November 29, 2006

The Fable Game: DIY Storybook By Enzo Mari


The Fable Game is like a hybrid of two other projects for which Enzo Mari is best known, at least around here: those incredible, intricate animal puzzles that cost about $1 million, and Autoprogettazione, his revolutionary DIY furniture design manifesto, , which cost about $1 [or less, if you take a mid-night run to a construction site and already have some nails handy.]

The Fable Game is a DIY story construction set comprised of six cards, covered with Mari's depictions of all the classic elements of fairy tales and fables: animals, umbrellas, mountains, moons, etc. The cards slot together, Eames House-of-Cards-style, to spawn improv stories. Originally released in 1965, The Fable Game was reissued in 2004 by the Italian publishing house, Edizioni Corraini [whose bambini catalogue is incredible.]

Priced anywhere from $28-38 [at modern child and unica home, respectively], it's affordable, unique, and makes an excellent gift on its own.


But the real potential, I think, is as a storytelling platform. Just as Brio's toy train track gauge has been adopted by other wooden toy companies, other artists, designers, parents, and kids could create additional images and expansion packs using the slotted card form factor of The Fable Game.

With a pair of safety scissors, a stack of old magazines, a gluestick and some blank Mari cards, a kid could whip up an entire libraryful of stories. Just make sure it's not a stack of Us Weekly, though, or all the stories'll be about African power adoptions and bulimic ho's buying coffee. Not exactly the child utopia Mari had in mind.

Enzo Mari's The Fable Game, $28 [ via dt reader jenni]
Previously: Enzo Mari's awesome puzzles, and awesome-but-rustic DIY furniture plans

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