Happy Toy Machine: Toy Making for Kids

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I was thinking the other day...why should I have all the fun? There are all of these build-your-fashion sites I've been introduced to lately where I can create dresses and shoes for myself. I sit there clicking away with colors and cuts for my own creations.

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Happy Toy Machine gives my kid a chance for a little of her own click-and-create time. She can create her own cool, cute, and crazy custom plush toy. A stuffed "animal" that she can literally call her own. Sidenote: No, she does not get to do this on my iPad. Some things are sacred. She's on the desktop PC, thank you very much.

This new site let's your child be his or her own toy designer. They begin with a body...bunnies and bears, cows and cats, even monsters and aliens. Then they go from there, picking body parts (hooves and horns or droopy ears with bat wings?), colors, facial features, and decorations, and even add a name or message.

Eyes come with or without long lashes, ears are antlers or devil horns, perfect for your little devil. Then color the doll as you wish. You can even decorate them with a hobby '?? do you have sports fan? Someone who loves animals or rainbows? Adding a symbol is just a click away. We chose a butterfly, then added text just in case there was any question as to whose creation this was. Yes, my daughter'??s "dog" also has butterfly wings and a cat'??s tail. What can I say.


The great thing about this site is that you can design as many toys as you want for free, share them with your friends on Facebook or Twitter for any edit suggestions for the perfect pal. Then you can buy one when you're ready. Want to put this project away until after naptime? Save your child's doll creation, then sign in later on to see past creations and work on the future ones.

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Then when you get your doll, it also comes with a sheet of stickers with their creation's image on them. Perfect for passing out to their buddies.

Now my daughter and I sit side-by-side with our latest creations. It's when she asks me if I can design her an outfit with devil's horns as she's reaching for my iPad that I'll start to worry.

Regular-size Happy Toy Machine dolls (10-14 inches tall) are $29.99 and large-size toys (20-24 inches tall) are $49.99 and are available for creation at happytoymachine.com.

Cheryl Fenton is a Boston-based freelance writer, who writes beauty, fashion and fitness for Boston Common, Stuff and Glamour magazines, as well as her own EasyPeasyBlog.com.

Momtrends was not paid for this post. We did receive samples for review purposes.

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