Odin Parker, a Unique Wooden Toy Company in Rancho Mission Viejo

The company is owned by Atila Lotfi and his wife, Blakeslee.
Photograph by Emily J. Davis

Tell us about Odin Parker.
Our focus is wooden, heirloom-quality toys for kids up to age 5. When my wife was pregnant with our son, Jackson, we were looking for toys and had a really hard time finding things that we liked. The only options seemed to be loud, bright, battery-operated plastic toys. Nothing aesthetically pleasing in a way that if you left it out in your living room, you wouldn’t mind looking at it. But we found that small-toy makers in Europe were making these great wooden toys, and we asked if we could sell them in the U.S.

Why the move from Oregon to Orange County this spring?
My wife and I actually used to live in Orange County, but in 2017 when we had Jackson, we moved to Oregon to be closer to family. We missed Orange County so much, and we were so excited to come back and move our business out of our home to an office and warehouse space.

Did the pandemic affect your business?
We were very fortunate, and sales of our educational toys especially grew with parents having to teach kids at home. People realized that kids quickly get bored with battery-operated toys. With wooden toys, you have to rely on your imagination.

Can you tell us about the company’s social mission?
We partner with Children’s Hunger Fund. When someone purchases something on our website, it says exactly how many meals that will provide for kids in need. After college, I worked for Project 7, which is an O.C. candy company whose main focus is giving back. It really instilled the idea in me that whatever your business is, you should be giving back.

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