The Magic Toyshop

The Magic Toyshop

I am sure that you will soon be expert at tracking my little obsessions and enthusiasms through the titles of my blog posts. Today I have purloined the title of a book by one of my favourite writers, Angela Carter. I have several editions of Carter’s The Magic Toyshop but my most prized is Virago’s 30th Anniversary Special Edition with cover design taken from Puppet Ballet by textile designer Jacqueline Groag. These books are so desirable, wonderful texts and beautiful design in one package.


I am looking forward to my adorable 6 month old goddaughter Evie’s accession to teenagerhood, I think that a copy of The Magic Toyshop would be the perfect gift for a young woman. Carter’s luscious prose and that cover! I don’t know if I can wait that long, does anyone know a teenage girl that might like a copy?! You can download a PDF of the brochure accompanying these editions here.

On the Carter theme I came across this perfect representation of ‘Melanie’, the protagonist of The Magic Toyshop while browsing on Flickr. Who doesn’t love Art & Ghosts? I was so excited to stumble upon this image, it is just perfect, click the link to take a close look at the amazingly outfitted rabbit! Art & Ghosts have been experiencing some problems with sites using their work illegally, make sure you also read the story behind this here.

I hope you are still with me, what a long preamble to the actual kernel of this post! I want to make’ The Magic Toyshop’ a regular weekly feature, a place to exult in some of the wonderful items on offer for children. This week I have two picks that are just made for my son, Ishi (I am hoping to get him both for his 3rd birthday-lucky bean!).

Nara Dog

Lacquered wood dog designed by Yoshitomo Nara, produced by French toy makers Vilac. Available at Little Fashion Gallery.

Nara Dog

Swoon with me at that packaging!

I have been in love with these soft, textile Ukuleles from Olivelse for quite some time. They are so beautifully made and the choice of fabrics is a wonder to behold.


Air ukulele anyone? There is also a great Olivelse blog, go and check it out.

Do pop back next week for more from The Magic Toyshop!

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8 Responses to The Magic Toyshop

  1. Eerika says:

    I’m swooning with you on not only the packaging, but the adorable pull-along-dog too. Also, I wouldn’t mind a spot of air ukulele, especially since I’m totally tone deaf, and air instruments are the only ones I can play. 😀

    I’ll be sure to get my grubby hands on the Magic Toyshop book, the title alone was enough to snare me, but what you told of it got me even more interested!

  2. margaret oomen says:

    I have three daughters so I will certainly take the bait.

  3. Lisa says:

    Hi Eerika,
    I’m tone deaf too and can often be found air drumming along to my favourite music, it is my speciality you know! Isn’t that Nara dog just beautiful, Vilac is a great maker too.

    I would also recommend Carter’s “The Bloody Chamber”, infact it is my favourite, they made a film based on these stories in the 80’s called “The Company of Wolves”, well worth a look!

    How is the Fox coming along?

  4. Lisa says:

    Hi Margie,
    Ah, 3 daughters, how marvelous, I’m sure Ishi will enjoy Carter when he is older but I do think her work has a special resonance for women. As I mentioned to Eerika above, if you and your daughters haven’t already come across it, I would recommend “The Bloody Chamber” with all of my heart. Also the film directed by Neil Jordan who made “The Crying Game”, “The Company of Woves”. I saw it when I was the perfect age, 14, in 1984 and have always wanted to meet a sharp-toothed huntsman in the forest ever since! Until I met beautiful Adam of course! I adore wolves, I can feel another post coming on!

  5. Eerika says:

    In addition to air guitar and other stringed air-instruments, I also enjoy playing air-piano. Haven’t really played air-drums before, percussion instruments requiring some sense of rhythm after all.

    I’ve read and re-read “The Bloody Chamber” a lot; I love, love, love different versions of old fairy tales. I’m a great big fan of “In the company of wolves” too, Little Red Riding Hood being one of my all time favourite tales.

    Fox is coming along well, if a little slowly due to my predilection for procrastination.

  6. Pingback: The Magic Toyshop « Lou Lou & Oscar

  7. Karen says:

    The Vilac Piano / klaver is cool – and they actually make a range of music intruments kids.

  8. Doug Seawell says:

    A modern tech view of a classic tale! Little Red Riding Hood. I love it !

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