Toys Games

Loll Swing

If you can’t beat the heat, at least try to enjoy it a little. This one inch thick 100% recycled plastic swing is paired with a 100% recycled PET rope to make sure you get some sort of breeze by using your own pair of legs. Plus, you might have a little fun while you’re at it. Bit of info to note: the swing contains about 46 reclaimed milk jugs.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $250.00
Available from: DWR

Fredericks & Mae Star Dominos

Is $80 too much for dominos? Probably. Does that keep me from wanting this set? Nope. Fun fact: the name ‘domino’ from the pieces’ resemblance to Venetian Carnival masks known as Domini, which were white with black spots. There’s also plenty of other games from Fredericks & Mae, ranging from $44 (darts) to $320 (bocce!).

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Purchase Information:

Price: $80.00
Available from: Fredericks & Mae

Moon Dominoes

Moon Dominoes! I’d guess almost all ages could play this game, though don’t let any small children/toddlers get anywhere near this lovely painted wood set, or else you’ll have small bite marks all over them. Designed/made by Fredericks & Mae, who also happen to have some new products that are very notable and will no doubt be featured soon (Bushel Brushes? So very fun). There’s also other games available at Fredericks & Mae: Darts, Bocce, Backgammon, Checkers, Dominoes (Flag, Moon, Star), Beach Tennis, Marbles, Foosball, and a game called Hallelujah (I can’t be bothered to find out what that’s about).
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Purchase Information:

Price: $80.00
Available from: Fredericks & Mae

Famous Playing Cards

Larger numbers and symbols with more whitespace- plus a few lightning bolts- make these playing cards a sight for sore eyes. The easy-to-see cards will be especially handy if you’re playing a game around a dimly lit table, as it never hurts to have an edge over your competitors.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $8.00
Available from: Best Made Co.

Typeblocks

However will you teach your children (or nieces and nephews) your favorite typography? With these blocks, of course. A different typeface whose name begins with the letter is carved upon each block (“A” for Avant Garde), with a large upper and lowercase example along with the designer(s), date, and classification. These could also be a thoughtful gift, so keep them in mind the next time a graphic designer friend has a new offspring.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $85.00
Available from: Typeblocks

Haptic Lab Signature Kites

What should you do on a windy, sunny day? Go fly a kite, of course. Should you not already be in possession of a semi-wonderful wind instrument, Haptic Lab will set you up right with one of their Signature Kites. Traditional/semi-tradional shapes made from patterned nylon fabric will keep your eyes entertained, while the removable hardwood spars give structure. Each kite is slightly different, as they are handmade, yet all feature one (or two) of Haptic Lab’s signature ten-foot-long patchwork kite tail. Use it as a wall hanging when you’re stuck at your desk.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $38.00 - 46.00
Available from: Haptic Lab

Pieces N Play Domino

Do you like dominos? How do you feel about a color-based set of simplified dominoes? Perhaps the game won’t need the same amount of brain power, but it’s hard to argue with such a nice set of colorful plywood tiles. All ages would be able to enjoy, whether for actual game play or just playing around. By Danish design duo Lee Storm for HAY.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $57.00
Available from: Huset Shop

Stack and Scare Block Set

Monster blocks! And done very well, I might add. This set of blocks with vibrant patterns of feet, hands, and heads will keep you and the little ones around you busy building all sorts of non-scary creatures. Should I be embarrassed that I want a set, and I don’t even have kids? Because I’m not. High five to whomever designed the illustrations. Bookmark it for your kid’s/niece’s/nephew’s next gift.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $48.00
Available from: Uncommon Goods

Minim Playing Cards

How minimal can you get? Turns out you can go super minimal even when it comes to your playing cards. The Minim Playing Cards by Joe Doucet are regulation playing cards that reduce hearts, clubs, diamonds, and spades to their simplest geometric forms. A diagonal line marks the back.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $12.00
Available from: Areaware

OGOBILD Kit

If one of these kits were within my arms’ reach, I’d be building my own geodesic dome, no matter if there were kids around or not. It looks fun, doesn’t it? A bunch of 24-inch polypropylene tubes plus 12 SEBS (non-toxic, latex-free material) OgoBild balls gives you the ingredients to construct large, lightweight structures. Throw a sheet over it and you have a fort. Like I said before, fun, right? Now on sale at MCA Shop, but you can also purchase directly from OGOStore.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $22.98 - 49.00
Available from: MCA Shop

Bare Bones Domino Set

Dominoes, anyone? Yeah, yeah, I know you’re hard at work now that the holidays are well and truly over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still look forward to your down time, where you’ll hopefully be playing games with friends and loved ones rather than staring at a wall wondering where it all went wrong. The classic “double 6” domino set has been re-designed by The Principals (in collaboration with lifestyle brand Billy Reid) so that you’ll have a pleasing shape and weight to each piece as well as a thoroughly modernized numbering system. Permission to feel smug when you bring this game to any gathering is now granted… only for a few minutes, though, don’t be annoying.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $60.00
Available from: The Principals

Geno the Giraffe Toy Kit

Excuse me while I geek out a little bit over this cardboard Kinetic Creature. You build it from a simple tab-and-slot kit, and, when you turn the wire handle, the Giraffe (or rhino) walks along thanks to a simple mechanical motion. While it’s recommended for ages 11+, I think most everyone will find it a little fascinating. And, if you like the idea, be sure to look into Theo Jansen’s more advanced Strandbeest. There’s even Miniature Beast kits available for purchase on the Strandbeest web shop ($75); they’re slightly more complicated than these cardboard toys, but the reward looks to be worth the effort.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $50.00
Available from: Rare Device

October Playing Cards

My neighbors have their Halloween decorations up, so I feel it’s permissible to post a seasonal item. It is October, after all, and you might just need a new deck of cards to have around for games with friends and family. 52 frightfully good illustrations by Steven Noble graces this deck of October playing cards, and you’ll be appropriately spooky should you choose to carry them around for the next few weeks.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $7.95
Available from: Dan & Dave

Miller Planisphere

Most of us can recognize the major constellations (Orion, the Big Dipper, etc.) but if we arm ourselves with the flat, plastic disc of the Miller Planisphere, we’ll be able to potentially learn and locate all of them. First, find your latitudinal position (map also available via retailer), then order the correct wheel. Once you have it in your hands, spin the wheel to pick the right date and time, and you’ll see all the constellations, stars, and planets above you, simple as that.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $16.00
Available from: Best Made Co.

Sailing Ship Kite

If you plan to go outside anytime within the near future, you might just want to have a kite- you know, in the interest of having fun and enjoying the last weeks of summer and such. And, if you’re going to have a kite, have it be a sailing ship, for then you may have the opportunity to recite passages from Melville’s Moby-Dick, or any other classic literature that may feature a sailing vessel. Also, need I point out how this would make a lovely gift for a child?
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Purchase Information:

Price: $40.00
Available from: Haptic Lab