Wednesday, November 23, 2011
I recently did an interview with Kid Robot about their breakdancer figures partly inspired by green army men, and a commenter on that post pointed me to AJ's Toy Boarders.
I especially like the way these figures stand in as perfect toys for stop-motion animation, as seen in their video below.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
A friend's little brother, Kester Grieve, creates this blog, Shoopsoldier Stuff.
His drawings are great.
Mr. Grieve also has a Facebook page so you can "like" that, and follow him there easily.
This might not totally apply to Shoopsoldier Stuff, but I like the idea of a blog as a place to document play. Not everything needs to be, nor should be, documented. But the broadcasting of play in this way could be a platform for streamlining collaboration on a global scale. The documentation of play simply seems like another way to tell a story, express or represent something, etc.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
The Woodstock Flea Market Fight Force is a found group of swashbucklers, literally found at the Woodstock Flea Market.This is Episode 12, entitled Life. To see the episodes from the beginning, click the WFMFF tag below and go back to the beginning.
Also follow on Twitter: @WFMFF
Also follow on Twitter: @WFMFF
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
I can hardly compare myself to AC Gilbert and the outlandish successes he had in, oh, the Olympics as a gold medalist, owner of one of the largest toy companies in the world at one point, holder of 150 patents or so, etc etc etc...however...I did recently learn about this amazing figure in "toy history" and was sent spinning in a state of shock to discover that he was born in Salem, Oregon (1884) and went on to start a science museum in NYC after changing his mind about becoming a doctor, opting instead...for magic. I too was born in Salem, was pre-med-minded for a chunk of my life, and now...I work at the NY Hall of Science and have a great interest in toys.
AC Gilbert was a fascinating dude to say the least. I'm no expert, but the cursory reading I've done over the past few weeks has culminated in a few highlights I'll share here, before passing you along to some links for further reading (and great images) if you wish. Gilbert is known for starting the Erector Set company and doing rather well with it back in the day. That was after he dropped out of college in Oregon, made his way to Yale, and funded his medical eduction by doing magic shows. Somewhere in there he invented the pole vaulting box, and won the gold medal at the Olympics in London in 1908. (A few years earlier he also set the world record for consecutive chin-ups with 39.) He went on to create the Erector Set company and also produced magic sets, science kits of all sorts, and he also acquired the rights to American Flyer. Oh, and he also is credited for inventing the vibrator and he also saved Christmas. And, he did sell a nuclear power play set one year too, which maybe wasn't the best idea. Don't think I'm letting it slip by that the inventor of the electric vibrator also invented Erector Sets. I'll be here all week.
But seriously folks, one particular sentence that resonates is from an article in the Washington Post back in 2002, "Gilbert offered America knowledge acquired through work. Disney offered it through effortless escape. Guess who won?"
I'd amend that sentence to say Gilbert offered America knowledge through play.
There are several great resources that offer dozens of pdf's of insanely beautiful catalogs and product guides. The link to the bit-of-vibrator-trivia above is one such link if you just scroll a bit, and then there is this one: AC Gilbert Heritage Society. I'm also proud of my hometown of Salem, Oregon to have created a children's museum in Gilbert's honor: AC Gilbert's Discovery Village. I'll be making a visit next time I'm in town, right after I pay a visit to my 92 year old grandfather, himself a 3rd generation Oregonian and quite a tinkerer with inventions and electronics in his own right, which makes me 5th generation.
Needless to say AC Gilbert is a newly discovered hometown hero.
(Don't even get me started on Roger Tofte and the Enchanted Forest!)