A distant cousin of the 1970s T-shirt ‘Sex inspector first lesson free’ that was once funny but now icky, this wonderful gadget called the ‘Extendable inspection mirror’ could be used as a toy to find things stuck behind furniture, but the image on the box suggests otherwise.
The image conveyed here is that it is OK for young boys (what is up with those glasses?) to sexually assault women because it’s funny. Although I’m glad Dutch folks on Twitter blew the whistle on this one, the typical ‘we thought it was odd too, but we stacked in the shelves anyway’ response from the shop shows how much critical thinking some employees have, which is none at all. The toy shop in question is busy scrambling and pulling the item from their shelves after it hit the media because they were too stupid to come to that conclusion themselves.
(Link and photo: nieuws.nl)
Tags: assault, sexism, toys
The Zeeman bargain items chain is recalling some 8,000 boxes of toy airplanes as they depict New York’s City destroyed Twin Towers. According to a spokesperson, the toys were made in China and had been properly tested, but the picture on the box got under the radar. The right wing of the Lufthansa plane seems to be missing as well.
The photo shows two airplanes, one imitating a Lufthansa airplane from Germany and the other flying way too low, too close to the Twin Towers and too close to another airplane to be just a casual stock photo on a box. If I were Lufthansa, I wouldn’t be too thrilled about being associated with a terrorist attack.
(Link: www.blikopnieuws.nl, Photo: Zeeman folder)
Tags: airplane, Lufthansa, toys, Twin Towers, Zeeman
Dutch comedian Guido Weijers stirred the pot on Facebook recently by placing the photo of a small boy advertising bear and ape cuddly toys for Zeeman (bargain items chain), with the ape cropped out and the words “ape or bear” left in.
By cropping out the ape Weijers tried to make a joke about why such a photo hadn’t been addressed in the Zwarte Piet discussion, comparing the boy to an ape. His joke fell flat and he spent some time writing apologies. He’s managed to piss off Zeeman (surely), the casting agency (probably), the mother (absolutely), and anyone including the Dutch courts who think Zwarte Piet is a relic.
When the boy’s mother saw the cropped version of the picture, she said it felt like her heart stopped and asked Weijers to remove the joke, which he refused to do. On a Dutch news show, she calmly explained that her son is in a very nice advert (his first photo shoot), and an adult has created an image of her son as an ape. “He’s five years old, he can’t defend himself and he’s proud to be in that picture,” she said clearly relaying her emotions.
Weijers apologised in a letter to the mother, saying he had no idea the joke would go that far, which is very lame considering he posted it online. The mother is considering pressing charges against Weijers.
(Link: www.parool.nl, Photo: Zeeman)
Tags: advertising, comedy, Facebook, racism, toys
Hengelo-based artist Dimitri Spijk made this skull out of toy soldiers.
Spijk doesn’t appear to have a website, but I found this photo on his Facebook account. The price of the work is 1,000 euro, although it’s unclear if it’s still for sale.
Check Spijk’s Timeline for other works, I already saw a painting (“for the aspiring Spijk collector” as the artist writes) for 50 euro and a birdseed helmet with the text “voer vogels, niet oorlog” (‘feed birds, don’t make war’—in Dutch it is a pun) for 75 euro.
Tags: Dimitri Spijk, skulls, soldiers, toys
There’s already Sinterklaas treats in the shops, we’ve spent the summer in controversy with ‘Zwarte Piet’ and now in Ede, Gelderland, there’s a run on toys featuring the soon to be phased out black festive helper.
Online webshop Lobbes.nl based in Ede has sold all its Fisher Price Sinterklaas sets in one day. We’re not talking millions of sets, but the run on the toys did not go unnoticed. Fisher Price has announced that it will stop producing its traditional sets following complaints related to the figure of Zwarte Piet deemed racist by the courts.
What I’m thinking is in the years to come when the Dutch will be getting used to the phasing out of Zwarte Piet, anyone who has Zwarte Piet toys or decorations will make some extra cash. For all we know, they’ll import stuff from China if they’re not already doing that. And one day, a bit like gollywogs they’ll be seen more ironically than as actual festive figures.
