Kokeshi Doll Blocks
Designed by American type foundry House Industries, these blocks are a nod to traditional folk art Kokeshi Dolls of Japan. The blocks display four separate figures across sequential sides and puzzles on the other two. As fun to play with as they are beautiful to behold, these blocks are equal parts toy, puzzle and decorative object.
Made in the U.S.A.
Sustainable basswood. Non-toxic ink.
The iconic ABC blocks that we commonly recall from our youth are one of the single most important modern tools associated with our first attempts at reading and discerning language. First conceived in 1869, the archetypal set of 27 one-inch wooden alphabet blocks remain much as they were then, with brightly coloured alphabets, numerals, animals and intricatley carved filigree spread across the six sides of each carefully crafted cube. Inspired by blocks that were carved by craftsmen during the colder months of the year, the first mass-produced ABC blocks were put into production by The Embossing Company of Albany, New York in 1879 and were made through 1955 when the company shuttered its doors.
Just over 25 years later, William Bultman established his company Uncle Goose Toys with the goal of creating learning toys and tools that would help develop math, language and motor skills among preschoolers and kindergarten aged children. Recalling the blocks from his youth, Bultman rereleased the sets and in doing so revised his production scheme to use only regionally sourced basswood and non-toxic inks in their manufacture.
Since opening in 1983, the company has expanded their product range to include braille, sign language and almost twenty international language versions of the blocks, including sets that celebrate the endangered languages of the Cherokee and Maori cultures. Uncle Goose manufactures in Grand Rapids, Michigan.