Governor Paul LePage of Maine has announced that manufacture of Lincoln Logs, the iconic toy logs used by generations of American children, will be moving to Burnham. Previously manufactured in China, Lincoln Logs will be moving to Pride Manufacturing in Burnham, Maine.
About 80 percent of Lincoln Logs will be produced in Maine once Pride is up and running at capacity, according to WCSH6, a local news station. The production will mean between five and ten new jobs with nearly all Lincoln Logs being sold in the United States and Canada coming from that facility.
Lincoln Logs were invented by John Lloyd Wright, son of the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The idea came to him, he said, when he watched a building going up floor-by-floor and thought a toy set for kids based on that principle would be fun. He eventually came up with the basic Lincoln Logs design and named them after America's famous president, known for being born in a log cabin.
Lincoln Logs are currently owned by K'NEX, who moved manufacture to China several years ago for economic reasons. They are now returning the manufacture to the U.S. and are quoted by NBC News as saying that they "couldn't be happier" about that. Pride Manufacturing has been contracted to build Lincoln Logs and will add between five and ten jobs to its workforce of about 130 to fulfill the contract.
A split in manufacturing for Lincoln Logs will mean that the plastic parts making up some of the Lincoln Logs sets (roof frames, etc.) will still be made in China, but wooden parts will be made in Maine. Because wooden parts make up the bulk of a Lincoln Logs set, the toy will now be labeled Made in the USA.
Production of the toy logs has already started at the Burnham, Maine plant. Pride Manufacturing was chosen because they already work almost exclusively in wood products, including wooden golf accessories and cigar tips. The Portland Press Herald reports that wood manufacturing in Maine is on the rise as trends turn towards returning it to the U.S.
K'NEX, which makes many popular toys and is based in Pennsylvania, has been moving production of many of its products to the U.S. The company owns its own brand of building toys as well as others such as Tinkertoy, Angry Birds and PacMan. Lincoln Logs moved to Burnham after company executives were invited to tour the factory and liked what they saw. Pride Manufacturing says that the machinery used to build the Lincoln Logs at its facility were built in-house as well, at a nearby machine shop in their Gilford facility.
"We're very proud to see K'NEX coming to Maine to bring back the Lincoln Log," said Governor LePage at a press conference. "It is critical that we not only continue to do a good job with this quality product, but if we focus in on bringing back manufacturing, we can get more products in and that is the future."