Mole, friends and vintage Czech toys' fun

The moles are here at the Power Station of Art through August 11, together with many of his smart friends from the Czech Republic, such as goats, giraffes, elephants and buffaloes.

The moles are here at the Power Station of Art through August 11, together with many of his smart friends from the Czech Republic, such as goats, giraffes, elephants, buffaloes and caterpillars — some date back 100 years!

With the continuous development of science and technology, digital games have become a major amusement for children. However, creative hand-made toys, with traditional design, can also provide hours of fun for children.

Mole, friends and vintage Czech toys' fun
Holin Wang / SHINE

The legendary plastic figurine Igracek was introduced in 1976 by the IGRA production cooperative.

Mole, friends and vintage Czech toys' fun
Courtesy of Czech Centers Prague

Designed by Petr Fiala, the "Spectra Swing" is primarily a swing, but a simple trick suffices to convert it into a bridge, ladder, a tunnel, a house, a slide or a counter.

Mole, friends and vintage Czech toys' fun
Holin Wang / SHINE

In 2017 Monika Matejkova and Veronika Watzkova created a breathtaking collection "Zahumny," which pays tribute to the tradition of Czech wooden toys and puppetry.

In the 1920s, Czech toys were mainly made of wood. The designers also added little springs to make them move.

In the 1930s, the classic toy was a constructable vehicle, which could be put together with little screws to encourage a child’s curiosity and inventiveness.

In the 1950s, plush toys became the favorites of kids all over the world while, in the 1970s, inflatable, plastic and electronic toys all had their turn in the market. Despite the constant change in materials, the core designs and traditional elements have been passed down to today.

Mole, friends and vintage Czech toys' fun
Holin Wang / SHINE

The Mole, a hero of Zdenek Miler's cartoon whose first episode was created in 1957, is children's favorite worldwide.

Czech contemporary artist Petr Nikl also displays his installations at the exhibition, using toy elements originally meant for children. His mother, Libuse Niklova, is one of the most iconic toy designers of the Czech Republic. In memory of his mother, Nikl created the “Dialogues with My Mother” series.

The artist says even in the 21st century, when entertainment and equipment is well developed, traditional Czech toys are still very popular.

“Traditional toys are in hesitance of memory and wisdom. By playing with them, children can always learn something,” says Nikl.

Two classic Czech cartoon series, “The Mole” and “Pat A Mat,” will be screened at the exhibition on a loop.

Mole, friends and vintage Czech toys' fun
Holin Wang / SHINE

"Head Series" by Libuse Niklova (toy design in 1971) and Petr Nikl (recreation in 2012)

Exhibition Info

Date: Through August 11 (closed on Mondays), 11am-7pm
Venue: 1/F Power Station of Art
Address: 200 Huayuangang Rd

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