(Link: www.gelderlander.nl, Photo by Aloxe, some rights reserved)
Tags: racism, Sinterklaas, toys, Zwarte Piet
The Dolly Dots were a Dutch girl band from the 1980s with a string of hits. At the height of their success the six singers had their own sitcom, feature film and even their own Barbie dolls which, according to the I’m Like: ‘Oh My God!!!’ blog, were not very life-like.
The Ria doll at least included her trademark short hair. “All the dolls were hits, except the Ria one […] because it had short hair. You cannot comb a Ken hairdo.”
In this video from Avro’s TopPop Ria still had long hair—she is the one with the purse:
Having found only one source I have no idea whether this story is actually true, but it sounded too good to have it stay at the Dutch language part of the web.
(Photo by TROS, some rights reserved)
Tags: 1980s, Barbie, dolls, Dolly Dots, haircuts, Ria Brieffies, toys
‘Grab a small one, win a big one’: Amsterdam advertising agency Brandbase placed 100,000 miniature cars on Rotterdam’s Binnenrotte street near the local market. One of the toy cars had a marking under it with which you win a real car. Dutch advertising agency Brandbase patiently placed all of these cars, which were scooped up in 23 minutes. Marktplaats, a Dutch auction site also sell cars. Since it has a lot of competition, this was as an attempt to position the site as the ‘quickest route’ to getting rid of your car.
It was definitely the fastest way to get rid of one real car and 100,000 small ones. My childlike brains says it’s also nice to have all those toy cars to play with even if you don’t win.
(Link: www.amsterdamadblog.com, Photo of Matchbox toy cars by sarflondondunc, some rights reserved)
Tags: advertising, advertizing, Rotterdam, toys
Wouter Sieuwerts came up with this life size toy for his graduation from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague.
It can be wound up, after which it can be made to move. There is a video that shows how this works at Vimeo. Sieuwerts writes: “It won’t go far and it won’t go fast, but it is very dynamic and exciting. I tried to make it look like a cross between an animal and a machine.”
The toy is called Erik, perhaps because of its bug like features? (Eric in the Land of the Insects is a classic Dutch novel by author Godfried Bomans.)
(Photo: Wouter Sieuwerts. Link: Bright.)
Tags: bugs, machines, toys, Wouter Sieuwerts
Dutch 14-year-old Stijn Oom has taken his Lego blocks up a few levels and made some fantastic WWII creations without using pre-existing Lego kits. He started building serious models when he was just five and hasn’t stopped since.
Flickr has helped him connect with enthusiasts and surely helped boost his ever-increasing popularity. “When I discovered Flickr, I found out that there was a HUGE Lego community going on! Reactions on builds, comments, favorites! It was the perfect system for every young builder.” Flickr is used by Lego fans to share their creations and they like it because they can annotate their images.
Why doesn’t Lego make military sets like there? Because it’s part of the company’s policy to not make anything military, with the exception of the Star Wars kits.
(Links: gizmodo.com, fooyoh.com, Photo of Lego by tiptoe, some rights reserved)
Tags: Lego, toys, WWII
Limburgs Museum in Venlo has an exhibit of Roman Empire household goods with a twist. All the items on display are replicas, and are for sale as part of an exhibit that tries to mimic IKEA down to the smallest detail, including the familiar blue floor map in Latin.
There’s the blue and yellow logo, the shop-by-room concept, and a cheap Roman meatball lunch in the café. Best of all are the exhibit’s housewares, all of them labelled with Latin names and all available for purchase. You can pick up a “Romulus” toy wooden sword, a “Secundus” wine goblet, or a bust of Emperor Hadrian. Furniture available for online ordering include lounges, tables, and storage cabinets modelled after items found in the ancient Roman city of Herculaneum.
The furniture was built by Drias in Tilburg based on charred remains found in Pompeji and Herculaneum, on frescos from those same cities, and on an illustrated coffin from Simpelveld (Limburg).
The exhibit/store runs until 6 January, 2012. The web shop is in Dutch, but also delivers abroad.
(Photo: Limburgs Museum)
Tags: archeology, furniture, Roman Empire, toys, Venlo