Greetings from the Lapp Family!
Lapp’s Toys is a small, family-owned business nestled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania which specialized in toy product manufacturing. The company was started in the late 1970s when my father’s cousin was no longer able to work within construction, and wanted to use his skills to do something else that he enjoyed. Starting small, he opened the business offering only a few products. Thirty-five years later, we offer over 100 different specialty items, including some from his original, classic patterns.
I first entered the business in 1995 at age 15, and steadily worked my way up from sanding and assembling small parts to sorting and cutting lumber down to size. These days, I spend most of my time in the wood shop, operating machinery and completing final sandings. My brother, Amos, found his niche in the paint room in 2003, before moving to construction in 2006 so that he could work outdoors.
In the fall of 2007, our original owner decided it was time to move on and spend more time with family. It was then I decided that if I could convince Amos and Dad (Jonathan) to join me in a partnership, I would be willing to move from employee to employer. I would manage the woodshop, Amos the pain room, and Dad would manage sales and shipping. Amos agreed with the idea of going back into woodworking and, as it worked out, my Dad was feeling ready to hand over his dairy farm to someone a bit younger. A young family in our church was looking for a farm to rent for a few years so they moved to ours in November of 2007. This left Dad available to join Amos and me in a partnership to purchase the business, including the current inventory and equipment. The previous owner also agreed to lease the building to us. Things worked out well, and we were excited to start our new venture. The partnership opened for business on January 2, 2008. We enlarged and renovated the showroom right away to make room for our new designs, and added a 14’ door to allow us to bring lumber in more efficiently.
In 2009, the CPSIA Law went into effect prohibiting certain chemicals in children’s toys and products. Our paint suppliers have been a great assistance through this, supplying us with stains and paints that are in compliance with all safety regulations and contain no leads or harmful toxins. The safety of our products is important to us, and we put lots of focus on maintaining these standards.
With Amos in the paint room, and Dad taking care of sales and shipping, we quickly realized that I needed more help in the woodshop. In 2010, my youngest brother Elam, came abroad to help. Our business was increasing quickly, and production was beginning to become too much for the smaller building. In the spring of 2012, we started looking for our own property with a larger building than the one we were leasing. We had fully outgrown the building, and weren’t able to be as efficient as we felt we should be. In the fall of 2012, we found the building we were looking for, although it was run down and needed some major work. It was within a few miles of the original location and had plenty of room. We were determined to make the needed repairs and move the business.
Late in the Fall of 2012, we purchased the property, and then began renovations just after our Christmas rush. In January of 2013, we started the largest cleanup project I ever hope to be involved with (outside of natural disasters.) The cold and windy weather made me long for a nice, warm woodshop where I could do what I love—play with toys! We were finally ready to move in late-March. We had been doing cleanup and renovations for over 2 months and were anxious to get back to toy manufacturing. Our crew had been helping prepare the building while we renovated, to keep things moving quickly. Even my oldest brother, Gideon, who works in construction for Narvon Run Builders, had a crew helping for over six weeks. We couldn’t wait to be back in business!
In the Fall of 2014, Amos had an opportunity to buy his wife’s home farm and get back into dairy farming. This seemed the perfect adventure for him since we grew up on a farm, so in January of 2015, I bought Amos’ share of the partnership. We were 50/50 partners for 7 years, so it was quite an adjustment for me, though I was lucky to find a great replacement for Amos. As the years go by, I’ve been happy with the new property (better efficiency), but focused on the same goal: to improve efficiency so we can keep our prices as low as possible, giving our customers great value on the products that they buy, while also having competitive wages for our employees.
We primarily service wholesale customers within a few hours of Lancaster. We stock all of our products, although we can run low in the Fall (before Christmas). Our 18” doll furniture has always been a good seller (offering over 20 different pieces), while the small, very classic toys have really helped the business grow over the past few years. We try to develop 3-6 new designs each Spring. Products range from all-wooden children’s kitchen and dining room play sets, to small cars, trucks, and wooden key chains. Our handmade marble track rollers fascinate both young and old with switch tracks stairways and bells. To eliminate the choking hazard of marbles, we also carry tracks that are designed to use small cars or 1 ½” wooden balls (in addition to holding marbles).
The Lancaster County Showcase and wholesale shows have been great ways to find new dealers, allowing us to keep growing. Our display is one of several other local manufacturers. You’ll find low-priced items that are great additions to your store, giving your customers quality hand-crafted, low-priced items to choose from, and reducing your foot traffic with no sales. From birdhouses and mailboxes to rocking horses and spice mates, you’ll find it all at the Showcase.
Due to another increase in sales and demand, in the Spring of 2013, we outgrew our facility once again, and moved to our current location of 2220 Horseshoe Road, Lancaster, PA 17601 Please stop at the recently expanded showroom Monday- Friday, 7am – 5pm and Saturday, 8am – 5pm, or visit us online at www.LappsToys.com. Closed Sundays and religious holidays. Call for a free catalog (717) 945-5366. We look forward to supplying you with quality toys for many years!