Project Description

Luke’s Toy Factory, Danbury, CT
Assisted company and its goal to manufacture their products in the United States

“A lot of fun and a lot of work!” That’s how Jim Barber describes Luke’s Toy Factory, the company he founded with his son Luke in 2013.

Based in Danbury, the company’s 100% American made, eco-friendly stackable toys appeal to preschoolers ready to up their fine motor skills, problem solving abilities and pretend play. What sets the company’s toys apart is what they’re made of—Wood Plastic Composites (WPC), a new class of injection moldable material well known in Europe though fairly new in the States.

In 2012, the year Luke graduated from Rutgers University, Luke was playing with Jim’s 3-D printer and created some toys. Keen to explore manufacturing their own line, Jim and Luke reached out to a friend in the toy industry who provided some great advice and encouragement. And in June 2013, Luke’s Toy Factory wrapped up a successful $15,473 Kickstarter campaign to prove its toy concept.

Jim and Luke reached out to Connecticut Small Business Development Center (CTSBDC) in February 2014 seeking business advice and access to state-offered small business programs. “We connected with Business Advisor Nelson Merchan, whose attention and advice have been invaluable, and he’s been instrumental in making our business more professional and well-positioned for success.”

“James Barber and Luke are a great example of tenacity, vision and the American dream. Their objective to develop fun and creative earth-friendly toys made in America guides their everyday business efforts. James and Luke know a lot about their business and the use of the latest technology to short-en the time between design and launching. I love the fact that James and Luke set up an objective for Kickstarter, had the right product and strategy and achieved it their goal.” – Nelson Merchan, CTSBDC Business Advisor

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