Wednesday, August 1st, 2007
Kids Crooked House: A Playhouse for Looney Tunes Fans
There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse.
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.
Three years ago, Glen Halliday wanted to buy a creative playhouse for his kids. Like all of us, he set out to find one "that was more than a shed and less than $10,000."
Finding nothing suitable, he went on a cartoon binge and woke up three days later with the idea of building a crooked house. As they say, it was an instant hit. His young kids signed a notarized contract promising to never commit him to a nursing home, and all the neighborhood kids asked Halliday to adopt them. Or so I imagine.
Today, Halliday and his cousin Jeff Leighton operate Kids Crooked House, makers of the coolest playhouses on the planet. There is no official or even implied relationship to Looney Tunes cartoons, but aren’t they the first thing that spring to mind?
The basic house footprint is a single room 4 x 6 feet with an 8-foot roof. The houses are handcrafted and painted in Maine from 2 x 4 boards and assembled with nails, screws and bolts. They have bright colors with angled beams, every cut a compound angle. Assembly reportedly takes 30 minutes by two adults.
The starting package purchasable online is $1,449 unpainted with optional add-ons including a front porch and roof dormer. Many variations and custom designs are possible, such as a junkyard gas station, castle or wagon house. Home delivery rates range from $630 to about $1,000 in various US states. You can pick up your playhouse free from the company in Windham, Maine, but be prepared to cart away an oversized pallet weighing 800 lbs.
I’m pretty sure you could open a daycare center, plant one of these houses in a highly visible area and be pushing away prospective parents by the end of the week.
Perhaps the best aspect of owning a crooked playhouse is that when your kid outgrows it, you can sell it to your local miniature golf course.
Kids Crooked House recently won the Yahoo! Ultimate Connection Contest, receiving a $25,000 Yahoo! Search Marketing budget. A video interview of Halliday with his crooked houses is below.