May 20, 2006

Wow. Handmade Castle Building Blocks

mahar_dziulak_castleblocks.jpgSurfing through Mahar Dry Goods' totally awesome selection of contemporary and vintage-inspired artistan created products, I kept wondering how I missed posting about the site when owner Robert Mahar first emailed about it two-plus months ago. But then reading his store blog, I gather that large swaths of his featured products have only just come online in the last few weeks. Still, I have let you people down, and I apologize.

And if you've dropped a bomb on an unreturnable set of blocks recently, I apologize twice to you. Just take a look at this set of all-handmade castle blocks from "master blocksmith" Peter Dziulak. 133 blocks, with crenellations, arches [round and gothic], towers, and other architectural elements, all hand-carved from unfinished Ponderosa pine. They are spectacular. The set is $139, which works out to around $1/block, plus $6 for the diagram showing how they all fit back into the box. The initial packing is totally free.

Frankly, unfinished pine sounds pretty soft and tasty, so unless you already know your kid's gonna be fighting Ultraman in an scale model urban landscape, I'd wait until the heavy gnawing stage is past before introducing these into the toy rotation. Think of them as blocks to grow into. Or to impress the hell out of someone with by giving them as a gift. Wow.

Castle Building Blocks by Peter Dziulak, $139 at Mahar Dry Goods []
Previously: other blocks of various degrees of awesomeness


Uber cool! Sadly, my boys, having graduated from the gnawing stage, have now enrolled in the destructive phase...Still, one to bear in mind for the (not too distant, I hope) future.

Dang! I knew I should have saved the Popsicle stick catapult I made in Cub Scouts!

We came across the Master Blocksmith himself at the Beverly Hills art festival/sale this weekend. He had sample tables out to play with, and the muffin grabbed one and instantly started chewing. When we left we didn't realize that she still had a block, which she happily chewed for about a half hour. We had to go back and buy a set after that.

Very nice blocks indeed. I have also found the Haba blocks attractive, albeit with less detail and human labor. The National Building Museum in DC has some on display in their gift shop, and I can't wait to buy some.

The different historical buildings (US Capitol, Mayan Temple, Coliseum, Baroque Church, Middle Eastern Set, etc.) can be seen on this site,

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