Toys are the tools of play, and enjoyable and beneficial play is everyone’s basic right to enjoy life; therefore, toys are not only children’s partners, but also essential for adults who are eager to release their innocence and return to their innocence. From a history of toys, we can not only see the history of human childhood, but also trace the course of social civilization.
Wooden toys are a major category in the toy category. They were born very early and can be seen in almost all historical periods. For a long time, in addition to being a material existence, it has also accumulated a profound culture, and behind it contains a gradually perfected humanistic concept.
In the West, wooden toys are not only used for games, but also popular as decorative objects. At Christmas in the 15th century, many small wooden animals were used by households as decorations to decorate houses and increase the festive atmosphere. They were all handmade and generally ranged from a few inches to a few feet high. Later, single-piece toys were added to sets, such as the very famous “Noah’s Ark” and “Little Circus” toy sets, which were composed of multiple wooden animals. In addition to simple static decorations, in the 18th century, wooden toys that can be moved also appeared. One is to install a movable rod at the end of the toy, so that some parts of it can move, such as wooden animals that can climb trees and forage on the ground; the other is to install springs, such as in the doll box. A little puppet with a spring, as soon as the lid of the box is opened, the puppet jumps out.
Of the countries that produce wooden toys, Germany is most admired for its craftsmanship. In the 18th century, small wooden carved animals in Nuremberg, Germany, were sold well in other European countries because of their low prices and excellent craftsmanship. With the rise and progress of the Industrial Revolution, belt lathes appeared in Germany in the 19th century, and machines gradually replaced the status of handicrafts. Wooden toys have also changed from pure handmade to a combination of lathe processing and manual labor. Although such mass production will Erase the personalization of pure hand-made, but the production efficiency is greatly improved.
Among wooden toys, building blocks and puzzles, two ancient toys with a history of hundreds of years since their birth, are still widely circulated today. Exercising the balance and coordination ability of the body is of great benefit.
The types of building blocks are mainly architectural. Today, houses, stations, towers, castles and even various famous landscapes in the world can be re-displayed in the country of building blocks. Many famous thinkers have highly praised this toy. As early as the period of Western Enlightenment, Locke and Rousseau proposed that the toys suitable for children to play should be some simple and natural toys, such as small stones and branches. In the early 19th century, the famous German educator JCF Gezmut clearly pointed out that building blocks are toys that entertain and teach, because simple building blocks can be stacked into lifelike buildings by different people and in different ways. Magic is as wonderful as it is fun, engaging and engaging children, as well as greatly expanding their imaginations.
Educator Frobel further developed a theory for the building block game and personally tailored building blocks for children. Froebel originally aspired to be an architect, but as he gained experience in the world, he felt that it made more sense to devote himself to the field of education. In Germany in the early 19th century, in order to achieve national unity and national strength, reforms were implemented in various fields; and national education was a key point in the reform. Intellectuals believed that only by awakening the patriotism and national consciousness of the people could the realization of the nation be achieved. rise. For the same purpose, Froebel began a new journey of his career by combining social transformation and personal transformation. With the architectural foundation accumulated in his early years, he invented 10 kinds of toys with simple but changeable shapes. They are all basic geometric bodies, which are called “gifts” by the Germans. Several of them are building blocks, which are composed of cubes, cuboids, cubes, large triangular pillars, small triangular pillars and cylinders of wood, and their specifications are fixed. These wooden geometries can be assembled into different architectural styles, and they fit together to form a cube. This is very helpful for cultivating children’s structural thinking and enhancing their sense of space. Therefore, Frobel’s building blocks not only triggered the trend of returning to simplicity and simplicity in the toy industry at that time, but also passed down and became a template for future generations to learn from.
When the production of large factories gradually prevailed, in the mid-19th century, building blocks were mass-produced, and the scale and capacity were expanded, and a complete set of exquisite building blocks began to appear based on the rich man’s villa at that time. Its inventor is Charles, Pennsylvania, who imitated real building materials and made blocks with joints and joints, so people can build real-life mansions. In this way, ordinary people can experience the taste of “living in” a beautiful house, and thus have more good hopes for life. In the 1880s, Charles founded a toy company to manufacture and sell his inventions. His products are very popular with children because he offers more than just a toy, but a chance to dream.
In the 20th century, the building blocks brands of particular note were the Bauhaus and Lego. Before the “World War I”, the design style of “artistic toys” with both fun and artistry was popular all over Europe. In response to this trend, the Bauhaus School of Design in Germany created a new type of building block that perfectly integrates art and technology. The Bauhaus building blocks in the 1920s led the trend of the toy industry with their simple lines, clean color matching, and beautiful and changeable shapes.
Lego bricks were invented by Danes Ole, Keok. Keok was born in a village called Filsgoff. His experience of being close to nature since he was a child made him very fond of woodworking, and he devoted all his time and energy to woodworking. , has practiced the consummate craftsmanship, and produced all kinds of wooden gadgets that are vivid. In the world of wood he is like a duck to water. He later founded a toy company. In the 1930s, he invented a building block that could be connected to each other, named LEGO (Lego), the name was taken from the first half of Leg and Godt (Danish, meaning “play well”), meaning obvious. The unique and ever-changing LEGO bricks were so well-received that the company was named after it.
