Fabulous Beasts

Fabulous Beasts makes the toy game physical again

Before there was anything else in this world, there was Bear. Bear was the perfect creature to start off a fresh new ecosystem: big and burly, with a stable base of four flat feet. His back, though hunched over in an arch, was unmovable. And so my quest to create a fabulous world of colors and fauna and water and flame would begin here, with Bear. Only moments later, as Eagle and Hippo and Fire and Water tumbled off Bear’s back onto the linoleum floor of a New York City cafe, did I realize how wrong I’d been. But no…


Modbox expands the playful possibilities of toys with virtual reality

Imagine, if you will, a white empty volume. It’s a room. Now fill it with toys. Stuff ’em in there willy nilly. There’s a basketball, balloons, toy swords, bowling pins, propellers, nets, large die, colorful blocks to climb or topple over. Send a bunch of kids into this room and what do you think will happen? They’ll make up games as they play with each other and these toys, probably having the time of their lives. This is what Modbox will enable, except it all takes place in virtual reality, and that means no one has to clear up the…


Finally, a game where you’re the Tamagotchi and a kid toys with you

Don’t let their ostensible cuteness fool you: Tamagotchi, like babies and pets, are evil little monsters. That may not be an empirical fact, but it is the worldview of Hitogochi, a game that reimagines the Tamagotchi-human relationship from the perspective of the toy. A new human arrives in your life. She is all excited to get to know you. She asks you lots of questions, virtually all of them asinine. It’s exhilarating to have someone focus so much on your needs—or at least it is at first, but the transactionalism of his relationship quickly grows exhausting. “Why is this person…


For the child who hates everything, consider this demonic giraffe toy

Earlier this year the Evilstick made the rounds: a small pink wand bought for a dollar in Dayton, Ohio, which contained a horrifying image of a demon-child slicing her wrist inside. (Snopes has since verified it, so it has to be true.) My favorite part of that story was the reaction of the store’s owner when the a concerned mother brought the Evilstick back; he was pretty much all, “I mean, it’s called an Evilstick, so you’re just a bad parent.”  Into that fray of increasingly fell toys comes this video from Youtuber nuttyturnip, which features a six-inch tall mechanical…


Beat Blox is like real-life Patatap

The intuitive, color-soaked beat-making app Patatap is something we still think you should check out. Following in its footsteps is Beat Blox, a grad project by Swedish student Per Holmquist. His piece, created at the Beckmans College of Design, takes Patatap‘s tactility and fuses that with the much-vaunted (by your dad, while he looms before his chrome all-tube Marantz setup) realness of vinyl: you know, the warmth. The experience. Beat Blox, in contrast to Patatap, acts as a sort of meatspace piano roll, the grid-based system of music making you can cue up in Logic or Fruity Loops. It’s essentially like stretching and placing notes…


Foot-tall Hotline Miami toys will presumably murder your pets

Imagine this thing stalking behind your houseplants, or peering from behind the claw-foot of your bathtub. Designers Dennaton games have partnered with ESC-TOY to create this toy (“doll,” I feel like some people would say) version of the protagonist of their 2012 instant-classic Hotline Miami. The character, referred to as Jacket by fans and, eventually, the developers themselves, spattered blood about the hotels and mansions of Miami using baseball bats, golf clubs, assault rifles and his bare fists. Now you can own a tiny version of him.  The game, which has a sequel due out later this year, viewed the…