Where Imagination Comes to Life
with Toys That Are Toys
in Play That Is Play
The foundation for Intrix, Inc. was laid during the younger years of the concept coordinator and creative director when they were barely old enough to be in school. They entertained themselves for hours as they made up stories and created stuffed animals to go with them. But as time went on, each found interest in other things until...
Years later the concept coordinator created the first rag doll for her two year old daughter. Instead of a stiff and rigid doll, this one had arms that would bend at the shoulder and elbow, and legs that would bend at the hip and knee. She was easy to dress in clothes that were quality sewn and washable. The doll, having been treasured and treated with care, is still in excellent condition although she was re-stuffed several years ago.
Two more dolls were soon made for young relatives. Decades later, they too are still around although they did look a little worse for the wear. Pictures of Penny and Susan are in the dolls' Makeovers page. Developmental work on the doll was minimal during the next years as family, school and work took precedence and left little time for other activities.
With the turn of the 21st century, small slots of time became available for developing the doll's basic design and wardrobe items. Sources of satisfactory materials were searched out and eventually located, a somewhat fluctuating process in today's world of fashion. Machine embroidery was substituted for the hand stitching on the doll's face and pink embroidered fingernails were added.
The dolls' designer wardrobe grew extensively as new designs, colors, and styles were added. The prototypes were mostly hits, some better than others, some unexpected successes, but sometimes there were misses when the garment just didn't work for the doll. Soft fabric button boots for daytime and furry slippers for night wear are particularly nice. Their Wardrobe page showcases some of their clothing.
After months of struggling with posing soft rag dolls, we made three dolls with an internal frame, a skeleton of sorts, that made posing and photographing them much easier (but even though these photo models are the same doll, they are definitely not very soft or huggable).
Eventually the concept coordinator and creative director began working together and once again stuffed animals and stories began to develop. We began learning about print layout, book making, and printing and we discovered we could make our own first copies of the books we were writing, but it was definitely a labor intensive undertaking. (Writing: The Final Step gives an overview of the how-to for making a paperback book.) The Intrix Editions of the dolls' stories are made in this way and are still available to order.
Then came on-demand printing and, drawing on her years in education, Virginia put her award winning educational methods books into print so they would be easily available to teachers and parents. This website was set up, in part, to enable teachers and parents free viewing and download of the content of these books.
As we prepared to bring the dolls and their books to market, we realized third party testing would be necessary for both dolls and their garments. We contracted with a great product testing laboratory here in the United States and with their assistance we navigated our way through toy and garment safety standards (including the required testing for flammability, use and abuse, and metal contamination), made the necessary changes, and are now pleased to include Certificates of Compliance on our website.
As the company developed and its products and mission became more clearly defined, we realized the Intrix Doll was not just a common ordinary doll (quoted from Chapter 15 in Overnight Delivery), but an elegant and engaging update of a 5,000 year old tradition, truly Yesterday's Doll for the Girl of Today. Two stories are already in print and a third is waiting in the wings. They are appropriate for any age and engage the reader without the use of violence, bad language, or sexual innuendos.
Alex Pong and Virginia Pong, brother and sister, in their younger years
Two authors collaborate under the pseudonym A. V. Pong.
First generation American Virginia Pong was born to immigrant parents in the shadow of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. While her mother was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from its ivied halls, her father fled a war torn China of the early twentieth century with only a grade school education. With a brash boldness he talked himself into his first job as an electrical engineer at General Electrical, a tool designer in Detroit, and finally as an engineer in aerospace. Raised the youngest of six children, two brothers and three cousins, Virginia learned to read and write before starting school. She is a graduate of Northwestern Michigan College, the University of Washington, and the University of California.
As a teacher in the vast California public school system, Virginia taught a wide range of students from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds ranging from the not so gifted to the brilliant and all of those in between. Nominated by her former students she was twice included in Who’s Who among America’s Teachers. In addition to teaching third grade through graduate school, her background includes consultant with Harcourt Brace Jovanovich text books, social services, and human resources administration. Virginia has competed in the international challenging event of racewalking, set a national record in masters competition, taken national titles, and won team gold at the World Veterans’ Games. She is a USA Track and Field certified official and coach and every racewalking athlete with whom she has worked won either a national title, a national record, or both.
Alex Pong, Virginia's brother, began telling stories almost before he could talk. At the age of three, sitting on a stack of Sears and Roebuck mail order catalogs at the family dining table set for nine (mother, father, two siblings, and four English refuges—aunt and three cousins), he would hammer on his plate with his spoon like a judge gaveling a court to order. “I want to talk!” And talk he did, conjuring up all kinds of outrageous tales.
By age twelve and afflicted with an addiction to what his mother called “penny dreadfuls,” he knew he wanted above all things in life to create a family of serial characters around which to stage an endless parade of magical yarns.
But as with so many story tellers, it wasn’t long before his story telling affected his schooling and the pressure on him to spurn his addiction began to build. It was time “they” said, to get serious about something at which he could earn an honest living…doctor, lawyer, engineer, etc. So for too many seasons his focus switched to more palpable things like airplanes and engines and cars, but he never gave up reading the penny dreadfuls his mother so deplored. And despite a long and circuitous “outside the box” resume of activities, he never gave up wanting to create a hero or heroine and a villain or villainess that would stand the test of time.
It has been a long road “less traveled” but with the characters in the current books, those in process and those yet to come, Alex is finally satisfied that at last he has the family of characters for which he has so long searched.
Founders of Intrix, Inc.
Alex Pong and Virginia Pong
We would be glad to hear from you. We check our emails once a day and sometimes twice so you may not hear back from us immediately. Please note that on occasion an email may disappear into cyberspace, so if you do not hear from us, we apologize and do try to contact us again by phone or email. Our telephone messages come through most of the time, but unfortunately not always. You may email us directly at office@IntrixInc.com
We are here most days during regular workday hours.
209 North Harrison Street, Raymond, WA 98577 US