K’NEX® Brands and The Rodon Group: Building An American-Made Holiday Season

Hatfield, PA, (November 2012)—At a time when most toys are made overseas, K’NEX Brands, the only U.S. construction toy company focused on Building Worlds Kids Love TM®, is committed to making toys in the USA!

K’NEX has become America’s Building Toy Company–over 95% of its parts are manufactured by The Rodon Group, K’NEX’s sister company. In business since 1956, the Rodon Group makes billions of parts each year in its 125,000 square foot eco-friendly facility and is one of the largest family-owned and operated injection molders in the United States. In addition to manufacturing K’NEX parts, The Rodon Group serves a diverse group of industries including consumer products, medical, fenestration, construction, and pharmaceutical.

Both K’NEX and The Rodon Group–third generation, family-owned businesses located in Hatfield, PA–are active members of American Made Matters, an organization whose mission is to educate consumers about buying US-made products to help strengthen the American Dream.

One of the hottest toys this holiday season, the K’NEX 50 Model Building Set, was recently featured on the TODAY Show and includes 700 made in the USA rods and connectors and building ideas for 50 unique models!

“We’ve learned that the more items we are able to manufacture at home, the more people we can employ. If every American were to spend just $64 a year on things Made in the USA, 200,000 new jobs would be created,” said Michael Araten, President & CEO of K’NEX & The Rodon Group. “Spending our dollars on Made in the USA goods enables our whole economy to get stronger and with that our whole country becomes stronger. You just have to take that extra second and look at the label. Together, we can build a better America.”

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About The Rodon Group

The Rodon Group is an ISO 9001:2008 certified landfill-free, plastic injection molder. In business since 1956, The Rodon Group makes billions of parts each year in its 125,000 square foot facility. With over 105 injection molding presses, Rodon is one of the largest family-owned and operated plastic injection molders in the United States. Since 1992, Rodon has manufactured over 30 billion parts for the K’NEX building toy system, and is a subsidiary of K’NEX Brands, L.P. For more information, please visit www.rodongroup.com

About K’NEX Brands

Founded in 1992, K’NEX Brands, the world’s most innovative construction toy company, was established to make and sell what has become one of the world’s leading integrated construction systems for children. Winner of over 250 international awards and recognitions, K’NEX is America’s building toy company focused on Building Worlds Kids Love, and encourages youngsters to “imagine, build and play.” Since 1992, The Rodon Group, a subsidiary of K’NEX Brands, L.P., has manufactured over 31 billion parts for the K’NEX building toy system. For more information, please visit www.knex.com or www.rodongroup.com.


ADAMSTOWN, P.A. (November 9, 2012) – American Made Matters® celebrated the addition of their one hundredth member on November 6, 2012. American Made Matters®, founded on July 4, 2009, has a mission of educating consumers that buying US-made products strengthens the American dream. By proactively engaging with over 8,000 of their fans on their Facebook page, over 1,200 of their followers on their Twitter account, and over 800 subscribers to their newsletter, American Made Matters® is strengthening their mission every day. American Made Matters® directs consumers who may struggle with finding US-made products to their website which lists the logos of their members and sponsors.

The members of American Made Matters® sell a variety of US-made products including hats, caps, shirts, jeans, belts, bags, underwear, pants, toys, socks, pet supplies, vacuum cleaners, Christmas tree ornaments, t-shirts, jewelry, bedding, towels, sunglasses, and shoes. These members come from thirty one of the fifty United States.

American Made Matters® was founded by manufacturers and is run by manufacturers and is a consumer movement not a political movement. While policies that support American manufacturing are needed and welcomed, the organization is not holding out for a solution from the U.S. Government. It seeks to build US manufacturing by connecting consumers with US made products.

According to Don Rongione, Founder of American Made Matters® and CEO of Bollman Hat Company, “American Made Matters® is focused on American citizens, the largest consumers of world goods, and helping them understand why American made does matter to all of us. The reasons are compelling including jobs, the economy, America’s security and independence, America’s safety, local communities and strengthening the American dream. It is what we can do for our country and our future!”

