A Tribute to Guidecraft Founder Fred Fein
It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of Guidecraft’s beloved founder, Fred Fein. In 1966, he took his woodworking hobby a step further and started a business in his small, one-room workshop in Garnerville, NY.
He called his new company Guidecraft and began making wooden toys for young children. Those first wooden figures he made mirrored the conservative 1960s iconic styling of the time, but also reflected a progressive message that Mr. Fein quietly conveyed in each Wedgie. Women were more than mothers – they had careers. Professionals came from a variety of cultures and with different skin tones.
Today, we look with nostalgia on these figures, but 55 years ago, they represented pioneering concepts in education and society. Thousands of Wedgies resembling those original figures are still made and sold every year through our school supply partners, some of which have been Guidecraft customers since the 1960s.
We’re so proud that Guidecraft is built upon the foundation of Fred’s work, followed by his son, Jason’s good work, and we will endeavor to honor his memory by continuing to make smart, pioneering toys that enrich and bring joy to the lives of children all over the world.
Our deepest condolences go out to Fred Fein’s family while we all grieve the loss of an innovator, creator and wonderful man.