June 5, 2007

Stunning Wood Toys By Take-G


These spectacular figures are Fujin and Raijin, Wind Guy and Rain Guy. They're by Nakagawa Takeji, a 32-year-old toymaker in Nagano, Japan. Nakagawa's Take-g Toys [though it's a spin on his first name, it's pronounced like English] specializes in simple, modern toys with almost baroque combinations of woods and grains.

Take-g block sets come in the big three: maple, walnut, and cherry. But the Take-g Zoo animals are made from white ash and teak, too. The more elaborate, one-off toys and sculptures also include some keyaki, a rare variety of Japanese elm. Blocks and animals are sold online, but the art pieces are only sold through gallery exhibitions.


Given that the toys can run 20,000 yen [$164] for the ten animals to 42,000 yen [$344] for the big set of blocks, I can't even begin to imagine what Fujin and Raijin would cost. But then, the Japanese have always had a thing for crazy-expensive wooden toys.

[6/27 update: Cool Hunting contacted Takeji about his process and his works: "Please remember most of crafts I make are an art, not actually 'toys' except a few products." Which explains the pricing, up to $6000.]

Take-g Products and Crafts [take-g.com]
The 15-piece Baby Block Set above is 21,000 yen. Ask about international shipping. [take-g.com]


So cool - I've read lots of studies about how much better, developmentally, it is for a child to have toys not made of plastic.

Nevermind the developmental value... wood stuff looks so much cooler strewn around the living room than a bunch of plastic Dora-branded junk!

Maybe they could do some cross-marketing with the new Transformers movie.

that's some expensive wood.
i'll wait for the plastic version.

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