"Knuckle down" is a fun catchphrase for the folks at Marble King, because they not only work hard, but they've got game! On our recent visit, small business owner Beri Fox took the time to show my girls how to hold the marble and "knuckle down" or shoot it across a game board. She showed us the flat concrete space where a traditional game of marbles would start with an x inside a large circle. For years, her company has sponsored the National Marbles Tournament
in New Jersey. She also proved that the unique way Marble King marbles are made means they can bounce on a hard surface.
|Marble King CEO Beri Fox|
While the factory is not open to the public, Marble King hosts a nearby gift shop in Paden City, West Virginia. The shop offers collectibles, game boards and a fun wagon where you can fill a cloth bag with your choice of marbles for well under $5.
We purchased a handmade wooden chute for our family that came with a leather pouch of marbles. The local gift shop thoughtfully carries art glass items, hand-sewn toys and wooden toys all handmade nearby. Some of these are available online via the Marble King
catalog. The company also works with various retailers who want to offer a special Made in the USA product, sometimes with private labeling.
Fox showed us some unique glow-in-the-dark glass that may be used for marbles, although I'm not sure those are for sale yet.
We want to say thank you for the gift of West Virginia logo marbles and colorful t-shirts for the girls!
Since Marble King is the only remaining US manufacturer of toy marbles, I asked Fox if that's the brand I would typically find in popular discount stores. Her answer was "no." If you don't see a Marble King or Made in the USA label, you might want to ask your retailer about them.
Labels: conscious consumerism, made in the USA, parenting, toys