Toys Games

Optical Mixer by Naef Toys

The Optical Mixer (Optischer Farbmischer) can demonstrate aspects of color theory when spinning the top with one of the seven interchangeable discs. So, you can buy it for color teaching purposes or buy it just for fun (which is what I’m tempted to do).

Seven interchangeable cardboard discs included with info describing the phenomenon.
Designed by Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack.

Purchase Information:

Price: $49.00
Available from: fawn&forest

Mysterious Mushroom Puzzle

I guarantee you’ve never solved a puzzle like this. The Mysterious Mushroom Puzzle is a set of engraved mushrooms that fit together in a six inch birch square. Each mushroom is unique and based on a real species of mushroom. How fungi.

Designer: Xylocopa Design
Material: assorted hardwoods; maple, cherry, mahogany, padauk, bloodwood, finished in all-natural tung oil.

Purchase Information:

Price: $38.95
Availability: Buy Mysterious Mushroom Puzzle here

Molecule Building Set

Whether you’re learning about molecular structures or you just like the way they look, this set of 24 molecules is certainly one learning tool that doubles as a cool decorative accessory.

Each set consists of 24 molecules made of wood (6 colors, 4 of each).

Purchase Information:

Price: $79.95
Available from: fawn&forest

Koma Spinning Tops

If the Walnut Top Set by Herman Miller was a bit too rich for your wallet, these carved wooden tops from Japan will be a welcome alternative.

Designer: Saikai, Japan
Dimensions: 1″ diameter, 1.5-2″ tall
Price per top: $8.50

Purchase Information:

Price: $8.50
Available from: Rare Device

Phoyo Playhouse

Check out this playhouse designed by architect Robin Hannah. It stores flat and slots together for easy set up. Since it’s made in New Zealand (with sustainably grown pine, fyi), you’ll have to email to get a price for shipping. Keep in mind that it could get expensive with shipping, but if you’re crafty enough maybe you can make your own.

Clear Varnished $499.00 NZD
Bare Sanded Finish $429.00 NZD
International shipping prices available on request.

Assembled size 1200mm x 900mm x 1100mm.
Stored size 80mm x 1200mm x 900mm

Purchase Information:

Price: NZD429.00
Availability: Buy Phoyo Playhouse here

Geemo Building Toy

Toy? I’d classify this thing as more of an awesome-strange-plaything-slash-art-object, because ‘toy’ doesn’t quite cover it. Each piece has three flexible arms with magnetic tips, so you can build all sorts of shapes and structures by attaching the arms to other pieces. The picture of it as a sort of room divider (shown above) sealed the deal for me, but take a look at the extra pictures below showing it as a weird artscape and toy/jewelry thing. So, yeah, it is a toy, but it could be ever so much more with a bit of creativity.


Purchase Information:

Price: $45.00
Available from: UncommonGoods

High Art Kite

For those of you that want a cooler kite to fly when the weather is nice, this little nylon fabric guy will do the trick. Each kite has a different/unique screen printed design with a ribbon tail. Makes you wish for proper spring/summer weather, doesn’t it?

shown above: “little winged demon” by Jan Kallwejt

Purchase Information:

Price: 10.00
Available from: twentytwentyone

One Deck of Cards by Tauba Auerbach

I remember emailing back and forth with Tauba Auerbach back in December of 2008 after seeing her amazing deck of cards as a prototype in Wallpaper* magazine. At the time, she was saying that she was looking into production, so I’m terribly pleased to see that they’re finally available for sale because I was wanting to purchase them as a gift for my father, a mathematician.

Here’s a rundown on the final product: It’s two different decks of cards, one with symbols of mathematical functions instead of the usual hearts, clubs, spades and diamonds. On the other deck, instead of the usual symbols there are geometric shapes.

Purchase Information:

Price: $175.00
Availability: Buy One Deck of Cards by Tauba Auerbach here

Source: notcot

Street Style Memory Game

I’m breaking a tiny rule here. This game is not officially available yet, but it’s sort of worth posting anyways. Whether you’re an avid follower of the many many street style blogs or not, these hipster shots will have you improving your memory while studying which face goes with what body. I love memory games (self-admitted dork here), so I think this one is pretty funny.

Author: Barbara Iweins
Design: Lilian van Dongen Torman
Publication date: March 2010

[via the girl in the green dress]

Purchase Information:

Price: 12.00
Availability: Buy Street Style Memory Game here

Source: Via

Rorshock Inkblot Game

Given the popularity of the Psycho diagnostik Coasters, this game could be a hit. Though I’m not so sure about how you have to choose between 5 answers. What happens when you see something else, like maybe a clown dying a slow death, what then? Are your friends/family forced to analyze your answer themselves? That could get ugly.

Contents: 20 cards with ink blot designs, and a Diagnosis Book for analyzing responses.
Dimensions: 4″ x 5.5″ x 1.2″

Purchase Information:

Price: $14.95
Availability: Buy Rorshock Inkblot Game here

The Walnut Top Set by Herman Miller

If you’ve got a thing for collecting Eames items, you might set your sights upon these babies that were inspired by the duo’s interest in toys and playtime (more specifically, their film “Tops” (1969)).

Dimensions: 3-5″ H x 2 1/2-4″ dia
Set of 3 Tops.

Purchase Information:

No longer available.

My First Jet

Or should this be titled, ‘How Not to Look Like An Idiot When Participating In Paper Airplane Contests’? You might scoff at the necessity of knowing which folds create the least wind resistance, but you’ll be singing another story when you get last place*. This secret weapon brings you the tools to fly above and beyond all your co-workers**. Bring it.

The book gives you paper printed with hundreds of ways to create planes that will go the distance as well as access to on online interactive community where you can share designs with other enthusiasts or design your online airline

*Don’t even start with the ‘winning-isn’t everything’. Sometimes it is.
**Also, I might mention small art activities/breaks can increase work productivity, but you know that already, don’t you?

Purchase Information:

Price: $14.50
Availability: Buy My First Jet here

Astro Rocket

Celebrate the lunar landing with your own cardboard rocket, or give as a gift if you’re not into the whole outer space thing.

Each Astro Rocket is laser-cut for precision fit and easy assembly using slot construction. They look great in earth brown or lunar white and can be decorated with paint, glitter, markers or other craft materials. Displays table-top, wall mount or suspended. The perfect gift for home or office.

Made from recycled cardboard, a non-toxic, environmentally friendly product.
All rockets are packaged flat and include detailed instructions. One rocket per package.

$14.00-$28.00, Buy it here.

Purchase Information:

Price: $14.00-$28.00
Availability: Buy Astro Rocket here

Muistipeli Matching Game

Memory games aren’t just for kids; if you’ve read any articles regarding Alzheimer’s Disease, you know they stress diet, exercise and brain stimulation as an important part to keeping the risk of disease low. So, why not enjoy some Marimekko patterns while you’re keeping your memory in top notch shape? Also check out my personal favorite: Maharam Memory Game.

What better way of sampling the wide array of wonderful prints and patterns
Marimekko has produced over the years than with this fun memory game?
Turn all the pairs face down and mix them up, then try to match the pairs.
Person with the most pairs wins.
Glossy cardboard.

$27.00, Buy it here.

Purchase Information:

Price: $27.00
Availability: Buy Muistipeli Matching Game here

Woodgrain Playing Cards

Woodgrain + playing cards + slots = excellent time killer.

Keep them in a drawer, or in the car, or in your camping kit. As an extra added bonus, these beauties also have slots in them to aid in your assembly of the greatest house of cards ever created.

$12.00, at the Curiosity Shoppe.

Purchase Information:

No longer available.