American Made Matters® seeks to translate the knowledge of the importance of a strong U.S. manufacturing base into action through their members’ use of the American Made Matters® logo on the member company’s products, packaging and marketing materials. The American Made Matters® logo, a common branding identity, has come to symbolize American made craftsmanship, durability, quality, product safety and ingenuity. As it continues to gain awareness and recognition, it increasingly will be sought by Americans who understand that buying American made matters.

There is power in numbers and the American Made Matters® organization is growing. The voices of their members are being heard and more and more consumers are looking for American made products.

For more information about American Made Matters®, please visit: www.AmericanMadeMatters.com.

Local retailer sponsoring event highlighting U.S.-made products

Local retailer sponsoring event highlighting U.S.-made products

By Donna Goodison
Thursday, October 11, 2012

An “all-American” pop-up market is headed to Boston’s South End this month.

Thirty-plus vendors will sell made-in-the-USA clothing, footwear and accessories at the Oct. 20-21 “American Field” event at the old power station building at 540 Harrison Ave.

Ball and Buck, a Boston retailer of U.S.-made men’s fashions, is hosting the free event.

“It’s kind of a full American experience,” founder Mark Bollman IV told the Herald. “The whole goal is to take this momentum building behind the made-in-the-USA movement and the pride behind the made-in-the-USA label … and highlight the (companies) doing their part by keeping manufacturing here and making great products in the USA.”

If every consumer spent 5 percent more on U.S.-made goods, it would create a million domestic jobs and help the domestic economy, said Bollman, who sits on the board of American Made Matters, an Adamstown, Pa., group trying to educate consumers about how buying U.S.-made products impacts the country.

American Field also will include food trucks, live music from six bands, laser engraving of sunglasses by Randolph Engineering, workers hand-sewing shoes from Maine’s Rancourt & Co. Shoecrafters, and Ball and Buck’s own in-store barber giving hot shaves.

Sterlingwear of Boston, which has made the official U.S. Navy pea coat since 1968 and has men’s and women’s retail lines, will be among the vendors. The company makes all of its clothing in East Boston.

There’s been a surge in awareness of the value of American-made products, according to marketing director Jack Foster.

“You hear it in the political debates, and the younger group (is) starting to become more aware of it because they see it with their parents losing their jobs, losing their homes,” he said. “We’ve been banging the drum for the last 10 years, trying to get people to wake up and notice that it’s not a good thing to send everything offshore.”

Fall River’s Frank Clegg Leatherworks also will sell its products at American Field. In business since 1970, owner Frank Clegg says he’s witnessed various “made in America” movements over the years.

“Every time things get bad, they always come out and want things made in the U.S.,” Clegg said. “I hope it continues, and it’s back to stay. I always like to promote the fact that we’re in the states, and we struggle to make that happen.”

Bollman, meanwhile, hopes American Field can become an annual event that’s duplicated in other cities. “I think it’s as comfortable in Boston as it would be in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta,” the 25-year-old Babson College grad said.

-— dgoodison@bostonherald.com

Grand Opening: CPA Buy American Store!

News Release

Contact:  Michael Stumo, 202.688.5145, cpa@prosperousamerica.org


As of today, the customer dollars you spend.

Won’t be funneled to another country.

By a big department store that buys mostly imports.

As of today, every purchase you make.

Will help an American company.

And will help CPA, not a multinational retailer, get stronger.

To serve your interests.

As of today, you don’t have to say.

“Where can I buy American?  It’s so hard.”

Our online store is live.  

CPA Buy American!

With high quality products.

Excellent socks.  Solid construction.

Made in Wisconsin.  By U.S. workers.

USA raised beef.  Better than the name brands you buy now.

From cattle raised in Kansas.  Processed in Colorado.

By a CPA member company.

CPA brand shirts and jackets.  For men and women.

