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Easy To Make Rocking Animals
Two New Zealand inventors were only horsing around trying to come up with a new toy for their kids when they hit on an idea that's turned into a thriving new business.
Ron Parker and Grant Kelson work as truck mechanics in a rural town. Their idea began as a joke when they decided to make a rocking horse for Parker's 4-year-old son out of a 15-gal. oil drum and a set of old truck springs. They made a horse head out of apiece of board to attach to one end of the drum and a handle out of pipe. Everyone got a big laugh out of it until one of his customers bought it. Next thing they knew, a lady walked in off the street and ordered a similar model in the shape of a pig.
"It turned out to be a real ugly pig but she bought it anyway," says Parker. The business just grew from there and now they've set up a regular production line for the inexpensive, easy-to-build playtoys.
Parker says he still doesn't understand what people see in them. In fact, when he and his partner first began making the rocking animals, they were too embarassed to work on them in the open. "If someone walked in off the street, we'd put our tools down in a hurry and pretend we were working on one of the trucks," he says.
Today, as demand has grown, they happily dig through junk yards looking for springs and other miscellaneous parts for the toys. They use 15-gal. drums for small kids and 50-gal. drums for older kids (or their grandparents, adds Parker).
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ron Parker, Putaruru, New Zealand.

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1992 - Volume #16, Issue #3