What are Little Exhibitions Made of, Made of……?

What are Little Exhibitions Made of, Made of……?


What happens to the stuff of play?

Accumulation.                           Hey!

To hoard   and hoard   and hoard

More    and more    and more

Shall push us overboard

Into  clutter not known before.

What happens to the stuff of play?

It is what you do with it

That is the bit

And the way

I say.

Be able to show       What we know.

The Key of the Toy Cupboard

The Key of the Toy Cupboard

Arranging play opportunities in public areas is a professional matter. The more the workers know about play and toys  the better.

This is the program for the first course that was given at The Educational Center for Games in Israel to train teams of playworkers to facilitate play in the Centres for Elderly in Tel Aviv.

מפגש ראשון: 14/11/00
1) הקדמה ליום הלימוד הלנה קלינג
2) הודעות מנהליות נירית דסקל
3) מדוע אנו משחקים. קריטריונים למשחק הטוב. משחקי היכרות נעמי כספי
4) הפסקה להתרעננות
5) למידה מעשית צוות מחמ”י
מפגש שני  : 21/11/00
1) הקדמה ליום הלימוד הלנה קלינג
2) חזרה על משחק ההכרות מהשבוע הקודם מירב רבינסקי
3) סוגי משחקים. הפעלת משחקים הלן חזי
4) הפסקה להתרעננות
5) למידה מעשית צוות מחמ”י
מפגש שלישי: 28/11/00
1) הקדמה ליום הלימוד הלנה קלינג
2) כיצד מפעילים קבוצות ויחידים במשחק נעמי כספי
3) הפסקה להתרעננות
4) למידה מעשית צוות מחמ”י
מפגש רביעי: 5/12/00
1) הקדמה ליום הלימוד הלנה קלינג
2) משחקי חברה תיאוריה ומעשה בועז גבעון
3) הפסקה להתרעננות
4)”שחק את המשחק” מרגלית עקביא
5) למידה מעשית צוות מחמ”י
מפגש חמישי: 12/12/00
1) הקדמה ליום הלימוד הלנה קלינג
2) קבלת ומתן משוב. התנסות פעילה ומתן משוב למפעילים מתנדבים אשר ליכטנברג
3) הפסקה להתרעננות
4) למידה מעשית צוות מחמ”י

A Collection of Words about Collections



The Proud Possessor of

Come by
















The Haves and the Have-nots

One’s own








Mine all mine

Fill one’s pockets



store     boast of       get hold of       recover        include obsessive

    sieze         occupy     appropriate          compulsive

save      fill      owner       own        salvage      hoard    accumulate

                  obtain    amass    have    hold    make

    snatch     not part with         proprietor         purchase  buy  retain

captor             pile   glean    bring together  tenacity catch

            capture                 one’s own    assets

gather    retention    accumulation            pick up             to call

Our Galleries

Our Galleries

We have an Accumulation of Board Games.

How to use them to create a Centre for Games and Learning for today’s Game Creators?

It is said that Good Cataloguing increases the worth of a collection.

To keep the value of this collection our Cataloguing should be Relevant to the design and analysis of these non-digital games and to the evolution of game rules.


I first met Piet Notebaert, of the Catholic University of Bruges, when he came to Jerusalem for the Board Game Studies Colloquium. I visited him in Bruges when he ran the 14th.BGS Colloquium in 2011. He kindly gave time to initiate me into his cataloguing system. The collection in Bruges is of more than 30,000 games, of which a large amount was donated by Fred Horn.

Who knows how many theses have been written and how many doctorates gained in searching for adequacy in classifying toys and games. This will take you to Piet’s article about classifying board games. It is the best.            http://spelarch.khbo.be/PDF/Classificatie_bordspellen.pdf

Old Playstuff in Singapore


The business of making money from the nostalgia that is connected with toys from time past is happening in Singapore according to this article. It is a fun read with some good pictures.

Children today have glorious toys at their disposal and soon will have easy access to 3D printing machines. Why should they be given tin toys that might cut their fingers?

Most of the toys illustrated have long histories way back before the time of the parents of today’s children.

I put out reproductions of old toys with which my grandchildren may play when they come to visit. An enjoyable time is had by all.

The real old stuff is on a high shelf.

Pez Display in our Centre

Here is one of our displays, small, in keeping with our character of being a Heritage Centre of Play

 Pez Display ECGI

Most of our Pez containers are vintage and are considered to be collectibles. The heads that are on the bottom of the display were decapitated some forty years ago and were used as finger puppets. According to the prices in an ‘’antique’’ shop on Sheinkin Street each of our figures are worth from 60 to 90 shekels. The market stall holder in Jaffa’s flea market just sniffed at me and wouldn’t answer when I asked for prices. She knew I was not a buyer.

This larger display is in the Museum of the Patent Office in Georgetown, Washington . I was there when it was quite new and bought lots of stuff in its shop before eating a delicious dinner at the Inaugural Banquet in its vast atrium.

patent pez

Here I am at work after searching for Jefferson’s shoe boxes. He had big feet.

at work in patent office

 ‘Google’  Pez  and be amazed at the world of Pez collectors.

There is an online Museum to be enjoyed and unbelievable masses of Pez figures portrayed.

Toy of the Year 2015

Toy of the Year 2015

Toy of the Year?


