toys

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Photography

Toy Stories: Portraits of Children and their Toys Around the World

June 21, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Cun Zi Yi, age 3 – Chongquing, China. All photographs provided by and © Gabriele Galimberti

Gabriele Galimberti spent more than two years traveling the world, visiting over fifty countries to photograph young children with their toys. The Italian photographer shares in a statement on Toy Stories, “I recorded the spontaneous and natural joy that unites kids despite their diverse backgrounds. Whether the child owns a veritable fleet of miniature cars or a single stuffed monkey, the pride that they have is moving, funny, and thought provoking.”

In addition to documenting the socioeconomic range of families around the world, Galimberti’s colorful portraits capture the unique personalities of each young person before his camera lens. The photographer has published a book, also called Toy Stories, which compiles all of the portraits from this series. His other titles include My Couch is your Couch, about how people live around the world, and In Her Kitchen, which documents grandmothers and their culinary traditions. You can see more of Galimberti’s work and travels on Instagram. (via Booooooom)

Maudy Sibanda, 3 – Kalulushi, Zambia

Gabriel Pascoal, age 3 – Sao Paulo – Brasil

Norden Brahke – age 5 age – Morocco

Alessia Pellegrini, age 5 – Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy

Virginia May Salisbury, age 5 – American Fork, Utah

Radhika Vachani, age 6 – Mumbai, India

Noel Hawthorne, age 5 – South Dallas, Texas

Abel Sientes Armas, age 4 – Nopaltepec, Mexico

Naya Gutierrez, age 3 – Managua, Nicaragua

Arafa and Aisha Saleh Aman, age 4 – Bububu, Zanzibar

Ralf Mazulis – age 4 – Riga, Lettonia

 

 



Design

The World’s Largest LEGO Cherry Blossom Tree Blooms in Japan

May 17, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

A record-breaking LEGO tree has taken shape at LEGOLAND Japan, a theme park in Nagoya dedicated to the beloved plastic bricks. The cherry tree’s construction marks the theme park’s first anniversary, and has been registered as the “largest LEGO brick cherry blossom tree” in the Guinness Book of World Records. It was made with 881,470 bricks which took over 6,500 hours to assemble. Superlatives aside, the hand-built tree is a spectacular sight to behold. The tree sculpture includes a grassy green base and illuminated lanterns, all made with LEGO bricks. You can watch a video of the tree’s creation below. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Art Design

The Quirky Wooden Automata of Kazuaki Harada

February 28, 2018

Christopher Jobson

With the push of a button or the crank of a handle, these whimsical wooden automata by Japanese woodworker Kazuaki Harada spring to life, with figures that bounce and dance across a miniature stage like puppets. Harada is a prolific designer of mechanical designs fashioned from wood both large and small, from tiny single-crank pieces to giant labyrinthine playscapes in galleries and museums. The delight in many of his automata is derived from their simplicity, but lately he’s explored increasingly elaborate devices like a dot matrix printer and longer sequences akin to a Rube Goldberg machine.

Harada shares his latest work on Instagram and you can watch nearly a decade of his completed pieces on his YouTube channel. (via Spoon & Tamago)

 

 



Design Science

Papier Machine: A Book of Six Interactive Electronic Paper Toys

January 16, 2018

Christopher Jobson

We’ve seen a wide gamut of paper project books lately, from shadows and cameras to planetariums and architectural models. Joining the DIY library today is Papier Machine, a collection of six interactive electronic paper toys all gathered together within the pages of a book developed by a trio of French designers. The various experiments are silkscreen printed on perforated paper and activated by button cell batteries, conductive silver ink, metal marbles, and other electronic components.

The six included gadgets include a piano “tuned” by hand-drawn graphite zones, a gyroscope, a marble track that plays sounds, a wind sensor, a centrifugal force track, and a tilt switch. Earlier versions of Papier Machine won Audi Talent and Red Dot Design awards, leading way to extra research and development in this final book which just launched on Kickstarter. (via It’s Nice That)

 

 



Art Design

Quirky Cartoon Toys and Vases Carved from Wood by Yen Jui-Lin

November 21, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Taiwanese artist Yen Jui-Lin carves delightful cartoon-like figures from wood that are almost guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. Some of the pieces function as flower vases or key hooks, while many of the objects are one-off toys that he gives to his children as gifts. You can see many more on Jui-Lin’s Facebook page. (via Lustik)

 

 



Design

A Wind-Up Bamboo Passenger Pigeon by Haptic Lab

September 22, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

The Flying Martha Ornithopter is a mechanical toy that when wound, flaps its wings through the air just like a real bird. The simple invention is built entirely from bamboo and Mulberry paper, and released just like a paper airplane. The ornithopter was built by Haptic Lab to honor the very last passenger pigeon, Martha, who died while in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914.

Haptic Lab believes the invention is symbolic of humanity’s role in a rapidly changing world. “Like our other projects at Haptic Lab, the Flying Martha ornithopter aims to connect people to their physical environment, to one another, and to the planet as a whole,” says the design studio. “The Flying Martha celebrates the spirit of invention and discovery essential to humanity’s survival and to the survival of our planet.”

Each ornithopter is built to reflect the true size of the extinct bird, with a wingspan of 16 inches. The handmade nature of the toy bird allows its user to customize its flight, solving problems to discover the invention’s best flight path. By a slight twist of the tail to the left or right, its flight course is altered, giving the owner full control of how the bird flies.

The project is currently raising funds on Kickstarter. You can see more projects by Haptic Lab on their website, Instagram and Facebook. (via Kottke)

 

 



Design

New Retro Technology LEGO Kits by Chris McVeigh

July 27, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Author, illustrator, photographer, and LEGO aficionado Chris McVeigh (previously) has added new retro technology kits to his cache of minimalist models, sets which include several decade-specific desktop set-ups and a boombox with multiple lego tapes. McVeigh even attempts to make each desk’s contents comply with the decade of its corresponding computer, like the version above which includes floppy disks which can be inserted into the computer, and a stack of computer manuals. You can view more of McVeigh’s lego kits (which also include different foods, bonsai trees, and video games) on his Facebook and Instagram.