How It All Began


The story I’m about to tell you happened a very long time ago. In fact, it happened such a long time ago that nobody on this earth remembers it.

”Then how do we know it’s true?” you might ask yourselves. Well, that’s the thing about stories, you see. You never know. Either you believe in them, or you don’t. It’ your choice.

            So, a really, really long time ago in a land way up North there was a people called The Vikings. The land  was cold and hard and had turned the Vikings into a strong, brave people. (In addition it had made them terribly thirsty for mead, but that’s another story.)

            The Vikings were adventurous and great sailers, and in the summers the men left the farms to their wifes and went off in their longboats to see the world. To be honest, most often they did not settle for just seeing the world, they also tried to conquer it by looting, plundering and pillaging. You see, back in those days there was much less bureaucratic fuzz about ownership and title deeds and the Vikings lived more according to the principle ”finders keepers” and if that meant fighting the ones who actually found the treasure first, then so be it.

            The Viking tribe this particular story is about came from a small village called Thor’s Ridge.  They were somewhat different than other Vikings. They were equally brave and adventurous, however they were not that great sailors. To make a long story short, on their first jorney they took a weird turn and got lost. For days – weeks even – they were drifting around on the cold and lonely ocean and when they finally saw land they thought to have reached the rich coast of Britain. But instead of draughty castles and damp monasteries they found something better. Something they’d never seen before – a paradise island full of toys!

            King Gösta, who was a very democratic king, (and also a little bit sea sick) asked his fellow vikings if this perhaps was a sign from Thor – one of their mighty gods – to quit the sea faring days  and simply stay here in this wonderful place. The rest of the Vikings, who had been somewhat skeptical about the pillaging side of viking life to beging with, all agreed. Not that they were scared, not at all, but all that looting and plundering seemed so brutal.

- It wouldn’t change the fact that we’re Vikings, the jarl and king Gösta’s closest man, concluded. Our quest is just slightly altered.

- Of course we’re still Vikings! king Gösta assured. But instead of conquering the world with fear we’ll conquere it with play!

            And that’s exactly what they did. Soon the lost Vikings on their toy island became a legend that travelled the world faster than any longboat and lasted longer than any foray.   

Many years later, in 1974, the legend reached another Gösta, a man who just happened to live in a small village called Thor’s Ridge in a land way up North. Like his progenitor, Gösta was a brave man with visions. He was also good with numbers and decided it was time to go corporate. That became the birth of Viking Toys and four more than four decades Gösta Kjellme and his fellow Vikings have been united in the noblest quest of them all: to bring happiness and playfulness to all the children in the world!

            And somewhere far out in the ocean are the lost Vikings from Thor’s Ridge still playing on their paradise island full of toys. If you choose to believe the story, anyway. And how can you not?