at Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart

Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart is a full line hobby and craft store filled with everything you’d ever need for your hobby. They carry RC cars, planes and boats, artists paints and supplies, Breyer horses, slot cars, kites, Estes Rockets, military die cast and of course, dollhouses and miniatures. They have the largest dollhouse and accessory selection in Western New York, with an impressive inventory of Real Good Toys dollhouses. Miniaturists have many choices when it comes to dollhouse furnishings, paints, adhesives, electrical components and trims. The store has a dazzling display of over 10 dollhouse models, with some of them being fully furnished and electrified. Their staff is knowledgeable and dedicated to helping you find exactly what you need. If they don’t carry it, they will special order it for you.

Miniatures at Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart

Miniatures at Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart

The Real Good Toys Bostonian fully furnished and electrified.

The Real Good Toys Bostonian fully furnished and electrified.

Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart truly has something for everyone and every age. They host free Children’s Craft Workshops for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Easter. Santa, his elves and reindeer visit every weekend during the Holiday Season. The store offers free gifts for every child and free photographs with Santa. No worries if you forgot your camera. They will take the picture and it can be retrieved from their website Photo Gallery.

If all of this doesn’t convince you that you just have to visit, take a look at their Virtual Tour of the store on their website, www.niagarahobby.com. It’s just like walking through the door yourself. If you find yourself traveling through Western New York, be sure you take some time to visit this amazing store.

The store is located at 3366 Union Road (At Walden Avenue, Exit 52E off of I-90), Buffalo, NY 14225. Store hours are Monday-Saturday 10 am to 8 pm and Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm. You can reach them by phone at 716-681-1666. You can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

“Begin something today that you, your family and friends can enjoy for a lifetime at the store that combines quality, value, service, brands from around the globe, lots of fun and so much more. Bringing moms and dads, brothers and sisters, and family and friends together for generations.”

 

 

Real Good Toys 3rd Annual Fall Foliage Warehouse Sale September 28, 2013

Friday, June 7th, 2013

SAVE THE DATE!!!   SAVE THE DATE!!!   SAVE THE DATE!!!

Real Good Toys is having a huge warehouse sale on Saturday, September 28th, 2013 from 9AM – 4PMArrive early and stay all day.  FREE demonstrations at 11AM, presented by Gary Root (RGT’s resident Dollhouse Guru!), will cover electrifying a dollhouse as well as many creative uses for our ExtraBrite© LED Lights.  Have you ever wanted to light up your dollhouse without having to install all those tiny lamps?  Gary’s indirect lighting demo will spark your imagination and you will feel confident that YOU CAN light up your miniature dollhouse with ease!

You’ll also discover great deals on dollhouse kit closeouts, seconds, overstocks, components, accessories and so much more.  There will be door prizes, drawings, refreshments and amazing grab bag surprises!  It will be a perfect time to pickup the NEW Real Good Toys T-Shirt – celebrating 40 years of dollhouse magic!

Plan your trip now and experience Vermont’s extraordinary fall colors along the way to our warehouse.   Check out www.vermont.com for all your planning needs (dining, accommodations, other sites to visit in VT, etc.)

Directions to Real Good Toys Warehouse: 
Follow Interstate 89 (North or South) to Exit 6.
Follow Route 63 East about 4 miles to the stoplight at Route 14.  Turn left.
Go approx. 1 mile to Quarry Street, Turn Right (State Farm Insurance is located on the corner) and our showroom can be seen immediately on your left.

Everybody here at RGT looks forward to seeing you.  Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions – [email protected] or 1-866-524-0222!

Mini wishes – Jen

Bistro Kit Challenge is perfect for any dollhouse miniaturist!

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

A new contest has just been announced!  Miniature Collector magazine, in collaboration with New York miniaturist Susan Santilli, presents The Bistro Kit Challenge.  You simply order your kit from Real Good Toys and create your own unique design.

Bistro Challenge Shell Kit

Bistro Challenge Shell Kit

This contest will be presented in three parts in Miniature Collector magazine starting with the May 2013 issue, which features Susan’s inspiration for her project, resources she used, contest and kit information.  Part 2, which will be featured in the June 2013 issue, features tips and techniques from Susan, the Bistro Kit Challenge entry form and kit information.  Part 3, featured in the July 2013 issue, features the faux finish sidewalk instructions by Rik Pierce and kit information.

