Toys Games

Spectrix Card Game

What to do when an uncomfortable lull sets in amongst a friendly/family gathering? Pull out the cards, of course. And, seeing as not everyone knows that complicated card game that everybody else and their aunt plays every Thursday, why not mix it up with a color card game called Spectrix? It’s a play on the card game Rummy, just extremely simplified- it’s based on groups of color matches and sequences. No need to read suits or numbers, so it’s appropriate for all ages. Just build strategic groups of color to play out your hand. Easy, right?
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Purchase Information:

Price: $15.00
Available from: Cooper-Hewitt Shop

Ototo Musical Invention Kit

Your excellent memory might recall us linking to the Ototo meets ECAL workshop, and, if your interest was piqued, you’ll be ecstatic to know the Ototo Musical Invention Kit is now available from the MoMA Store. Once it arrives on your doorstep, you’ll be able to make music from anything. Connect conductive objects to the keys and voilà! you’ll be an electronic sound maestro in no time- no coding or programming knowledge needed. Plants, forks, fruits, or whatever else you’ve got lying around becomes your orchestra. So fun I can hardly stand it.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $145.00
Available from: MoMA Store

Logifaces

A game that looks like a tabletop sculpture? Sure, why not? Logifaces is a set of 16 prisms, hand-poured from concrete. Each piece has different angles on its top, and your challenge is to place the prisms next to each other to form a continuous surface. Choose between marble white, basalt grey, or charcoal black; $60 gets you the early bird 16-piece set. Adding this to your gifts-to-give list is a no-brainer.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $60.00
Available from: Indigogo

Source: mocoloco

EYEteleporter by Juste Kostikovaite

This is so ridiculous it’s wonderful. The EYEteleporter is a mask that displaces your eyesight. Put it on and you’ll either see the view point of your belly, above your head, or above your head, backwards, and upside down. Those three modes will hopefully insert a little bit of fun into your day at the office, as long as your coworkers don’t mind you wearing a large, cardboard, telescope-like contraption. Yes, you’ll look weird, but at least you’ll have fun.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $55
Available from: Kickstarter

Akiko Petanque Bocce Game Set

Pétanque, Bocce, Boule, whatever you decide to call it, any variation is a great lawn game for these last few days of summer. Six chrome boule balls and a target ball are all packaged in a teak box for storing and carrying the game. And what do you do? Throw the small target ball out into the lawn, then take turns trying to get your chrome boule/bocce balls closest to the target. That’s a simplified version, of course, and I’m sure there’s several fanatics that have steam coming out of their ears for my lack of specificity as to the rules, but the point is you’ve got to try it out at your next outdoor gathering, preferably with this nice Akiko Petanque Bocce Game Set.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $199.00
Available from: Dwell Store

Alex Prager Crowd #10 Puzzle

Now you know what to get me for my next birthday present. Or, if you know someone else that appreciates modern photography, there’s a good chance they’ll like this Alex Prager Crowd #10 Puzzle. Alex Prager, if you’re not familiar with the name, is a self-taught artist who uses staged sets and models to create melodramatic, “film-like images”. Her prints on artnet have ‘price on request’ notations, and you’d be safe to assume that they’d cost hundreds of times more than a $75 puzzle.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $75.00
Available from: MoMA Store

Free Universal Connector Kit by F.A.T.

What the heck is this? Good question, because it’s sort of silly but also brilliant. If you happen to be the owner of a 3D printer, then you’ll be able to download this Free Universal Connector Kit by F.A.T. (Free Art & Technology Lab) to make these connectors. Connectors to what? Everything. Okay, well, almost everything: LEGO, Duplo, Fischertechnik, Gears! Gears! Gears!, K’Nex, Bristle Blocks, Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys, Zome, and Zoob. Formerly closed systems are now up for combinations. The eighty pieces in the kit will marry modules from one system to another, so you can join your LEGO to your Lincoln Logs and add in some Tinkertoys…etc. Use that imagination of yours and see the possibilities extrapolate.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $Free!
Available from: MODULE R

Tegu 42-piece Block Set

Now, I’m no expert on kids, but I do know blocks are a mighty fine toy to have on hand when little ones are around. Wooden blocks are the best, of course, and if you add in magnets, well, then you’re set for time-consuming activities until they’re teenagers. Right?

Tegu Blocks have magnets embedded within their surfaces to make building easy and enjoyable. Each piece is built around a 30mm unit (that’s around 1″), so all blocks are compatible with the next. Start out with small kit or go big with the large 42-piece Set shown above, and have fun building cars and all sorts of architectural wonders with your kids, nieces, and/or nephews.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $65.00 - 110.00
Available from: Tegu

Swoop Storage Bag

Sadly, the retailer (spoonsisters.com) we originally linked to when we posted this Swoop Storage Bag back in 2011 has closed its virtual doors. Not to worry, we found another place that carries it, with other colors and sizes, no less.

With the thirtysomethings now having kids en masse, the complaint of toys taking over an entire home is more often heard than not. How in the world to curb this crazy emesis of plastic mess? Perhaps this storage bag/play mat could help. You simply ‘swoop’ up everything into the bag by pulling the nylon cords and store it away. Also, if you’re thinking you need a larger version, it should be noted that the Knapsack by Fatboy could work. Just be careful to remove the kids before tying it up.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $48.00
Available from: Vault

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