Once upon a time…
there was a little girl who hated to sleep in her big girl bed alone. So every night, her little feet pitter-pattered right into her parents’ room.
She blamed monsters. The loud, scary ones that only appeared at night when no grownup was around. One lived in that big, old ceiling lamp above her bed with its creepy eye staring down at her. So, her daddy changed the light.
She slept in her own bed for a night or two and then pit-pattered it back to her parents’ bed.
Her daddy introduced her to Hubba Bubba, an enormous stuffed teddy bear twice the size of his little cutie.
Again, pitter patter.
Then one evening, a precocious little creature named Ricasso befriended her. He promised to watch over her while she slept because he was not afraid of monsters at all. In fact, he and his whole Targimal tribe were known in their land for heroic deeds and playful spirits, not to mention they always brought along a stuffed shield and plush sword for extra comfort.
But best of all, Ricasso was full of stories about adventures in Targimal Land to entertain the little girl until she fell asleep. In her own bed. For as the saying goes, “A hero at play keeps the monsters at bay.”
* * *
Dale Taylor, the little girl’s dad, created a new toy company called Forge of Honor to help children face their fears and feel comfort in the darkest nights. Combating his own fear that the world is becoming a scarier place of misplaced values, Dale wanted to instill character, courage and honor back into childhood through play. Forge of Honor is a new realm of toys and stories that are handcrafted with love — and a noble calling.
Forge of Honor is based on a series of unwritten stories in my head. I imagined the Targimals™ came to me while I was pondering how to help my daughter quash her fear of imaginary bedtime monsters. I was reminded about the importance of imagination and pretend play. Childhood imagination is so precious, we need to encourage it. The Targimals told me the secret of turning a soft, cuddly sword into a monster-fighting tool that teamed with the child, Kids will trounce Scary. — Dale Taylor, Forge of Honor creator
* * *
About Dale Taylor: A sixth-generation Texan, Dale spent his childhood reading and doodling every chance he got. Inspired by writer-illustrators Dr. Seuss, Bill Peet and William Steig, Dale kept doodling through college where, at one point, he lived and cared for his blind grandfather. While chauffeuring his grandfather to the local joint each day, Dale would draw caricatures of all the old World War II and Korean War vets hanging out at a bar at 4 p.m. He joined the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper as art director for the “Class Acts” children’s section. And, at one point, he drew a weekly comic strip called “Not in My Backyard” about a wienerdog and his backyard buddies. As the dot-com frenzy struck, Dale taught himself web design, Flash and all those once-useful programs and designed pages for Philly.com. With those skills and creative genius, he joined a dog-toy company and became the brains behind dozens of successful dog toy products, including the Hide-A-Squirrel, which has been Amazon.com’s top-selling plush dog toy. He also learned the alchemical art of turning ideas into manufacturable products. More than a decade developing toys and games for the pet industry and several filed patents later, Dale is venturing into a new but similar realm with Forge of Honor. Dale lives outside of Denver with his wife and young daughter.
He’d love to hear from you:
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