Role playing is an essential component to acting and a company known as “Props in a Box” is dedicated to providing kits full of Costumes, backdrop and other props that help kids play creatively and subsequently strengthen both storytelling abilities and interpersonal skills. The sets offered by Props in a Box promote children to use the Movie Maker app—which is equipped with a feature known as “Story Starters”—to film themselves in costume and even add special effects and name credits like a real movie.

While companies such as Great Pretenders, Rubies and Just Pretend Kids produce costumes, Theatric Toys focuses on using costumes to promote cognitively beneficial play. All the “Props in a Box” (or “Props in a Bag” as their smaller line is called) are gender-neutral and appeal to a wide age range.


Ross Garner, the COO of Theatric Toys, has harbored a life-long love of imaginative play toys and it was this passion, coupled with his experience working in PR for the Toy Industry, that led him to establish Theatric Toys in 2015 with his partner, Samantha Martin.

“We wanted all our products to focus on imaginative play and felt the name was perfect,” Ross explained. “It’s reminiscent of a time when kids had big trunks and boxes filled with costumes to play dress up!” All of the company’s costumes are original and unlicensed which paves the way for limitless play. “It was too simple to be the princess from a movie or a superhero on a billboard,” Ross stated.

“Why not be a fisherman who is catching aliens on Planet Marshmallow, or a pirate on the hunt for dinosaur eggs? All our products are made of felt. We stayed away from glues and adhesives. We wanted to provide a product that looked and felt like the parents had made it themselves.”


At present, Theatric Toys has two lines of toys “Props in a Box” and “Props in a Bag.” The outfits in the Props in a Box sets are unexpected pairings such as “The Princess & The Chef,” “The Fisherman& The Astronaut,” “The Dino & The Pirate,” and “The Doctor & The Farmer.” The kits in the “Props in a Bag” line are simpler and contain a single character such as “The Superhero,” “The Magician,” “The Builder” and “The Camper.” All the costumes are soft, high-quality and surprisingly detailed given their intentionally home-made feel.

Although the lines primarily focuses on physical fabrics as a means of play, Ross also wanted to find a way to combine such nostalgic play with modern technology. “To do this we created the Props in a Box Movie Maker App,” he explained. “The app allows kids to become directors as well as actors and actresses. It also features story starters, which generates ideas for kids to act out.” The app also lets users save their videos and include special effects such as rain, lightening, underwater bubbles and classic-comic graphics. All the videos saved on the app are designed to be easily shared on social media.


Theatric Toys has been steadily growing in the past year due to support from customers, retailers such as Toys R Us and the media. “In ten years we hope to become a leading company in promoting the importance of pretend play since Creativity is absolutely vital to kids’ cognitive growth,” Ross declared. “Positive feedback from users – and happy kids – really makes it all worthwhile.” The company’s next big event will be the Toy Fair in New York City in February 2017 where they plan to showcase existing items and unveil some new releases.

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