Think toys are all about garish colours and plastic gizmos? Well it wasn’t when Kay Bojeson started designing toys in the 1950s. His simple, wooden toys have a classic, unspoilt charm that’s afforded them iconic status. Ditch the plastic and take it old school with our selection of hand-painted wooden toys, on sale on Fab EU today.
Today is the day to ditch the earnestness of adulthood. Today is also the day that we challenge you to define the difference between a toy and a design object.
The expressive faces and smooth bodies of Kay Bojesen’s(1886–1958) critters have managed to melt the hearts of even the most blasé editors at Fab. When they started to stroke the walnut head of the Dachshund Dog we witnessed a strange softening of jowl and a wetness in the eyes. Perhaps it was due to the spicy curry consumed at lunch, but we like to think it’s because a childhood memory popped up from the depths of their ever-churning mental cogs.
Because that’s what beautiful design does: it provokes emotion. Think about your first toy. Perhaps it was a cuddly fox, called Foxie (yes, you didn’t know the true meaning of the word when you were four). It was gifted to you by your uncle, and you took it to bed until you were too old to take it to bed, and since then it has been the proud guardian of your home office. Every time you look at his beaded eyes and beautifully shaped snout you are flooded with affection. Only a meticulously designed toy can have the same effect on you as an adult. It has to feature the perfect composition of adorable face, funny features and tactility. This is where Bojesen’s craft comes in to play.
Bojesen graduated as a silversmith before being inspired by the beauty of early-20th-century Danish design and turning his hand to a more organic material. His menagerie is influenced by German Bauhaus style in which simplicity is quintessential. Each creature is constructed from solid hunks of oak, teak, beech or walnut and features movable elements. His carnival of animals began in 1934 with a Dog that was exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and marched on till 2012 when the brightly coloured Songbirds he designed in the ‘50s were first produced.
So what is Bojesen’s menagerie—a box of toys or a family of 20th-century design icons? Or both? Consult your inner child—and Foxie, of course.