Lincoln Logs. TinkerToys. Erector Sets. LEGO. And, of course, the humble wooden block. The timeline of the toys that we’ve used to build our fantasy buildings, towns and towers is long and varied. The Dallas Center for Architecture explores this experience in Building Toys and Toy Buildings: Architecture Through A Child’s Eyes.
The exhibition includes a wide spectrum of vintage and modern toys, including unusual examples like the Eames House of Cards, AstroBrite and Girder and Panel Sets. A section of the exhibition examines a variety of blocks—from German stone Anchor Blocks dating from the early 1900s to the colored Playskool wooden blocks that have been a part of so many toy boxes for decades. Additionally, the show looks at the various toy buildings in existence, with a special emphasis on doll houses, including one of the first Barbie Dream Houses and a house built by an architect for his daughter in the 1970s. Also included are groups of buildings from the Fisher-Price collection and the metal toys of the Marx Company. A highlight of the show is a 6-foot tall K’Nex Ferris Wheel made up of 8,550 individual pieces.