Made in Kansas.  By union workers.  In our country.

Classic pistols.  Precision machined.

Accuracy and beauty like no other pistol.  Anywhere.

Made in Pennsylvania.  By a CPA member company.

Leather belts.  That last and look great.

Made in Illinois.  Here, in America.

Hats.  For going out in the city or to do chores on the ranch.

Made in Pennsylvania. By a CPA member.

Boys swim trunks.  That are comfortable.  

From a company started by moms who care.  About their sons.

Made in New York.

And we’ll only get more.  In our store.  More products.

Solid quality.  Cheaper shipping over time.  More variety.

If we make a mistake, we’ll fix it for you.

Continuous improvement.  From here on out.

Every way we can.

We want whats best.  For you.  For America.

Starting today.  In the CPA Buy American store.

For our future.


The Coalition for a Prosperous America is a nonprofit organization representing the interests of 2.7 million households through our agricultural, manufacturing and labor members.

A Label That Has Regained Its Luster

Benjamin Rasmussen for The New York Times: John Kieselhorst, Dave Schiff and Scott Prindle, founders of Made.



September 14, 2012

A Label That Has Regained Its Luster

REMEMBER the Chrysler K-car? Dave Schiff, a founder of Made Collection, a new flash-sale site that sells only American-made goods, hopes not.

When he was coming of age in the early ’80s, the phrase “Buy American” was epitomized by Chrysler’s boxy, style-challenged sedan, marketed as a star-spangled rebuke to the sleek imports of the day. In Mr. Schiff’s view, you bought one to satisfy a patriotic duty, not a sense of style. “ ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ came with baggage,” he said.

Times have changed. Even as the “Made in the U.S.A.” label has grown scarce, thanks to the offshore manufacturing in apparel and other industries, it has acquired cachet as a signifier of old-school craftsmanship, even luxury.

The movement has come far enough that Mr. Schiff, a former advertising executive from Miami, believed the time was right to start a Gilt-like shopping site for the Americana set, selling items like shuttle-loom jeans, lace baby dolls and a 19th-century-style baseball made of leather sourced from a Chicago tannery.

“The old ‘Buy American’ is get something lousy and pay more,” said Mr. Schiff, 45. Now “it’s a premium product.”

Style bloggers were among the early adopters. “ ‘Made in U.S.A.’ has gone through a rebranding of sorts,” said Michael Williams, whose popular men’s style blog, A Continuous Lean, has become an online clubhouse for devotees of American-made heritage labels like Red Wing Shoes and Filson.

But the embrace of domestic goods has also moved beyond scruffy D.J. types in Brooklyn who plunk down $275 for a pair of hand-sewn dungarees sewn from Cone denim from the company’s White Oak plant in North Carolina. The adherents now include “urban creatives, high-net-worth individuals, locavores, liberals, conservatives,” said Mr. Williams, who also represents some of these heritage brands as a marketing consultant.

In other words, Americana chic has gone mainstream. Just visit the nearest mall. Club Monaco unveiled a Made in the USA collection last year, in collaboration with Mr. Williams. J. Crew cashes in on Americana chic by selling domestically manufactured Alden shoes, Levi’s Vintage Clothing jeans and Billykirk leather goods. Joseph Abboud’s home page trumpets its collections as “Made in the New America.”

The newfound pride also extends to American cities and smaller communities. Made in Brooklyn is a phenomenon so self-aware, there are stores like By Brooklyn that specialize in products made in the borough. Similarly, an old shoe-polish brand called Shinola has recently been revived to make upscale watches, bicycles and other crafted goods in Detroit and is being promoted as “Made in Detroit.”

And in a survey last year of 1,300 affluent shoppers by Unity Marketing, a Pennsylvania-based consulting and marketing group, respondents ranked the United States first (higher than Italy or France) in perceived manufacturing quality of luxury goods.

