December 13, 2006

Ausgezeichnet! Cool Wooden Toys From Behind The Iron Curtain

egerm_factory_blocks.jpg

While our parents were ducking and covering in the US, singing the praises of Howdy freakin' Doody to ward off the evils of communism, in East Germany at least, those same commie bastards were cranking out some mighty fine-looking toys.

Gunther Hohne's book about the unique, ideologically driven, pragmatic modernism of post-war design in the GDR was just published knocked off? by Taschen. On his website, meanwhile, is a giant archive of GDR product, architecture, and graphic design by people who are only now being rewritten into history.

The awesome factory/steel mill block set above, for example, was created by Ernst Rudolph Vogenauer [google translation], a one-time propaganda poster designer and an influential design teacher in Berlin from the late 40's into the 60's.

And this beautiful toy stable is from... I don't know, but it makes me want a sew a balloon out of raincoats and float over the wall to get one. The non-wooden toys? Well, I think The West still wins on that front.

egerm_wooden_farm.jpg
Industrieform DDR Spielmittel galerie [industrieform-ddr.de via designboom] Hohne's book DDR Design is at Amazon.de, but it looks different from--and his name is mentioned nowhere on--the little Taschen book, DDR Design on Amazon.com. Yeah, capitalism! Previously: Factory Town blocks by Czech emigre designer Ladislav Sutnar Brockhage & Andra's 1950 Schaukelwagen, from Dresden

1 Comment

The open-air dump truck and bent-plywood truck cabs are sweet. The train set (last photo) looks nice too.

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