Hit farm toys opening gates to US market after Late, Late boost
Roscommon farmer Padraic Cuddy's toy fields started out as a way to keep his son's possessions in order.
The Field Toys, the remarkable start-up rural enterprise set up on a sheep farm in Roscommon three years ago, is set to tackle the American market this Christmas with its range of 'farming fields' for children.
Chief executive Padraic Cuddy says the initial market testing of Field Toys in the States has been positive and he is hoping they will prove a best-seller in this new market.
Cuddy, a 51-year-old former plant hire man and occasional farmer from Athleague, came up with the idea of creating the rural toy fields - which are carpeted with artificial grass - to corral his then three-year-old son Tommy's growing collection of toy tractors, diggers and farm animals which were scattered all over the family home.
"My wife Annita asked me one day would I do something about the toys, they were all over the place," he explains.
"So I went into the shed and created this field from timber and covered it with the artificial grass, and when Tommy saw it he played in the field for hours on end.
"Then his friends came over and did the same so I had to make them fields for Christmas."
And on that basis of problem solving, Padraic's new company was created -so Tommy was the brainchild for the idea and his friends the first market focus group for the product.