Today, LEGO bricks are still widely circulated, capturing the hearts of many children around the world. One of its important survival rules is to always keep pace with the times, design building blocks that suit their tastes for audiences of different ages, and insist that they “play on” in the game forever (unlimited play). In 1949, with the popularity of plastic materials, the LEGO company changed the raw material from wood to plastic and launched the first plastic building blocks. It is lightweight, brightly colored, and relatively inexpensive, so it quickly hit the market. In the 1950s, LEGO also used the principle of hole-pillar connection to improve the building blocks. In the late 1980s, in order to cater to the popular pirate games, LEGO launched a pirate set production line, producing a variety of pirate-themed building blocks, such as pirate ships, treasure islands, etc. Today, LEGO bricks are marketed in more than 120 countries around the world, reaching an audience of over 300 million people, and rightfully so. After all, bringing endless joy to players is LEGO’s relentless belief and pursuit.
Jigsaw puzzles have a history of more than 200 years. At first, puzzles were not just toys for children, but an entertainment method for adults to increase their knowledge and relax their mind and body. In the 1760s, puzzles appeared almost simultaneously in Britain and France: in France in 1762, a salesman named Dima began to sell map puzzles; in Britain in the same year, a printer named John, Spearsbury also produced. had the same idea. The jigsaw puzzles at that time were still relatively primitive, just sticking pictures on cardboard or thin boards by hand, and then cutting the cardboard into irregular pieces: this is how Spearsbury made puzzles, he glued a piece of Created a hardboard map of the United Kingdom, cut into small pieces along the edges of the counties on the map, and put them on the market. At that time, the popularity of map puzzles was closely related to social customs: in Britain and France in the middle of the 18th century, with the establishment of the bourgeois regime, the emerging class’s demand for knowledge and overseas development and market expansion made familiarity with maps a A status symbol, a bourgeois gentleman must master this knowledge. Therefore, map puzzles have aroused a hot trend among the emerging bourgeoisie and schools. The territories of regions, countries, Europe and even the New World are all talked about by people through this entertainment method, and they learn geography while relaxing. Why not? For what? In 1787, an Englishman named William Dutton added a new theme to the puzzle: historical figures. He put the portraits of the kings of England on the puzzle, which was the first time for manufacturers to produce puzzles with historical themes.
However, the puzzles in the 18th century were generally only games for rich people, because the series of programs from drawing, coloring, pasting and cutting were all handmade and the materials were more sophisticated, so the output was limited and the cost was expensive, not for ordinary people. Affordable stuff. It was not until the early 19th century, when machine production replaced manual skills, the cost was greatly reduced, the output was greatly increased, the content of the puzzle was broadened again, and the puzzle was accepted by the general public; and the audience was no longer limited to adults, but also became children’s toys.
There is also an exciting legend about the puzzle. It was during the frightening Western economic crisis in 1929, that winter in New York was cold and heart-warming, and the once prosperous turned into depression in the blink of an eye. On the street with the cold wind blowing, a pair of salesman friends, John, Henry and Frank, Weir, met by chance; but the meeting brought not joy but helplessness, because they were both unemployed. The disappointment in life made each other frown. However, after they reluctantly talked a few words in the cold wind, they were not surprised to find that the other party was not as completely disappointed in life as they were, and still had a dream. The encouragement of their companions cheered them up a little. Although they were shivering from the cold, they couldn’t help but continue to discuss their way out in the future. Henry had an epiphany and said, “Hey, man, why don’t we join forces to make some puzzles? You don’t need to invest a lot of money, print your favorite stars, maybe someone will buy them.” , it was a huge success. On newsstands everywhere, people can buy puzzles with at least 300 pieces for only 25 cents, and on them are some famous people and things that represent people’s dreams; Gradually complete the graphics at hand, as if the dream you are looking forward to is also born at the same time, you are no longer a simple picture, but a piece of happiness. For only 25 cents, it allows people to temporarily forget the reality and sorrow, and immerse themselves in dreams to seek a spiritual comfort and pleasure-this kind of entertainment will of course be popular among all people regardless of their status. Although surrounded by turbulent, bleak and sad backgrounds, the pair of friends who never lost confidence and dreams in life miraculously got out of their predicament and became rich overnight. And what makes this story truly touching is not their legendary success, but the comfort they brought to the world.
Perhaps, the most important meaning of all toys lies in this: it is an elves that bring joy, let people experience freedom and dream in the process of playing.
However, looking at the status quo, in today’s electronic age, the increasing number of electronic products has increasingly replaced the status of traditional toys, becoming the new favorite of both children and adults. Although electronic products have its unique charm, everything it makes is undoubtedly an unreal world, far less realistic than traditional toys. For example, in wooden toys, by touching those plain woods, we can still feel a little close to nature, the spirituality, imagination and freedom in our talents are revived day by day, and we can experience the real touch, color and happiness. The whole person will have a real fresh sense of existence; instead of getting lost in the phantasmagoria of electronic falsehood, becoming sluggish and numb.
Let’s go back to traditional toys and go back to the innocence of the past.