Posts Tagged ‘toys’

Recreation for Geniuses

Published November 24, 2009 by Molly

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Really, it’s no surprise that the 1800s produced people like Rimbaud, Tesla, Freud and Darwin. When those guys were kids, they weren’t messing around with portable gaming consoles or mini-robots or NERF guns designed to look like semi-automatics.

Nope. They were doing stuff with balls, hoops and sticks that we probably can’t even imagine. When you consider the creativity and determination it takes to entertain oneself with a stick for, say, fifteen, years, it suddenly becomes easy to see how things like experimenting and making discoveries would be child’s play as an adult.

Not saying we can recapture the magic of boredom in these fast-paced modern days, but it’s worth a try. Start with a sock monkey and work your way up to a spinning top. If that works out, considering graduating to a balsa plane or (whoa) some Lincoln Logs.

Science Toy Report

Published November 9, 2009 by Molly

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There’s something seductive about toys that have to forcefully announce that they are NON-TOXIC. Such is the allure of the Amazing Do-It-Yourself Magic Tree—which, indeed, is a distant cousin of the Magic Garden.

This delightfully bizarre toy involves assembling a cardboard Christmas tree (complete with faux cranberry garland, glitter and gold tree-topper ornament) and squeezing an included “mystery liquid” into the base. In six hours a vibrant chemical fuzz will spread across the branches, replicating the appearance of a healthy Douglas fir. Voila: an economical and festive decoration in less than 360 minutes.

Finally, a culmination of our interests in chemistry, DIY, and the holiday spirit. Next up: Magic Menorahs!

Medicom’s Uber-Realistic Wild Thing Toys

Published October 16, 2009 by Graham

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Medicom Toy is the big kahuna of vinyl toys. They’re the creative powerhouse behind Kubrick and Bearbrick– two lines of toys whose legion of obsessed collectors would be happy to testify to their value. So it’s no surprise that their their sparkling, brand new collection of Where The Wild Things Are figures are insanely detailed, entrancingly life-like, and expertly crafted. Check out the full set of toys, which includes The Bull, Douglas, Carol, Ira, Judith, K.W., Alexander and Max over at Hypebeast. They’re being sold though most Medicom retailers, including esteemed Parisian boutique Colette. Fancy!

JoengMee Yoon’s Pink & Blue Project

Published September 2, 2009 by Graham

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Korean photographer JoengMee Yoon’s Pink & Blue Project was prompted by his own five-year-old daughter, whose obsession with pink was so strong that she refused to wear any other color, and insisted on playing with only pink toys. It wasn’t long before Yoon discovered other children (and parents) with the same spellbound affliction, building identities around the single color that corresponds to their gender. Crossing boundaries of nationality and socio-economic status, Yoon’s project starkly examines the state of childhood under globalization, where prefabricated ideals and desires are marketed to children from birth.

Via Beautiful/Decay.

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Carnivorous Creations

Published August 13, 2009 by Molly

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Where things like habit and taste are concerned, the nature vs. nurture debate can be endlessly pondered and studied. Where things like the human instinct to play with dirt are concerned, however, there’s no debate. Somewhere inside of us there’s a gene which dictates that we need to roll around in the mud, pick up snails, poke at worms and generally have a familiar relationship with the earth as children. And as adults, too–though perhaps a more cordial relationship.

For those with access to backyards or other flora-and-fauna-filled terrain, these urges can be easily satisfied. For those city-dwelling individuals who don’t have a patch of grass to their name, there are, luckily, other options to turn to. One such pocket of ingenuity exists in the Carnivorous Creations desktop bog.

The kit, which is available at ThinkGeek*, includes a Growing Dome, a bag of peat mix, a seed packet and a selection of plastic geckos. Combined in the right manner, these things yield a garden of Venus fly traps, Sundew plants and Cobra lillies, all of which eat insects.

Clearly, any plant that can digest an animal is awesome. Now, anyone with a square foot of table space can exercise his green thumb and bring such fascinating organisms to life. Finally, a happy irony in the world of consumer goods: the fact that only a human could invent such an efficient way of encapsulating nature.

*along with snow ball launchers, Darth Vader USB hubs, night vision goggles, and other essentials.

Beginnings and Green Play

Published July 10, 2009 by Molly

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Nursery school, for most, is a grab bag of murky memories. Peanut butter and jelly on Ritz crackers, finger paint, the odd brawl over who got to drive the toy firetruck– these are the recollections we maintain from our earliest years as members of social society.

The kids at Beginnings might have a different set of memories when they grow up. A nursery school program that began in the fall of 1983 in an East Village apartment, Beginnings is known for its progressive educational philosophy and– best of all– its dedication to the principles of green living.

How does this manifest? Take The Materials Center, for one. Located in the attic of the nursery school, the Center is packed with recycled and found objects that kids can use for problem-solving, play and art projects. Some of the options include seed pods, pinecones, abandoned birds’ nests, keyboards, cardboard tubes, cellophane, lamp shades, clock parts, sponge foam, wood chips, spice jars, spools and egg cartons.

“From the perspective of young children, with their strong inclination towards symbolic play and their tendency to transform objects based on their own interests and imagination,” the school explains, “these materials are ripe with possibility.”

Hello, Brute

Published May 28, 2009 by Graham

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Hello, Brute is the brainchild of Portland-based designer Jon Knox. Employing a cast of adorably droopy-eyed pseudo-anthropomorphic fashion-forward young fellas, Knox has constructed a veritable universe of saccharine saturated sherbet-colored cuteness. Through pencil drawings, paintings, skate decks, t-shirts and limited edition toys, Knox’s characters are poised to take over the world, Takashi Murakami-style. Hello, Brute is like the hipster Precious Moments, minus the greeting card platitudes and creationist undertones. Check out this rad recent Hello, Brute release: a pair of wild thing-esque custom toys sculpted by Toronto creature-makers We Kill You.

Kubrick set

Published May 8, 2009 by Dallas

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Images and pre-orders for the collectible WTWA Kubrick set made their way around the internets today. Strange feeling these toys are going to get scooped up very quickly.