I gave an airing to our box of Ugly Toys and Baddies because a Dinosaur toy won the overall Toy of the Year award at this year’s Toy Fair in New York. This toy rolls along by remote control on balls under its front legs. It has a friendly look. Dinosaurs are, once again, the “in” toy, thanks to the recently made film “Jurassic World”, the sequel to “Jurassic Park”. Besides some other technologically based dinos, herds of the plastic creatures that you will see in the film shall flood the market. They are designated collectibles.  https://www.yahoo.com/tech/the-7-coolest-toys-of-toy-fair-2015-the-111515103729.html

From 2000 to 2010 I made monster toys available for play when we had Family Events. Very few children chose to play with them.

These are from our collection of “Ugly Toys” and what I call “The Baddies”. (Except for the picture from e-bay all of the Dinos that you see in this episode are in our collection).


A herd of Dinosaur Toys from the 1980s

A herd of Dinosaur Toys from the 1980s

            Dino Toys of the 50s and 60s.

Dinosaur toy figures go back to the 50s and 60s. You can see how they looked here http://www.ebay.com/itm/1950s-1960s-Vintage-Marx-MPC-Sinclair-Nabisco-Prehistoric-Dinosaurs-Play-Set-/221301990837?&_trksid=p2056016.l4276


Cereal manufacturers copied them as premium toys to be found in their boxed breakfast foods. We learned paleontology at the breakfast table. Kellogg’s, in children’s minds, was connected with the collecting of small plastic dinosaurs each of which had its name engraved under its legs.

          The Other Kellogg and his Dinos

There was another Kellogg connected to dinos, one that few children would have heard of, Dr. Remington Kellogg. No discussion of vertebrate paleontology in the 1960s would be complete without acknowledging his contributions to that science. In 1962 he retired as Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Many years later the Smithsonian produced its own dinosaur figures. With a stretch of the imagination we may link breakfast cereal with a famous museum.

The 1980s. The Years of the Monsters

Monsters invaded toy shops in the 1980s. http://www.buzzfeed.com/briangalindo/the-14-ultimate-toy-lines-of-the-80s-for-boys#.ermXgmjok  is a nicely put account of those horrible  toys of the 1980s



Somehow they look less menacing in the pictures than in real life.

            Successful Toy Marketing Using Knowledge of Myths

Some of us can see the elements of those myths and fantasies, which have always been in the rudiments of play and storytelling, in the monster figures. It was the success of the Cabbage Patch dolls and other miserably faced dolls, so ugly that they were cute(!), which gave impetus to the marketing of the “monster” toys. We are still seeing the effect of the wide research and successful marketing of that era.

A True Story of a Young Psychologist’s Triumph using Dinos

My personal connection with dino toys began with Patrick, a ten year old who never did well in school tests. I had a project in the school in Marylebone, London, which he attended. On Fridays all the classes in the school had written spelling tests. One day it was my job to give the spelling test to his class. I knew he had a large collection of those dinos from cereal boxes and knew all their names so the words I gave were the names of the dinosaurs. Few of the other children in the class spelled “dinosaur” correctly. Not one of them could spell the names of the dinosaurs though they all ate cereals for breakfast. It was a marvelous experience for Patrick to achieve the best mark in a school test. Yes, it did affect his future school career for the good.

How I came close to a Bolt of Lightning. Another True Story

Whilst I was at that school a thunderbolt came through an open window near where I was sitting during a storm. A near-death escape. Other windows were smashed as well as a stained glass window in the church next do

Just so that you may know how to talk about dinosaurs a group of herbivorous dinosaurs are called  a herd and a group of predators a pack. The naming of animals is according to whether humans were hunting them, being hunted by them, or just watching.


I made this collection of words from descriptions of Dinosaur and of Monster figures that were either on the toy boxes or in reviews.

cute/ugly              crude           dark and deadly

myths            mystical images           symbols of evil

grotesque                                    ugly                                                gross

horror inducing                             putrid playthings

morbid                               mutants                                  monstrous

gruesome creatures           cruel events             repugnant


Brian Sutton-Smith 1924 – 2015

Brian Sutton-Smith

1924 – 2015

Saturday March 7th. 2015

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Brian died this morning.

I was lucky enough to have met him and to have enjoyed his company at some of the Congresses of I.T.R.A. The International Toy Research Association. Brian was one of its founding members and I was the Secretariat for many years.

His books are old friends of mine and I see them whenever I enter the Library of E.C.G.I. The Educational Centre for Games in Israel. I dip into them frequently and meet up with old friends of mine who were his colleagues or his students.

Whenever I am asked for a definition of “play” I hear his voice saying: “only an unprofessional person asks for a definition of play”.

As a young teacher he wrote a book for his pupils. It began:

“Once upon a time there was a middle sized boy named Brian and he was called “Brin.” Now there was nothing unusual in this because very few boys are called by their own name. Sometimes they are called “Snowy,” and sometimes they are just called “Stinker,” but they are hardly ever called what they really are. So Brian was quite an ordinary sort of boy.”

Feisty.    Joyful.    Playful.    Wise.    Warm.    Friendly.

Unique storyteller.        Academic.         Educator.

 Beloved.        Respected.

We should all be that ordinary.


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