Dakin began as a family business in 1955 importing expensive handcrafted shotguns from Italy and Spain, founded by Richard Y. Dakin. His son Roger B. joined the firm in 1957 and began to diversify the types of products being imported which included bicycles, wooden products, sail boats and toys. In a shipment of battery operated trains from Japan were six velveteen stuffed animals, often used by exporters in the Far East as packing material. Roger ordered a small amount of the stuffed animals and they were an instant sales success! Dakin began to design stuffed animals at their USA Headquarters, and launched them as "Dream Pets". Thus began Dakin's "official" launch into the stuffed toy business.