creative playthings catalog

I've been messin'
with the "office" library
and finding some cool shit I forgot I had.
Next up,
a Creative Playthings catalog from

Great graphics.
Anyone know who designed it?
Looks like Herbert Matter to me,
or someone pulling a Herbert.
Ever pulled a Herbert?
It's fun.

These would have been a big help 
to me in
Mrs. Paine's math class.
I wanted to kill her.
She fucked with me constantly.
Her class was right after lunch and
I was on Sudafed all the time because of
my allergies,
so I was always half falling asleep,
and she was alway on my ass.
I had an actual opportunity to kill her once,
years later...
In a pouring rain storm she ran out in front
of my car
in the Cordova Mall parking lot
as I was leaving work.
I'd be lying 
if I didn't admit,
even if it was just for a split second,
 that I seriously considered
NOT putting on my brakes....
We locked eyes after I came to a sliding stop
inches from her.
She looked terrified.
For some reason I laughed,
and she looked pissed,
and in my book we were even....

The "Turtle Tent" is pretty rad.
"Baby Turtle" was $40 bucks.

This thing is awesome!
It's called the 
"Fantastic Village"
and consisted of 5 concrete and steel units
for only $1385, shipping not included.
This won an award at MoMA.
I'll have to look into that....

This is great too,
Comes with or without stand.
$75 bucks.
Noguchi eat your heart out....

More awesomeness,
this is the 
"Spiral Slide".
That would be $28,549.81 in 2010 dollars.
No wonder you don't see many out there.


Cool, artistic, creative family and animals from
Antonio Vitali.

Lame, normal, devo family and animals by
Mitt Romney.


"Unit Blocks"

I hated nap time.
Now I LOVE nap time.
I never get to nap anymore....
I should get one of these cots for Mondo!

This might as well be my new portrait....
My goal from this point on
is to be that kid....


  1. They just don't freakin' make them like they used to...

  2. wonderful! the playwebs! the tangible arithmetic! wow, we never had stuf like that over this side of the globe.

  3. There was a public housing project in Chicago near where I went to High School that had marvelous pared-down cast concrete animals and play structures (as well as some buildings by Mies, I believe, or some other sainted modernist) that was all torn down in the late 90s to expand the bland, new traditional campus of U of I. Poor people, yuck.

  4. might be of interest- the stack of chairs on the cover appear to be James Leonard childrens chairs -British made by ESA with big rubber feet covers for kids.

  5. Awe! We had a small playground made entirely of similar concrete forms in Alexandria. There was one very sculptural hollowed out hulking turtle shell looking thing. In it's infinite wisdom, the county replaced it with the multicolored metal/plastic/blah.

  6. The people of Creative Playthings understood children. Thank you for your post.

  7. Thanks so much for posting this! I've seen pieces of this catalog but never the whole thing. I'm linking to it from the playscapes blog today.

  8. Beautiful. Interestingly enough, a wonderful company called "Community Playthings" makes very similar chairs and all kinds of amazing hollow blocks. However, the "tangible arithmetic" is actually part of the Montessori math materials. The Montessori mathematics curriculum is phenomenal!

  9. hey,

    My name is Galina Arbeli and I am currently curating an exhibition about playgrounds in the Design Museum Holon that will open in mid of April towards Design Week Holon 2014.
    As part of the exhibition I am creating a history map of the evolution of playgrounds in the world. I am writing to you because I would love to combine your project attached in appendix A in this map and will be happy if you could send me the high res images of the thumbnails attached and approve the museum the right to use them in the exhibition, in the museum's website and other publications related to the exhibition and the map.

    Please contact me back, if it is possible to use those catalog images.
    thanks in advance,

    1. Galina- I will contact you tomorrow from the gallery, but getting the images to you should be no problem, I will just have to scan the catalog. All the best, -Patrick