T. J. Whitneys’ Traditional Toys is a multi award winning company that specializes in reproduction golden era toys. Their mission is to produce classic wooden toys and games which will become family heirlooms to be loved by children, parents and grandparents! They have such absolutely lovely products – simply beautiful!
A word From Janice Prittie, President of T.J. Whitneys’ Traditional Toys:
TJ Whitneys – About Us
Theos Juliet Whitney was my feisty and fastidious maternal grandmother, who knew a good toy or children’s book when she found one.
Her resourcefulness was legendary, it was said that if you threw her out the window of any airplane into a Yukon winter storm she would come out in the spring with a log cabin, a fur coat and a cupboard full of preserves.
It is with that spirit and the tattered remains of her beautiful 1920’s toys and children’s books that T.J. Whitneys’ Traditional Toys was birthed in 1999.
The toys and art work have gone on to win multiple awards from Parent Magazine, Today’s Parent Magazine, The Institute for Childhood Resources, Dr. Toy and Creative Child Magazine.
To date the products are distributed in North American, The UK, Europe, Benelux and Australia.
Cheers to resourcefulness,
T.J. Whitneys’ Traditional Toys
Winner of the Manufacturers Award of Excellence
When I received my package from Traditional Toys and pulled out the stretch canvasses they sent for my review, I could not help but feel a bit nostalgic at the sight of these timeless designs. Memories of times past and treasured moments spent with my grandmother drifted through my mind. I paused for a while lost in the simple but classic beauty of the canvases sitting before me. I could not help but look around at the brightly colored plastic Polly Pockets and my little ponies littering my living room and think that they paled in comparison to the soft and gentle children depicted in stretch canvasses that I now held in my hands.
The canvasses that I received are reprints on canvas, stretched and wrapped around wooden frames. Very nice quality and really quite beautiful! I can so easily pictures these lovingly hung in a nursery or in a young child’s room.
Traditional Toys primarily uses the designs from three artists for their Nursery Cards, Greeting Cards and Stretch Canvasses. Here’s a bit of information about the artist who’s work is depicted on the products that I received:
Jessie Willcox Smith (1863-1935)
Jessie Willcox Smith was among the most gifted of the students of Howard Pyle, and she took to heart his precept of studying a particular subject thoroughly, and conversely, painting what one knows best in order to bring the subject alive.
Quite early, she settled on exploring the universe of the child, and did so with great sensitivity and tenderness over the first 30 years of this century.
Her mature work in no way resembles her teacher’s, but bears more affinity to that of Edward Penfield and Toulouse-Lautrec and other poster artists, echoing the contemporary graphic approach with its emphasis on a spare but expressive charcoal line, somewhere between the fluidity of Art Nouveau and the boxiness of the Arts & Crafts movement.
This style, together with excellent draughtsmanship, and her strongly designed compositions, often unusual because of their view from the child’s perspective, inspired a school of followers. Smith worked most comfortably with charcoal, often adding watercolor washes, occasionally varnishing over the drawing to add highlights in oil.
Smith was a prolific book illustrator, and remarkably, many of these beautiful volumes are in print today, probably bought as much for adults’ nostalgia as for their relevance to children.
Her magazine covers, given little attention by her bibliographer Edward Nudelman, are no less important. Like her illustrations of verse, they tend to depict quintessential moments of childhood: playing with blocks, fear of the dark, etc., so they function quite well as pictures apart from their original connection with text.
Through her pictures of children, whether illustrations for fairy tales or of simple domestic scenes, Smith changed and enlarged the appreciation of children in American popular culture by her enormously sympathetic portrayals.
We (Traditional Toys) are proud to carry her artwork on our Greeting Cards, Nursery Art Cards and Stretch Canvasses.
Traditional Toys also offers classic designed toys such as Memory Match Games, Vintage ABC Blocks, Flash Cards, Nesting Blocks (a must have for all children!) and other timeless classic wooden toys!
I remember having lacing cards such as these at my grandmothers house when we would go visit. They were a childhood favorite of mine and I loved pulling them out whenever we were visiting the grandparents! I thoroughly enjoy browsing through their site and seeing all of these wonderful and classically designed toys and prints! I think all of their products would be such lovely and charished gifts for baby showers, birthdays and grandchilren!
I also received these sweet greeting cards. You can purchase a box of 6 of these cards directly on their site (www.traditionaltoys.ca) for $25.00. These are made of the same beautiful quality that canvasses are and are offered in so many different available print selections!
Traditional Toys was so wonderful to send me a stack of these beautiful cards to share with our MommyPR readers!
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