November 18, 2008

I Wanna The Whole World In A Bag, Muji, 'N Ever'thinissinit


For the fourth Christmas in a row, Muji has expanded its "In A Bag" series, a megalomaniacal mission to distill entire swaths of the known universe into tiny, little wooden toys, and then trap and sell it in little muslin bags. The major cities were the first to go: New York, Paris, London, Tokyo.

Then came Suburbia in a Bag, and Village in a Bag. In 2006, Muji put out Outer Space in a Bag, but it was a bit of overreach; both our Outer Space in a Bags broke within a few minutes of opening them. [Notably, all three of these BFE in a Bags have been discontinued.]

Last year was second-tier cities like Barcelona, and this year, Muji's gone all out, with a whole slew of new In A Bags, including the 34-piece Greatest Hits collection, World in a Bag. Where will it stop? I'm sure if the London designers at Industrial Facility, who are behind the In A Bag series have any say in the matter, they'll just keep on making In A Bags until the whole world is full of miniature, wood versions of itself. It's as if Borges was running a toy store.

See some more new In A Bags after the jump.

Germany in a Bag:

And Italy in a Bag:

Is 2008 the year Muji ran out of cities? Or is there something else going on? Am I supposed to believe that it's a coincidence the first two Country In A Bags just happen to be Japan's old Axis allies?

Also not cities [or countries, for that matter]: Animals in a Bag and Dinosaurs in a Bag, both kind of 3-D-ified Enzo Mari:

Other Not A City In A Bag options look to be UK Specific: London Transport in a Bag, which is all painted, and Tea Time in a Bag, which is, uh, whatever. It's a tea set where the tea cups are as big as the Coliseum. Makes no sense to me. [A lot of In A Bags are UK/EU-only, though. Outer Space and Suburbia, for instance, never made it to Japan, much less the US.]

But the winner of the Oddball In A Bag cup this year is this one, Mystery in a Bag:


Forget Stonehenges in danger of being crushed by a dwarf; now you can have a Stonehenge in danger of being swallowed by a toddler. [And yeah, it's worth noting that all these things have small-to-tiny pieces. Personally, I worry less about easy-to-swallow than I do about choke hazard, but either way, heads up.]

See all the Muji In A Bags and other wood toys at Muji Europe's site. Most are £7.95, but the World is £17.95 []


Can't wait to see Toledo (Ohio, not Spain) in a bag!

Does anyone know if MOMA still sells these? Where do I get them in NY?

there are actual Muji stores in NYC now, and they do sell some of them. NYT Bldg, in SoHo, and soon in Flatiron [5th & 19th st]

Did you ever identify all the landmarks in World in a Bag? I'm still working on a couple before giving it to my nephew.

which paris buildings are there made by muji?

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