When kids see a room full of toy cars, stuffed animals, action figures and other fun kids toys they see possibilities for the most fun day ever. When Mom and Dad see that stuff, it looks more like a day full of cleaning. But when some creative individuals see toys they see art supplies. Here are some incredible examples of kids toys turned art.
Robert Bradford Toy Sculptures
Seeing the toys themselves as mini un-credited pieces of artwork Robert Bradford uses them to build elaborate sculptures. His sculptures include old discarded plastic and plush toys that come together to create something fun and new.
Recycled Vintage Toys by Artsy
Known for handmade, upcycled kitschy goodness, Etsy features some pretty weird sculptures made from toys. Etsy artist “Artsy” creates work ranging from “adorably vintage” to “creepy dismemberment” using parts from old dolls, wooden toys, xylophones and anything she can find scavenging flea markets.
Sure, everyone’s seen balloon animals like poodles or giraffes, but what about life-sized tanks and monsters? We imagine that the artists behind balloon sculptures might have inflated egos, but we really can’t blame them. Taking requests at a kid’s birthday party might take a lot of patience but spending days to weeks on giant balloon art takes genuine talent.
Lego Replica Art
There’s no shortage of LEGO art on the web (although at this point there may be an actual LEGO shortage) including some pretty clever recreations of paintings, photographs and movie scenes. No matter how serious the subject matter the Lego version with a beady-eyed smiling Lego man can make anyone chuckle.
Recycled Toy Furniture
You might see a Little Tikes kickboard and some plexiglass, but to many, it’s simply art. Greg Lynn, known for building unique blobby structures using algorithms, turns his attention to plastic ducks and rocking horses. We’re honestly not sure if these are designed to accent a kids playroom or if they’re unique decor for eccentric adults.
So far we’ve only shown you sculptures, furniture and the like, but what about other forms of art, like music? That’s right. Music made by toys. Beatrix*JAR uses old kids toys to lay down unique tracks. The process is known as circuit bending and the results are fun, strange and in some cases disturbing. Whoever thought that old speak n’ spell would ever be so M-U-S-I-C-A-L?
Barbie Parts Jewelry
Playing with Barbie dolls as a girl was as much about playing pretend as it was about dressing up and accessorizing. In fact, most of our very first experiences with jewellery were thanks to our best friend Barbie. Artist Margaux Lange reinvents our early days of accessorizing with her bizarre brand of homemade jewellery. Love them or hate them as a comment on Barbie’s roll in our culture or a strange tribute to the plastic princess.
Banquet Stuffed Animal Chair
Remember lying on top of a layer of stuffed animals that covered your bed as a kid? They were so soft and cosy and made the perfect cushioning… so it’s no wonder that someone would use 150 of them to design a cushy chair. Unfortunately the disappointment sets in when you realize it’s just decorative and not meant to for sitting. And for the price, you might as well get empty your wallet into a claw machine to get the plushies yourself because at least that might make a fun afternoon.
Red Toys Heart
If you’re in love with toys turned art then check out this Heart made from red toys. Made up of toys old and new like ponies, phones, toy tools and so much more, this warm piece of wall art reminds us of all the things we loved as kids.
You might not get a triple word score for “pump” if you use one of the only 2 letter Ps to make a scrabble pendant, but you’ll feel like a queen (that’s 14 points for anyone who’s counting). These adorable game peice pendants feature cute artwork on one side and your favorite scrabble letter on the other.
Garden of Isis Recycled Toy Art
Lucas, Kansas was put on the map for Florence Deeble’s Rock Garden 50 years ago, but in 2002 it’s been the Deeble house that’s been the talk of the town. Known as the Garden of Isis, visual artist Mri-Prilar created 5 rooms of art made from old toys, dolls and other recycled stuff.
Giant Puppy Made of Wind-up Dogs
You probably never asked yourself “how many wind-up Little Danny dogs would it take to make an 8-foot puppy sculpture” but we have the answer anyway: 660. When you enter the room all of the tiny dog heads start turning and yapping for attention which really makes beholding this particular piece of toy art more of an experience than simply something you look at.
Lego Art Sculptures
We’ve seen all kinds of amazing stuff made of LEGOs, but nothing as well crafted as the Lego art featured on Brick Shelf. Usually, LEGO sculptures are jagged and (for lack of a better word) blocky, but these have smooth edges and look unbelievably detailed.
Monkey Around Chandelier
We can only imagine that designer John Niero got yelled at for hanging his barrel of monkeys toys off of his grandmother’s chandelier as a kid. Only a child-like imagination could dream up something as fun as the Monkey Around Chandelier covered with little plastic toy monkeys that come together to create something so surprisingly elegant.
When your missing puzzle pieces never turn up you really have 2 options: throw the whole thing away or get creative. The Puzzle Mobile turns the frustrating experience of losing a piece of the puzzle into adorable decor for baby’s room.
Recycled Toy Art by Ryan McElhinney
While all of these toy art sculptures we’ve seen are pretty cool, most of them are a bit too bright for adult tastes. But Ryan McElhinney adds a touch of sophistication by coating everything in a single colour of high gloss lacquer in silver and gold.