Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

July 18, 2013

New time comes for toy museum

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — It’s a new era for a Pauls Valley attraction as a familiar face is stepping in to again play a major role.

Jodi Wood knows the Toy and Action Figure Museum well and now she’s the local downtown facility’s new manager.

Wood has worked at the museum before as its operations director and served on its board of directors for the past handful of years.

Now Wood is playing a new part as she’s been officially named the replacement for the outgoing manager Ryan Peacock.

Museum curator Kevin Stark said this week a change was needed in the position as Wood comes in to replace Peacock.

“There was change needed,” Stark said.

“We just needed a change, and Ryan needed to pursue other opportunities.”

Stark has worked with Wood for some time and stresses she brings a lot to the table in terms of helping the museum move in the right direction.

“She is very organized and gets things done,” Stark said. “Jodi doesn’t require micro-managing. You can hand Jodi a task and be assured it will get done.

“She brings humor and spirit to the job. Jodi makes it fun being here doing stuff,” he said.

Wood, who has actually worked as the museum’s manager since June 1, says she’s excited about working in the job because she loves everything about what the museum represents.

“I think it comes from my desire to bring out my inner child,” Wood said.

“Creativity, the energy of kids is what I like. It makes you want to be a kid again,” she said.

“This is something I really needed to do for my inner child. I also saw the imagination brought out in my two kids from this museum.”

As a woman she also hopes to show the world the museum is not just for boys.

“I’ve heard people say there’s nothing for little girls here,” Wood said.

“I want little girls to realize they are superheroes too.

“We have all these girls who are superheroes, like Wonder Woman and others. I want them to know they can be superheroes. It’s not just for boys.”

One of Wood’s favorite things is the museum’s summer reading and art program.

This year’s version is set to wrap up next week, but in the future she wants to work even harder to strengthen the program.

“Books create more imagination than any hand-held device. I believe kids need to read. Reading is a huge thing for kids.”

Stark agrees the educational program has the potential to be a very positive thing for a lot of kids.

“I would like to see the whole educational aspect of the museum grow,” Stark said, adding the museum might even come up with a traveling exhibit.

“With Jodi being in this position we’ll be able to get a lot more of these things done,” he said.

“We can achieve a lot of these educational goals with Jodi in this position.”

A few other changes are also in the works, like a fresh coat of paint to the front of the museum, a new sign and even for Rivet, the museum’s mascot.

“We will be expanding his whole back story,” Stark said. “There will be more stories, and he’s getting a little sister.

“We’re looking at revamping a few things. Even though we’ve gotten attention on an international scale, we’re amping up our image on the world stage.”