original PenPalz idea was created by Rob Manca a New York City public
school teacher, closet inventor and father of a young son. Rob created
a rough prototype and called his neighborhood friend Ed Muccini,
a lawyer who had experience in the game and toy business as an inventor
of a once successful board game called TriBond. The minute Ed saw
the prototype he knew this was a great idea. Ed focus grouped the
PenPalz prototype with his four kids (all under 8 years old at the
time). They loved it. Ed went to Toy Fair in 2008 in NYC and showed
the prototypes to many plush companies to gauge interest in licensing
opportunities. Every company said they liked the idea but ultimately
rejected PenPalz for one reason or another. Not deterred, Ed decided
to raise capital and manufacture the PenPalz himself. Ed first asked
his very talented 13 year old nephew Luke to design a Panda. Ed
then hired artists to design a puppy and a turtle. After much trial
and error, Haiku the Panda, Benji the Turtle and Shakes the puppy
my travels to various toy fairs around the country, occupational
therapists, teachers of children with developmental disabilities
and good old regular moms and dads have shown great interest in
using PenPalz to assist children in holding a pencil properly and
keep children interested during writing and penmanship exercises.
We at PenPalz would LOVE to hear any stories of how PenPalz had
a positive effect on your children or students. Thanks!
is truly our hope that PenPalz can teach and promote literature,
learning, penmanship and creativity.