For his latest kinetic installation titled Bits and Pieces, artist Nils Volker (previously) repurposed 108 toy Hoberman spheres which he suspended from microcontrollers inside a space at NOME Gallery in Berlin. Once attached to motors, the spheres are then synchronized to various rhythms and patterns to create moving sequences that mimic living organisms. The piece was on view through last week, but you can see more photos on Volker’s website.
Over the last few years we’ve seen several series where people use toys, pets, and unwitting significant others as props to liven up their travel photos. Photographer Jorge Saenz decided to pounce on the idea with his “#dinodinaseries” that incorporates a small herd of plastic dinosaur toys turned tourists who join him on his adventures. It all began when Saenz purchased a green brachiosaurus toy at a flea market in La Paz, Bolivia and shared a few shots of it exploring the local surroundings. The miniature reptiles have since accompanied him to other South American countries like Paraguay and Peru where they’ve braved rapids, climbed mountains, and explored Incan ruins. You can see many more on Saenz’s Instagram. (via Lost at E Minor)
Designer Jason Freeny (previously) is known for his humorous realizations of popular toys turned into anatomical models. Lego figures, Barbie dolls, gingerbread men, and even gummy bears have all gotten the cross-section treatment, and next up: the classic rubber bath ducky and the balloon dog. Each toy comes as a kit you can assemble yourself. Available through Mighty Jaxx. (via The Awesomer)
Latvia-based MapleApple, a mother and daughter duo, knit a bountiful harvest of produce solely from wool and acrylic yarn. The faithful recreations of turnips, carrots, lemons, and leeks are available as individual pieces or sold together as large sets. All pieces are child-safe and you can see much more in their shop.
Brooklyn-based furniture and woodworker Daniel Moyer uses leftover scrap wood to build minimalistic toys under the brand fdup.toys. The first series was a quirky edition of superheros to which he’s since followed up with a fun duck sidekick. Moyer calls the project “a small scale production employing oldschool workflow and jig techniques, and a nice way to salvage and purpose the trimmings that would normally end up in the woodshop dumpster.” You can see more in his shop. (via Design Milk)
UGEARS are a series of 11 new mechnical models built from wooden pieces that spring to life with the help of rubber band engines, cranks, or with the assistance of gravity. Similar to balsa wood insects, the laser-cut pieces assemble like a puzzle without need for glue or adhesives. The most impressive design is an elaborate 480-piece steam locomotive that’s 12″ long and propels itself up and down a provided track with an internal engine.