WALLINGFORD — Several years ago a local inventor channeled his love for Christmas into the creation of a holiday mailbox for his children, now the patented product will be sold in stores nationwide.
Resident and Inventor Chris Cirri came up with the idea for “Santa’s Enchanted Mailbox” when he created a system for his children to send letters to Santa. Children place a letter into the mailbox, close it and raise the flag. After music plays the letter “magically” disappears to the North Pole. Letters can also reappear in the mailbox.
“We really want to come up with ways to make magic happen in front of you,” he said.
Cirri said when he thought of the idea he couldn't believe no one had ever invented it. The prototype was created with the help of his step-father-in-law Dave Seales, a retired engineer. The pair, along with brother-in-law Stephen Signore, had the name trademarked, purchased a website and pursued the patent. Their group, C.S.S. Innovations, signed a three-year contract with Mr. Christmas Inc. last year to mass produce the mailboxes.
This year, a new version of the invention, which showcases a smaller design, will be available in Walmart stores across the United States.
“We struck a deal with Walmart to make exclusive versions,” Cirri said. “...One-hundred and forty thousand to be sold in two thousand store locations in all 50 states.”
The product is also available at Home Depot, Lowes, Crackle Barrel, Michaels and on Amazon and other online stores. It is also available in select shops in Australia and on QVC in the United Kingdom. Cirri said he gets videos from around the world of children using the mailbox.
“We’re trying to create a new family tradition,” he said. “With this tradition, you can put mail in early December and communicate with Santa and his elves all year long.”