Lincoln Logs, the nearly century old popular building toy created by the son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, is finally returning home. K’Nex, the toymaker currently responsible for the popular building toy, plans to bring the manufacturing of the toys to Burnham, Maine, after decades of being manufactured in China.

“With such an iconic brand like Lincoln Logs, which has been made in China for the last almost 60 years, we’ve been working on bringing it back for the last four years. We’ve had some fits and starts, but finally have a supply chain built,” said K’Nex CEO Michael Araten.

Pride Manufacturing has won a three-year contract to manufacture the toys and has spent the last seventeen months planning, building machinery and testing paints, strength and tensility of the Lincoln logs to prepare for production. Scheduled to gear up in January, the packaging of the Lincoln Logs will then be able to boast a “Made in the U.S.A.” logo.

Consumer Reports said when given the choice between domestic products and those made abroad, 78% of Americans prefer the domestic version and are willing to pay more for it.

“You can’t completely give up manufacturing and let it go across the waters for pure price and expect your country to be as strong as it can be. So, I think the whole country is looking at how we get it back here, how to make it a little cheaper,” said Randy Dicker, senior director of manufacturing at Pride.

With consumer awareness of where products are made on the rise, companies are now looking to move manufacturing onshore when economics make sense. Eighty-five percent of Wal-Mart customers tell the retailer that where something is made is second only to the price when making a purchasing decision. Araten and Dicker hope that the buzz surrounding the move of Lincoln Log manufacturing will increase awareness of the product and, thus, create more demand.

[Photo Credit: Wired]