Thursday, January 21, 2010

German Wooden Toy Village

This little playset, a carved wooden village with a man and some animals, represents 400 years of toymaking history. Little villages like this one have been made in Germany for centuries, turned out originally in the cottage industries that flourished during the long cold winters in regions like the Erzgebirge and Groden Valley.
Wonderfully naive and delightfully out of scale with itself, this particular village was probably made in the 1920s. I like to pretend the giant animals have left Toyko after a radioactive accident and are on their way to terrorize the little Tyrolean village...

Seriously though, if you'd like to learn more about the history of these toys, there's a great account in one of my favorite toy books, Toys Through the Ages, by Dan Foley.


  1. Hello-I just found your fantastic blog because I work at the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toy, where we have a German Village just like this. As I was setting it up on display I was looking for more information about them. Thanks for tip about Toys Through the Ages! I was having a little trouble information about these great little toys.

  2. I have had a set of animals very similar to yours since I was a kid but the houses are very different. I've been wondering about their history for years so thanks for the tip about the toy book!