Friday, January 28, 2011

Toys, Toys

Reconstruction of cutouts for "Noah's Ark," by Antonio de Lara, from the catalogue Toys of the Avant-Garde

In a few weeks I will be headed to the Toy Fair in New York City to check out the latest and greatest in toys, with an eye toward products for adults and kids alike that are dollhouse-related or are items that can be used in modern dollhouse environments.

My first stop at the Fair will be the brinca dada booth. As many of you know, brinca dada is the toy company behind the 1:16 scale Emerson House, which premiered at last year's Fair and has ended up in many of your homes. I heard from owner Doug Rollins (whose partner is architect Tim Boyle) that not only are they aiming to have their gorgeous Bennett on display at the Fair, but they are also unveiling a new house, the Dylan. Doug shared a preview of this new creation, which is...collapsible and extremely cool-looking!

Check this out this demo:

video courtesy of brinca dada

Amazing, right? Doug said that the house is ideal for the "modern doll house lover and apartment dweller" and can easily slide "under a bed or behind a couch."  The house will carry a price tag of between $149-$179, according to Doug. The house has design elements evocative of the Emerson, such as the flooring and style of the roof. I do love the walls of windows and the bi-level design. And, of course, I love the idea of a collapsible house, having seen the potential of my 1940s pop-up, my 1960s Instant Doll House, and even my new 1960s Bodo Hennig school house. Doug and Tim are still working on the specs, so they could not yet share materials or scale, or details like whether or not there will be stairs. I look forward to talking more with Doug at the Fair, and will fill you in soon!

On a related note, I wanted to share some photos from a book that accompanied an exhibition of Toys of the Avant-Garde, which is on view at the Picasso Museum in Malaga, Spain until January 30.

It is a lovely catalogue of children's toys, books, posters, dolls, furniture, and many other aspects of play in the avant-garde style from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The book features essays by curators and other experts on the stylistic influences of play in different countries and cultures, highlighting the designs of artists including Picasso, Klee, Calder, Duchamp, and many others. Here are some of my favorite pictures (it was difficult to choose!):

Any surprise that this a high chair by Gerrit Rietveld?

Now THAT's a cradle!

The catalogue, which was printed in separate editions in English and Spanish, retails for about $40 through Amazon or Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. I acquired mine through Barnes & Noble and with my membership and a coupon, it was $35. Well worth it!

Browsing through the catalogue reminded me to share a little toy that I recently purchased: a boxed wooden train marked "East Germany." It is such a simple, timeless design, and will hopefully work well in one of my 1:10 scale houses; I put it next to a 1:10 scale chair for comparison:

Lastly...I have a few special mini vintage "toys" in my collection that are lovely, but I am finding that I will likely not use in my houses. I wanted to offer them up to my readers, in the hope that one or a few of you might like to add them to your own collections. They are very special, and I wanted to offer them here first before trying eBay or something similar.

They are:

A vintage boxed set of Brio Mobilia dining room furniture, 1:16 scale:

The box is a bit worn, especially at the corners, but is unopened and the furniture looks to be in mint condition. As you can see, it is labeled "Djursholm 38380." I believe it is from the late 1960s or early 1970s.

The other two pieces came as part of a lovely lot of 1950s German furniture that I bought back in spring 2009, and are closest to 1:10 scale. I found out that the pieces came from Haus Kathrin (you can see my post here), a stunning 1950s era house.

A  wooden television set, missing a leg, but easily fixed. The wiring and plug is completely intact, but I have not been able to test it.

A corner-shaped fireplace, covered in litho paper and also wired. There is a red bulb behind the wires, so I have to assume it is meant to light up to simulate the heat of a roaring fire!

If you are interested in any of these gems, please email me an offer at call-small(at)call-small(dot)com. First come, first served. Thanks!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Midcentury Modern Bungalow by Haefner & Krullmann

Photograph taken in natural morning light
My newest acquisition is a lovely vintage German Haefner & Krullmann bungalow, which dates from the early 1960s. I first saw this house on the wonderful puppenhausmusem website, here, a few years ago, where the house is said to be from 1964. Blogger and collector diepuppenstubensammlerin has the same house, which she wrote about last June, and she places the house at 1962. You can see pictures and other information at the above links -- please check them out!

This is my first bungalow. I love the simplicity of the layout and midcentury lines, and it is able to be put together and taken apart quite easily. I want to give you a little tour of this gem, which now sits in our living room (it's the only place for it, basement doll house room cannot take any more occupants until we mount some shelving on the walls).

Putting it together was pretty straightforward, thankfully because the eBay seller (who bought the house last fall in Laupheim, Germany) had carefully wrapped and organized the parts and even provided the screws on an I.D. sheet.

First, the base and flooring...

Then the first half...

And the house! All the flooring is original, as is the lovely antenna and wall of flowers on the patio.

Sadly, the front door is missing as is the patio fence and the partition between the kitchen and what is meant as the bedroom (where's the bathroom???). I think I can fashion a partition with some nice papers, and I may see if Elizabeth, the magician at ELF, can do a new door and fence for me (she did a set of doors for my Large VERO, you can see them here).