The contest  is a year-long event and submissions will need to be submitted by February 15, 2014.

Good luck and mini wishes – Jennifer

Summer Dollhouse Clearance Sale at Real Good Toys Warehouse

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Happy Customers ready for bargain hunting

 

Getting great deals

Our Sizzlin’ Summer Warehouse Clearance Sale and Demo Day at Real Good Toys was a great success!! It was a beautiful Saturday in June, so we threw open the warehouse doors to find lots and lots of customers waiting at the door to come in.  People traveled from all over New England and some attended the sale as part of their vacation. There were amazing deals on old, unique and some one-of-kind dollhouse kits and components. People filled the aisles, hunted through boxes and found that special item that they needed for their projects.

 

Dollhouse flooring demonstration

 

Dollhouse Wiring Demo

The technique demonstrations given by Gary, our Production Manager, were a huge hit!  They were very well attended and participants listened intently, taking notes and asking questions.  When the demos were over, everyone scurried back to the sale area to purchase supplies that were used in the demonstrations. 

 All in all, everyone that attended our first summer sale left satisfied they got the best bargains, and many were excited about attending our 2nd Annual Fall Foliage sale in October. You weren’t able to make the summer sale?  Start making plans to visit us in October!!  No rest for the RGT team.  Time to start digging for more treasures to offer in the fall!!  

Digging for dollhouse treasures

 

New mini friends

 

Save the dates – Saturday, October 6th, 9am-4pm and Sunday, October 7th, 9am-noon. Come and visit Vermont during its most beautiful time of the year.  Don’t miss this one! Contact Jodi at 802-479-2217, or email [email protected] for more information. 

Circus Circus Dollhouse Store Is No Match For Hurricane Irene

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Marilyn Loprete, Owner of Circus Circus Dollhouse, has been through so much this year.  Not only did her store get severely flooded from the wrath of Hurricane Irene, her home did as well.  Many people wouldn’t even know where to begin to start re-building your entire life!  However, Marilyn is a fighter and a survivor and she has done just that!

On August 27th, 2011, Hurricane Irene tried to dampen the spirits of Circus Circus Dollhouse with 4 feet of water in the store.  After 32 years in business, Marilyn had to decide to let it all “float” or put on her boots and start cleaning up.  She chose the latter and the work began.  For 8 weeks, friends and customers were happy to help her out.  After all, that’s what friends do, right?  Walls were torn down, carpeting ripped up, new air conditioning and heating were installed.

After all that hard work, the store has a new, fresh look!  You’d never know that Hurricane Irene tried to turn Circus Circus Dollhouse Store into a mini-disaster.  Marilyn is happy to have the store open and available for business as usual.  She happily says, “Here we are…All Departments are Open…and we have a bright, fresh, new look!” 

Bright, Fresh New Look at Circus Circus Dollhouse in Pompton Plains, NJ

Stop in and visit Marilyn and her crew soon.  She is located at 445 Route 23 South, Pompton Plains, NJ 07444.  Her store hours are Monday thru Saturday 10AM-4PM.   Take advantage of 20% off your purchase (not including sale merchandise or labor) and let her know Real Good Toys sent you!  She’ll be happy to see you and you’ll be glad you stopped in!

Good luck Marilyn – may your holidays be bright, happy and prosperous!  Oh, and mini wishes from the entire Real Good Toys gang!

The J-Team ventures into dollhouse wiring

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

 

The Kiwi-The lights are on!

Our Lilliput® Kiwi Cottage Dollhouse Kit is finally done!  After adding some finishing touches, Jen and I can proudly say that we have successfully wired a dollhouse!  Seeing your hard work come to fruition is very satisfying.  But isn’t that the case with every dollhouse you build or miniature you create?

Come on in. We've left the light on for you!

We started the Kiwi with the idea that we would focus on wiring and lighting and not so much on the finishing details.  Having said that, we still put stucco on the exterior and wallpapered a couple of rooms.  We wanted to  experience several different wiring situations while working with a couple of different fixtures. To wire a dollhouse is to take a real leap of faith.  We did lots and lots of prep work, running tapewire, spackling and using liner paper to hide the wiring.  Then we tested our work.  We actually held our breath when we held the tester to the tapewire to confirm good connections.  And then….there was light.  We got that “kid on Christmas morning feeling”.  We were on a roll. (more…)