Indeed, the “Made in the U.S.A.” label has become chic in the eyes of well-heeled consumers not just in the United States, but also in Asia, said Paulette Garafalo, the president for international, wholesale and manufacturing at Brooks Brothers, which has increased production of shirts, suits and neckwear at its three American factories to meet growing demand. “People want the credibility of an American brand,” she said.

The flight of American factory jobs has even become a heated issue in the presidential race, with President Obama and Mitt Romney trading jabs over being the “Outsourcer in Chief,” to use Mr. Romney’s phrase.

But while American-made goods are now fashionable, few have been willing to stake their professional future on it quite like Mr. Schiff. A former advertising executive at Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami, who oversaw the introduction of Coke Zero, he left the firm in April to start Made with two other veterans from the agency, Scott Prindle and John Kieselhorst.

In a sense, they started two companies, which are based in Boulder, Colo.: Made Collection, the flash-sale site, and Made Movement, an advertising agency that represents companies that manufacture only in America. (“If Apple came to us, we’d have to turn them down,” Mr. Schiff said.)

Unlike the typical Buy American sites, which feature crude graphics and a low-budget hodgepodge of pliers and rain boots, Made Collection has the slick yet earthy look of a Madewell campaign. Edie Ure, a former designer for Ralph Lauren and Anthropologie, serves as the site’s curator, and she gives special consideration to design-forward wares that would not be out of place in a Monocle magazine gift guide.

Recent flash-sale items included a knot-back black swimsuit from Cala Ossidiana, a swimwear company based in New York. It sells for $295 and, according to a graphic accompanying each item, supports six American workers. For those with humbler tastes, there was an O.C.E. Hickory work shirt, produced by inmates in the Oregon correctional system as part of its job-training program, for $26.99.

The company grew out of Mr. Schiff’s conviction that a manufacturing revival was crucial to a lasting economic recovery.

Made now counts 26 employees, and with a minimum of publicity, its site has 10,000 members. The ad agency has signed seven clients, including Emeco chairs, a Pennsylvania-based design company whose product sells at Design Within Reach, and New Belgium Brewing, based in Fort Collins, Colo., which brews Fat Tire ale.

Mr. Schiff practices what he preaches. For a recent lunch at the Ace Hotel in Manhattan, he wore Levi’s premium shuttle-loom 501s made in Los Angeles. His tattooed arms poked out of a blue checked shirt by the boutique design house 8.15 August Fifteenth, made in New York City, which he spruced up with a seersucker bow tie by Gitman Bros., made in North Carolina. The only smudge on the stars-and-stripes tableau was his pair of Vans sneakers made in China.

“I would say most days, I’m at about 75 percent,” he said, referring to how much of his outfit is American made. He never wants to become a fanatic, however. “If you become obsessive about it,” he added, “it’s an imposition versus a choice.”


National Manufacturing Day Event

National Manufacturing Day Event to be held at The Rodon Group on October 5, 2012

Come join us for a tour of our automated tooling and molding facility.

The Rodon Group is hosting an open house at its manufacturing facility at 2800 Sterling Drive, Hatfield, PA in celebration of national Manufacturing Day on October 5, 2012. The open house tours will be conducted at 10 am and 1 pm and are open to the Philadelphia area media community. You can RSVP for The Rodon Group open house by clicking here.

The Rodon Group manufactures K’NEX™ Construction Toys for our sister company as well as other custom manufactured parts. Visitors will get a behind the scenes look at our design and machine rooms as well as our plastic injection mold presses.

The Rodon Group is a high volume, small plastic parts specialist. We provide world class efficiency, exceptional tool quality and work with each client from concept to completion. We are an ISO 9001:2008 certified, landfill-free plastic injection molder. With over 105 injection molding presses, Rodon is one of the largest family owned and operated injection molders in the United States. We serve a diverse group of industries including consumer products, medical, construction, pharmaceutical and toys.