There is also some yellowing on one of the outside walls, but I think I might be able to cover those spots with a paint that matches.

A window box also has a few plants missing...perhaps my love of aquarium plants will come into play. :) The kitchen and dining furniture came with the house, and fits well here. I do love the Modella kitchen pieces, with their "stainless" trim. Very cool!

It was fun furnishing the house a bit...

Vintage Bodo Hennig Lamp

Thanks for visiting number 24!
I hope to have more fun with this house -- let's hope my four year old does not feel the same way!

UPDATE, 1/25/11: Thanks (again!) to blogger and collector diepuppenstubensammlerin, I now know that the white floor lamp is by Bodo Hennig, and the red stool in the kitchen is as well. On the lamp, she shared a Bodo Hennig advertisement from 1969 that shows a series of lamps, and it appears mine is an amalgam of the top of one (L11 in photo below), and the bottom of another (see L12)! Diepuppenstubensammlerin noted that since Hennig products were imported to the U.S., and they had different product lines, that there might have been variations such as this. Here is the photo -- thanks again, diepuppenstubensammlerin!!!

ANOTHER UPDATE, 1/27/11: Diepuppenstubensammlerin has also confirmed that the kitchen pieces, including the refrigerator, stove, etc., as well as the table, chairs, and tea set, are all Modella. She shared a picture from her Flickr photostream that shows the boxed set from the Toy Museum of N├╝rnberg, dated 1970 (LOVE that clock!):


Credits: Kitchen pieces are Modella; chair in living room is Crailsheimer; bookcase, chaise, dining pieces, and patio chairs are vintage German; lamp and kitchen stool are Bodo Hennig; rug is a piece of embossed felt from Michaels. Accessories are Re-ment, Bozart, and eBay finds.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to the 29 followers who entered my Love Giveaway! I appreciate your nice comments, and I am pleased to reveal the winning number, as produced by the Random Integer Generator. Drum roll...

Number 7! Caroline wins it -- congrats! Please email me your mailing address and I will send your goodies off!

Thanks again, all! I hope to do another one soon.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Moving On In

This picture of me is dated March 1980. I was on the cusp of ten years old, perhaps around the time TOMY put out its 1:16 scale Smaller Home and Garden dollhouse. Instead of coloring a picture in my striped pink suspenders (WHAT was I thinking???), I should have been begging my Mommy for my very own Smaller Home and Garden.

So...for quite some time I have been keeping my peepers out for one. One of the first scenes I did on this blog was with the bathtub and living room chairs-- just some of the many pieces that were manufactured with the house-- so I have a special fondness for this gem. As a child of the 70s, it speaks to me! For a time warp, check out this YouTube video of the original TV commercial for the house.

Well, the big day arrived and I now am movin' on into my TOMY. Mine came in its original box (with directions):

Here is the front of the house after I put it all together. It's crammed next to my large VERO.

The construction is very straightforward, but the directions were helpful when it came to the smaller roof...tricky, tricky. The chimney is still not completely flush, so I still need to fiddle with that. I was pleased to see that the second floor piece was not warped; I often see these houses for sale with sloped or buckled flooring.

The house is in used, but very good, condition, and I purchased it from a seller on eBay from whom I have acquired other TOMY items, such as my beloved rectangular potted plant. I think I have used that thing in more scenes than any other accessory! Despite my leanings toward complete laziness about the original adhesive wallpaper (not to my liking), I forced myself to address the upper floors over the Christmas holidays. The ground floor does not have any papers at all, which is nice.

Here's what the upper floor pieces looked like:

The papers were in OK condition, but preferred not to leave them. I decided to stay true to the creme and blue color scheme, and used some very nice vintage textured wallpaper that I purchased at a dollhouse store on Long Island for the long bedroom wall (I cleaned the store out of every sheet-- about $3.50 per sheet, on sale).

I love the neutral tone and subtle texture. The small bath adjacent to the bedroom needed a little blue "pop," though. So, I used some Japanese folding paper for an accent wall, and papered the other two with the creme paper.

I neglected to paper the fair right wall by the stairwell, and have left it for now. I'll likely use the same creme paper.

This is a very fun house to photograph. The windows and flooring are great. You'll see that I used a "rug" of sorts in the bedroom -- this is a cut up place mat from West Elm ($4.95 on sale). I finally got a pair of Reac zigzag chairs, too! Love them, but they are smaller than 1:12 scale, which is why they work well here.

Thanks for tuning in to my retro moment! I hope to set up the bottom floors soon.

A reminder about my Love Giveaway: it ends at midnight (EST) TOMORROW, January 15, so hop on over to that post and comment!

Credits: Bath: sink is Dolls House Emporium; light is Lil' Bratz; rug is a window shade sample from Lowes; tub is a soap dish from Crate and Barrel with a Mighty World funnel; table is Re-ment. Bedroom: bed is vintage German; rectangular rug is by Peppercorn Minis; green rug is a West Elm place mat; chairs are Reac; plant and lamp are vintage Lundby. Accessories are minimodernistas, Re-ment, and eBay finds.