The ToyBox Tales Journey

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to finally launch the ALL NEW website!

The birth and growth of ToyBox Tales is such a surprise and delight to me! It’s kinda been the accidental ministry I founded! What began as simple a creative way to teach one story at Camp Timber-lee is 2001 and grown into a ministry tool that is used in hundreds of churches – and seen by more children than I care to even estimate, but certainly thousands. (It’s a little embarrassing! A grown man known for playing with his toys!)

The ToyBox Tales website has been separate journey in itself. First, it was just a single page on my church website. I had no idea members were peeking on my church website to see what I was actually doing in my church ministry until the one week I didn’t do one and was flooded with urgent “Where’s this week’s tale?!?!?” e-mails. I had no idea this crazy idea already had a following. So I quickly registered and started a website to host them there. But as a static site, it had it limitations. People wanted to be able to search by topic, characters or toys used. ToyBox Tales was kinda this huge kid I took in that always wanted to be fed, but I was usually too busy with my church ministry and to devote much time to it. Just getting the videos uploaded was challenging enough. But people continued to come here, enjoy the videos and share them with others. I get introduced more often now as the “ToyBox Tales guy” than I do as Kidology founder or any other line on my bio. I’ve had fans show up at conferences with home made ToyBox Tales t-shirts, and ask me to pose for pictures holding an action figure! I even had one lady at CPC claim to recognize my hands at dinner after I answered affirmatively to her question, “Are you Pastor Karl?” I’ve been self-conscience about my hands ever since!  (j/k)

When I went full time with in 2006 and felt the relief of having so much on my plate, one of the first things I did was start to think about re-doing this site. But alas, it still took longer than I’d have liked! Finally, we went with an easier approach that would be cost-effective, searchable, and allow some flexibility without having to pay Big Bucks for a custom programmed site. So we went with a WordPress site. It has its limitations, but for our purposes, will serve us well.

I also turned to some friends for help. Chad Gilchrist, a children’s ministry whiz while still in high school, and a techno whiz kid at the same time, invested countless hours transfering the content and converting the videos to flash for much easier viewing online, especially for the many kids who come to this site. We opted against YouTube hosting because we can’t control the “related videos” and don’t want to be a doorway to videos kids shouldn’t be watching and have them tell their parents ToyBox Tales recommended it!

The site is searchable, as well as now has a very long list of categories included the figures used in the tales. Chad did the tedious job on watching and categorizing all the videos. You can check out his website at where he gives out Mac tips and tricks.

Next, I turned to a favorite Kidology resource, Ken Kinard, from Accent Interactive. He designed the template for the site as well as new packaging you’ll be seeing soon on our ToyBox Tales products, soon to be released. Finally, I relied on a long time friend, dating back to my days in the Philippines, Dennis Dimongondayao, who is now a free lance programmer and designer in Canada.

THANK YOU CHAD, KEN and DENNIS for helping me get this new site ready to launch!

One Response to “The ToyBox Tales Journey”

  1. Ken Says:

    What a great collaboration, Karl. Congrats on the new site. What will you and your tiny character friends come up with next? Only your new site will tell.