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Wooden toys for the 21st century

Art, Graphic Design

Posted by Patrick Burgoyne, 22 September 2010, 10:45    Permalink    Comments (18)

Beloved of middle class parents everywhere – if not their kids – wooden toys have largely looked to the past. With oilrigs, satellites and container ships, Papa Foxtrot is hoping to change all that.

Papa Foxtrot will be a new toy brand from London-based design studio Postlerferguson. As a taste of things to come, the studio has launched its Wooden Giants series, comprising models of the Emma Maersk, Arctic Princess and TI Asia, three of the largest cargo ships in the world.

"We are planning to take today's most fascinating and amazing technological achievements, like submarines, satellites, windmills, oilrigs amongst others and make them part of a growing collection of wooden toys which we will produce in small batches (for now)," explains Postlerferguson's Martin Postler. "The idea is to make the 'normal' become grand again, to celebrate technology with almost childish optimism."

The container ship and liquid gas tanker can be dissassembled and their cargo re-arranged.

Postlerferguson are exhibiting the large scale protoypes shown here in the group show Translations at the London Design Festival (details here) – half-size versions at around 40cm long will go on sale for between £40 and £60. They seem a bit too nice for kids though. Details here.


They will need to do something a bit more fun for them to be toys instead of just models.
Liam Potter
2010-09-22 11:58:46

These are beautiful, and such nice colours.
2010-09-22 12:00:04

Lovely idea and I can see them as toys!
2010-09-22 12:34:36

It'd be nice if their website was up and running. I need one of these.

For my nephew.

Not for me.
2010-09-22 12:47:34

More of a playful ornament than a toy, but wonderful nonetheless.
2010-09-22 12:49:15

These are stunning! The colours used are the kind of perfect you wish you had come up with!

I disagree that they need to do more, I was perfectly content building things out of blocks and using my imagination to bring them to life. I'm not sure what kids are like nowadays or whether these 'Video Games' will ever take off but for now these represent a modern take on more innocent times...

2010-09-22 13:05:34


HMS Twitter
2010-09-22 13:07:13

Great idea, even better if you could play with them in the bath tub, add a small motor and make it remote control?
Jitesh Patel
2010-09-22 14:40:10

From the Postleferguson website:

"Behind the sheer gigantic complexity and abstraction of the global logistic system hides an intriguing beauty of radical functionality and almost organic, nerve-like organisation. We aim to translate its machine protagonists into a very familiar format of classic wooden toys and objects."

Ooooh, fun! Yes, they're lovely objects. But there'll be hipster designer dads all over Islington saying "No, Lubalin, dear – that's Daddy's boat. Daddy's boat. Now go and play with your Letraset".
Ed Wright
2010-09-22 14:46:58

Those're lovely! The RL 'Arctic Princess' has an almost toy-like quality to it anyway, with the bright colours and bulbous gas tanks:
Marshall Woods
2010-09-22 22:59:40

These may be the most beautiful things I've ever seen...
Michelberger Hotel
2010-09-23 08:58:37

Wood is not a material you see kids play with very often anymore. These are beautiful toys and a golden tribute to simpler times.
Jasmine Farahat
2010-09-24 02:35:45

I think they should make a mahogany case PS3...
Kids would definitely play with that!
2010-09-24 15:37:06

I think these are little artworks. Well done!
Johann du Plessis
2010-09-24 21:21:01

My son is an engineer on one of the Maersk ships and I would love to buy the Emma Maersk for his on (my grandson.) Can it be purchased on line? What is the cost?
I'd appreciate any info you could send me.
Virginia Clark
2011-08-29 19:38:39

These are a real piece of art, shame most kids prefer an PS3 or XBox these days!
Richard Gates
2012-01-11 19:44:58

Wow really smart the wooden ship what a great toy i just love it.
2012-11-15 00:37:26

I want that.
2014-07-20 22:12:13

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