The Toy

emaes- the toy

“Toys are not really as innocent as they look. Toys and games are preludes to serious ideas.” – Charles Eames.

eames paper mask

In 1950, Charles and Ray Eames began a series of paper toys. Their first project was a series of masks. The masks, in the shapes of birds, fish and animal heads, were mocked up in cardboard and paper and were intended to be manufactured as die cut shapes to be assembled by the buyer. The project was not put into production but did feed into various other toy experiments such as “The Toy”.


eames -the little toy

Charles and Ray Eames completed “The Toy” in 1951. The Toy was made of a newly developed water resistant, plastic coated paper product. The kit included square and triangular panels, thin wooden dowels with pierced ends and pipe cleaner connectors. The Toy was designed for children, adults and teens to be used as room decoration, to house other toys or to create temporary pavilions for events, parties and amateur theatrics. According to the label The Toy was, “Large-Colourful-Easy to Assemble-For Creating A Light , Bright, Expandable World Large Enough To Play In and Around”.