Manufacturing Day is sponsored by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), the U.S. Commerce Department’s Hollings, Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and The Manufacturing Institute as well as dozens of other national and regional manufacturing organizations. People who are interested in learning more about Manufacturing Day and signing up to visit companies in their community can log on to www.mfgday.com.

We hope you can attend this worthwhile event and show your support of American Manufacturing and its impact on our local economy. You can RVSP for The Rodon Group open house by clicking here (should link to: http://www.mfgday.com/event/47).

For more information about The Rodon Group, contact Paula Hynes at 215-822-5544 ext. 134. You can also email us at marketing@rodongroup.com.

K’NEX® & Philadelphia Eagles Build Giant Angry Birds™ Set!

K’NEX® & Philadelphia Eagles Build Giant Angry Birds™ Set! Visit Love Park in Philadelphia, September 4th, for your chance to Knock It Down!

Hatfield, PA – August 2012 – K’NEX Brands, the only US construction toy company focused on Building Worlds Kids Love™, has teamed up with the Philadelphia Eagles in celebration of their mutual partnerships with Rovio and Angry Birds, and, together have created a giant-size version of the K’NEX Angry Birds Hammin’ Around building set!

Eagles, Angry Birds and K’NEX fans are invited to Love Park in Center City Philadelphia on Tuesday September 4th from 11:30 am – 2:00 pm to try their hands at this bigger than life-size Angry Birds set for a chance to win cool prizes! In addition, fans will also have a chance to meet Eagles Players, cheerleaders and Swoop. This event celebrates the September 4th launch of the new Eagles’ branded Angry Birds Facebook game, with new levels releasing after every Eagles game! As a bonus, K’NEX staffers will be handing out free samples of the new K’NEX Angry Birds sets to the first 1,000 attendees to celebrate the newly released K’NEX Angry Birds Building sets, available at toy stores everywhere, now!

Additionally, a giant, life-sized version of the Mighty Philadelphia Eagle, who will be featured in the Eagles Angry Birds game, will be making an appearance. Fans can take pictures of themselves with the Mighty Philadelphia Eagle and upload them to the Eagles’ Facebook page for a chance to win season tickets. The event is free and open to everyone in the Philadelphia area. K’NEX & the Philadelphia Eagles look forward to seeing you there!

For more information please contact Kate Loffio at K’NEX, 215-996-4209, or Brett Strohsacker at the Philadelphia Eagles, 215-339-6759.


About K’NEX Brands Founded in 1992, K’NEX Brands, the world’s most innovative construction toy company, was established to make and sell what has become one of the world’s leading integrated construction systems for children. Winner of over 200 international awards and recognitions, K’NEX is America’s building toy company focused on Building Worlds Kids Love, and encourages youngsters to “imagine, build and play.” Since 1992, The Rodon Group, a subsidiary of K’NEX Brands, L.P., has manufactured over 30 billion parts for the K’NEX building toy system. For more information, please visit www.knex.com or www.rodongroup.com.

Exclusive Interview with Don Rongione, Founder of American Made Matters


 Exclusive Interview with Don Rongione, Founder of AmericanMadeMatters.com

Exclusive interview with Don Rongione, Founder of AmericanMadeMatters.com and President and CEO of America’s oldest hatmaking company, Bollman Hat Company. Hear firsthand about their organization’s mission to educate consumers, how America lost its competitiveness, and why purchasing American-made goods is important to turning around our lagging economy .

Click here to listen to this exclusive interview!

The CEO of Bollman Hat Co. is on a crusade

The CEO of Bollman Hat Co. is on a crusade to convince people that the ‘American Made’ label means better jobs and better quality.

To read the full article, click here: http://businessweekly.readingeagle.com/?p=4984

Don Rongione, Founder & President, of American Made Matters stands outside the Bollman Hat Company in Adamstown, PA.

Walter Rotkiske hand shapes a hat at Bollman Hat Co.
Kay Crockett hardens a hat at Bollman Hat Co.
Orville Wagner does a process called white multirolling at Bollman Hat Co., Adamstown.