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IGRÁČEK – legendary toy loved by all children

 
photo:  (crestcom.cz)
 

The approximately eight centimetre tall figure representing different jobs was a popular and well-known toy in the former socialistic Czechoslovakia. However, its popularity has remained until today. 

 
 
The famous plastic figure IGRÁČEK (pronounced ɪɡrɑːtʃek) was first introduced to the market by the IGRA Cooperative in 1976. Its “parents” were the designers Jiří Kalina and Marie Brejchová. The plastic figure represented both males and females. IGRÁČEK saw its greatest boom in the eighties, when it was an inseparable part of the toy collections of practically all children. The first job that IGRÁČEK represented was a bricklayer. After the production started, about 4 new models were added each year. IGRÁČEK was a nurse, cook, construction worker, chimneysweep, sailor, road-mender, policeman, fire-fighter, cosmonaut and even a housewife with children.

The production of this legendary Czech toy was revived by the Czech toy company EFKO in 2010. The IGRÁČEK figurine has undergone some innovations: it now has a wrist that can turn a full 360 degrees, its face has new expressions and is enriched by a plastic nose. While the former IGRÁČEK had only one expression, the modern one has several of them. The new appearance of IGRÁČEK is the work of toy designer Miloš Hába, who also designed movable cases for it, which serve as a practical case but also creates the environment of the given profession when opened.

Fans of IGRÁČEKs may enjoy an interactive exhibition called “Phenomenon IGRÁČEK” in the premises below the Petřín Viewing Tower (Map) in Prague until the end of 2012. Rich textual and photo documentation offers a chance to get an insight into the history, present and future of this functional figure. Production moulds or creative visions of developers are also displayed. You may learn more about the exhibition here.


 
Author: Petra Hubálková
 
Added: 04.10.2012
 
 
 

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