Greener, Artier Toys

Still on the road but had some time to surf a bit and came across a couple of things worth taking the time to mention here. The first is an entry over on the C|Net News blog regarding “green toys” (Link). I’m especially interested in alternative materials so reading about a new line of bioplastic toys made from corn starch and vegetables is potentially helpful.

Only thing I’m wondering is: if the bioplastic material starts to “decompose within months, compared to decades like traditional plastics”, then is that really a good thing? After all, the processes needed to make those toys aren’t likely to be very green, so if the product lifecycle is short, the process has to be repeated more often. I’d like a material that might last a few years instead of months. Something to investigate.

Meanwhile, over on Vinyl Pulse, I did a double-take at an entry (Link) that included a couple of images of vinyl “art toys” which actually appear to be pretty accurate vinyl replicas of fine art sculptures originally created by famed industrial designer Viktor Schreckengost.

The pieces were done by MINDstyle, and while it doesn’t qualify Viktor’s involvment, I suspect he had a hand in the final runs. That may not sound like a big deal, except that Viktor is over a hundred years old; and the reason I suspect he was actively involved is that when he was my instructor back in the early 90’s, he was still extremely sharp.

I certainly hope he was part of the process of bringing these vinyl replicas to market. Of all the instructors I had, he and one other, Roy Hess, were the only ones that seemed to have a genuine passion for the profession and a sincere interest in the students. Roy unfortunately passed away a couple of months after I graduated, but Viktor was still going strong last I’d heard.

I’d like to know how MINDstyle linked up with Viktor and hear if perhaps there might be something other than replicas on the horizon. Perhaps I can find an interview somewhere discussing this effort, and/or if any IDers out there can point me to additional information, please post a comment.

Also, if anyone from MINDstyle happens to surf through and would like to send some info my way, I’d be happy to update this post and get some additional word out about these items.