Momoll: Modern wooden toys from Switzerland
June 23, 2008, 9:00 pm
Filed under: Toys and games | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I will end today’s focus on modern wooden toys with a peek at Swiss company Momoll’s toys. Their products really have a minimalistic edge to them, quite undertandable, when considering that Momoll’s intention for the Playtower Thing 3 was to design a multifunctional playhouse whose design would be appealing to boys and girls alike! But Momoll also produces other beautiful items as well, such as the Playtower Ding 4, doll house furniture, the Lili play kitchen or the RayRay doll house, which can be collapsed when not in use, and is hence especially suitable for small apartments, where space is scarce.

Both playtowers have a simple structure that can be assembled and disassembled easily and whose modular construction opens up the possibilty to extend the playsphere by adding an (almost) infinite number of additional floors. Additionally, both sets have a designer facade of either colored plexiglas or silk-screened birch plywood sliding walls. The minimalistic design opens up a child’s creation, because it is not limited to one environment: The playtowers can convert themselves into car parks, hospitals, skysrapers… whatever the kids imagine them to be.

Available either directly at Momoll, at US shop Spunky Sprout (RayRay doll house $352.00, Lili play kitchen $440.00) or UK shop Little Fashion Gallery (RayRay doll house £160.50, Lili kitchen £165.00, plexiglas playtower £157.00).
Yes, the prices are a bit higher than standard doll houses and wooden toys, but then you have a true multi-purpose designer toy with superb looks and great functionality, which is designed, developed and produced by hand, all in Switzerland, a country known for its quality craftsmanship!

Creative toys from Switzerland: Building blocks by naef

Today will focus on creative toys from Europe, toys that are versatile and support imaginative playing.  So first in line are wooden toys by Naef, available in a variety of shapes and colors.  I have picked two sets of building blocks to show you, the Ornabo- and the Animal Puzzle.

The Ornabo Puzzle is very basic in the sense that it only depicts basic geometric shapes.  But don’t be fooled by the simplistsic design:  All natural shapes are nothing more than combinations of circles, segments, squares, triangles and rectangles.  Thus, the building possibilities are endless!  It’s incredible how many things you can create with this ingenious kit, whether patterns, people, letters.. everything is possible.  Which is also its second great advantage: This toy will be a favorite for a long time.  And as was already mentioned, its great educative qualities extend from geometry to spelling and arts.  This is definitely a toy you can’t go wrong with, and suitable for boys and girls alike.

The Animal Puzzle is a set of 25 maplewood building blocks with different animal shapes on each side; elephant, monkey, lion, owl, hare and bear to be precise.  So while the kids are younger, they can have fun with the traditional style puzzle, putting together the individual animals, and at some point, they will surely be fascinated by all the combinations possible and start creating a monkey-phant or a lion-bear, or maybe even an ele-owl-hare…

The whole range of Naef Toys is available at the Swissmade Naef-USA shop.  But you can get a few pretty good deals at FatBrainToys right now on a smaller product range.  They currently have the Ornabo-Puzzle on close-out sale for only $66.94.