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Toys

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Brighton toy museum

At the Brighton toy museum today, which occupies a windowless vaulted space underneath the Victorian railway station. They've crammed a lot in there. Toys have evolved like living things, leaving behind dead-ends, such as the precursors of Lego: wooden or bakelite blocks that were locked or glued together. The typology of the very recent past is surprising. We discard so much innovation. Toys were a bit more dangerous and fun in the past too. Miniature ranges that cooked real food with real fire! Wouldn't that be more educational than fake plastic stuff? I liked the least spectacular 'austerity' toys the most, the 'micromodels'. These are tiny paper cutout models of historic buildings printed on postcard-sized sheets that must have been tortuous to fold and glue together. My favourite was a model of the entire old London bridge standing about 4cm high. It must have taken weeks to build and cost almost nothing.

Brighton toy museum

British proto-lego (above) and German proto-lego (below).

Brighton toy museum

Brighton toy museum
Cooking with real fire.

Brighton toy museum
Paper 'micromodel' of the old London bridge.

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
majolika
Jan. 25th, 2014 11:19 pm (UTC)
did they say that the German proto-lego ("Anker Steinbaukasten") was invented by the Lilienthal brothers? (These things are AWESOME! If I had one, I would drop everything and play with it for weeks.)
majolika
Jan. 26th, 2014 01:08 am (UTC)
(make that "if I had a big one plus all the supplements plus the wee trowel and cement")
benicek
Jan. 26th, 2014 11:01 am (UTC)
I didn't take a note of the maker's name, unfortunately. German toys make up quite a large proportion of the 19th and early 20th century exhibits in that museum, particularly the trains and teddy bears.
leopold_paula_b
Jan. 26th, 2014 05:57 pm (UTC)
Oh wow! You could put lego to creative (and slightly obsessive) use like Andrea Dusl, but I agree Anker Steinbaukasten is way better:


How about nailing furniture on your ceiling and double your living space, like Parasolia:
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )