Playing around with toys as art and jewelry | Value This! With Dr. Lori

To date, nearly 100 toys have been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong Museum in Rochester, New York.

The National Toy Hall of Fame was established in 1998 and toy inductees include: soap bubbles, Rubik’s Cube, rubber duck, the stick (sure…every kid plays with sticks), the cardboard box, chess, Hot Wheels toy cars, little green army men, doll house, Star Wars action figures and dominoes among others.

Anyone can nominate a toy into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Final selections are made on the advice of a panel of judges, made up of historians, educators and others in the field of play.

This prompted me to consider how vintage toys are repurposed into new art forms. I found some pretty interesting collaborative efforts, mainly in the areas of fashion, art and jewelry design.

Crayola crayon and colored pencil necklaces are the result of a designer using a pre-fab necklace, rope or chain link to string through a group of pre-drilled crayons or pencils to make a colorful necklace. Colored pencils also can be chopped up and strung in the manner of small scale beads to make bracelets, necklaces, etc.

Another unusual toy-inspired work of art are the Lego toys that have been made into high fashion, ultra-expensive jewelry pieces. For instance, the Chanel clutch purse based on Lego designs ranges in price from $9,900 to $11,000.

These purses are true works of art, hence the price tag. The purses come in bright colors, just like original Lego building blocks, and feature geometric shapes. Since its introduction, the Chanel Lego purse has been seen in the hands of some of today’s trendy celeb-fashionistas, Rihanna, Jennifer Biel and Kim Kardashian West.

Purses are not the only Lego-inspired artwork out there. The Smithsonian Institution’s annual Craft2Wear event featured jewelry using Legos….

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