One of my favorite places to shop is the gift store at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland. I was there today and came across what has to be the coolest toy playhouse on the planet. I think my daughter will love it and her architect grandfather may even want one for himself. In fact, the picture on the box looks exactly like his living room with the same seating arrangement and fireplace design. He even has a Navajo rug. It is down right uncanny now that I think about it. But this is just one of the arrangements you can create with this innovative set of modular nesting boxes. It includes eight mix-and-match furniture pieces along with 12 removable vinyl clings for endless decorating. The furniture is a snap to assemble. You just punch it out, insert the tabs into the slots and you are ready to go. The table tops and seat cushions are reversible offering multiple options. Luckily, a helpful museum employee pointed out the Modern Play Family accessory kit that I just had to buy. It includes two adult and three child press out figures, two dogs, a doghouse, one cat and over 150 mix-and-match reusable hair and clothing items. If you think it can’t get any better than this, it does. You can actually fit everything back in the box making it a truly portable house that you can take anywhere.
Perhaps the best part about this toy is the creativity and manual dexterity it involves. It is not driven by high technology and visual special effects. It does not make noise or run risk of injury. It is simply fueled by the imagination and can be played with alone or with others. Sometimes I just like returning to the simple pleasures in life. One of my happiest memories as a child was playing with the box of paper dolls that my dad brought me home from work one day.
I hope my daughter appreciates this as much as I do. I think we are all guilty of buying others things that we love that are not always appreciated by the recipient. But this is a win/win situation. I will gladly claim this as my own if my daughter does not appreciate the value of this unique gift. But I know her pretty well and can bet money that this will be a hit.