Kent Rogowski's marvellously gory and visceral pictures of inside-out teddy bears were collected in the 2007 book Bears, which is available used starting at $0.49. (via IO9)
Resin characters are small pop art statues, often depicting creepy-cute characters that bring to mind Sanrio, Aurora monster model kits of the 1960s, and the bright colors and themes of the lowbrow art movement. The subtitle of We Are Indie Toys is “Make Your Own Resin Characters” but that’s not true. While the artists profiled in this book offer good tips for designing and making resin figurines, there are no instructions in the book (someone needs to write that book!). Nevertheless, We Are Indie Toys is an illuminating trip into the world and minds of the best resin artists of today, with plenty of process photos and screengrabs.
We Are Indie Toys by Louis Bou
Many thanks to Andreas for sharing this lovely video of a doll maker in Japan.
In 1891, Kennard Novelty Company, makers of the first commercial talking board, needed a name for their product, so they asked the board to name itself. Smithsonian's Linda Rodriguez McRobbie looks at "The Strange and Mysterious History of the Ouija Board." Above, my favorite Ouija Board moment in film. From Smithsonian:
Contrary to popular belief, “Ouija” is not a combination of the French for “yes,” oui, and the German ja. (Ouija historian Robert) Murch says, based on his research, it was (Kennard Novelty Company co-founder) Elijah Bond’s sister-in-law, Helen Peters (who was, Bond said, a “strong medium”), who supplied the now instantly recognizable handle. Sitting around the table, they asked the board what they should call it; the name “Ouija” came through and, when they asked what that meant, the board replied, “Good luck.” Eerie and cryptic—but for the fact that Peters acknowledged that she was wearing a locket bearing the picture of a woman, the name “Ouija” above her head. That’s the story that emerged from the Ouija founders’ letters; it’s very possible that the woman in the locket was famous author and popular women’s rights activist Ouida, whom Peters admired, and that “Ouija” was just a misreading of that.
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They're from the creator of "Brogamats," a line of yoga stuff for dudes, and intended to inspire veterans and people who like the military to try out a little yoga.
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The 1960s were a magical decade in the world of toys. Toy companies like Wham-O, Hasbro, Mattel and Kenner were churning out captivating toys faster than toy stores could keep them in stock. Toys like Lite-Brite, Etch A Sketch, Twister, Creepy Crawlers, Operation, Hippity Hop, Spirograph… and of course Kenner’s Easy Bake Oven (launched in 1963) were all the rage.
With an entertaining narrative, Light Bulb Baking explains how the miniature working oven got its start, dissects the oven, explains how a simple light bulb can bake a cake, and tells us loads of fun anecdotes and trivia about Easy Bake (such as the shelf life of Easy Bake mixes, the horrible burns caused by the 2006-2007 models, and the story of a 9-year-old Easy Bake Baker of the Year who won $5,000 for her Toffee Trifle Cake). The book, which is smartly designed with photos, diagrams and sidebars, ends with a bunch of award-winning recipes that make me want to dig out the old Easy Bake Oven I have somewhere in my garage.
Light Bulb Baking
by Todd Coopee
2013, 178 pages, 8.7 x 8.7 x 0.4 inches (paperback)
The $20 Zombie Striker Nerf Foam Machete is just what you need for your little monster-hunters.