Sunday, March 25, 2012

Epoch Play House

I bought this vintage (1973) Epoch Play House last year on eBay. I recall it being a "Buy it Now" for $25 or so, and I was definitely intrigued when I saw it. I have not been very successful in finding out more about this set; I do know that Epoch is a very well-known and successful Japanese toy maker that has been around since the late 1950s. The company makes Calico Critters and many other popular toys.

This set really reminds me of Creative Playthings doll house furnishings -- the profiles are simple and pure with a mid century flair. The well-constructed pieces in this Epoch house are scaled closest to 1:24 and are all wood with some plastic. The house consists of a square tray with a lip and two interlocking wood panels that create four rooms with doorways and a sloping roof. The roof is red/orange plastic with a hole for the chimney. No screws or anything here...just some tabs on the underside of the roof.

I've had the house sitting in its original box on a shelf all these many months and have been tempted many times in the past to try it out. I was doing some work outside today and felt like shooting photos in the lovely natural afternoon light -- the set seemed a compact and hassle-free way to "play" as my steaks marinated for the grill ;)

Here's the front and back of the original box:

Note that the recommended ages for play are "4-8." Ahem.

I placed all the furniture in to complete the setup:

Of course, those nice bare walls and floor called out for some pattern and color, so I pulled some sheets of paper and gathered a few small accessories to animate the spaces.

I had a good time playing and was reminded of my other portable doll houses, such as the "Fold-Away" doll house from the 1940s and the 1960s pop-up house from Winthrop Toys. I might have to bring those out again soon...!

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned my discovery of Lomography mini camera key chains. Well, I am sharing the love with the spring ***FREE ALERT*** on the Call of the Small Facebook page where you can enter for a chance to win your own! Comment on this photo by April 15 and you may end up with one! Good luck!
Credits: All furnishings are by Epoch; bunny wall art are stickers by Shinzi Katoh; bathroom wall paper is Japanese origami paper; living room wall paper is scrapbook paper from Michael's; kitchen wallpaper is Pebbles "Rings" paper from Lee's Art Supply. Accessories are Lundby, AG Minis, Michael's, random eBay finds, and from Lee's Art Supply.

The time it took me: 57 minutes 


  1. this house is sweet and cool and has so many possibilities - i love it! can't believe it was in your shelf for such a long time, it deverves to be fotographed in the outside.
    I hope the steaks were good too?
    greetings from germany
    btw i love the camera-keychains too.

    1. Thanks, Oese! I knew you would like this house ;) It was indeed on my shelf for close to a YEAR! The steaks turned out well, although I had a few complaints that one cooked a little too long...I think I was distracted! Hugs.

  2. Replies
    1. Why, thank YOU on my RE-DO, Florine!

  3. So adorable!!!! Even adorable as it is, have you considered sawing off the current furniture and redoing them? Craft foam is very handy for miniature furniture, and if you don't like the current furniture it's easy to replace.

  4. I had one when I was a little girl. Still have it, but was passed on to my nieces, and pieces were lost though the years. I loved it though - it was my travel dollhouse. I'd take on trips and play with it in the back seat. A number of years ago, my dad and I reproduced one with a wooden case. The house sits on top of the case rather than the base. Enjoy - I like how you've decorated it.