Thursday, February 26, 2009

Theme Thursday - Toy

So what exactly is a toy? Personally, I like Wikipedia's definition:
A toy is an object used in play. Toys are usually associated with children and pets, but it is not unusual for adult humans and some non-domesticated animals to play with toys. Many items are manufactured to serve as toys, but items produced for other purposes can also be used as toys. A child may pick up a household item and 'fly' it around pretending that it is an airplane, or an animal might play with a pinecone by batting at it, biting it, chasing it, or by throwing it up in the air. Some toys are produced primarily as collector's items and are not intended to be played with.
I like that definition because it lets me consider anything I "play" with a toy. For instance...

The Guy Noir bobble-head fits the traditional definition of a toy; it was manufactured specifically to provide amusement. And while the teakwood elephant may be considered an objet d'art, in some places in the world, say India, this would be a child's toy.

This object also fits the traditional definition of a toy - a hand-held electronic game of Solitaire. Heh, heh! This is my version of worry beads, something to take my mind off whatever I'm working on that has my mind racing out of control, my version of assuming the lotus position and intoning "Aaaaaaauuuuuummmm." [Note: Does anyone actually play solitaire with real cards any more?]

So let's travel a little away from the traditional definition. This is my collection of flutes. They were made to be played in professional musician activities. Ah, but there's that word "play"! And certainly I play with these flutes as often as I play on them.

And of course the same thing applies to my collection of drums; play is definitely a factor here as well.

So now let's move way away from the traditional definition of the term. Here's my camera, a Canon PowerShot S5 IS; as my mother would have warned me had I picked up something like this when I was a kid: "Be careful with that! That's not a toy." This is a moderately expensive piece of equipment, designed to take professional-quality photographs. But for me, photography is as much play as work. I enjoy playing with it as often as possible, and when I first got it it was my "new toy".

And just to prove the point, my friend Bob (actually Elizabeth, but she was the youngest of a family of all girls, and her father had really longed for a boy) caught me "playing" with two of my then new toys: the camera and the Raynox DCR-2020PRO telephoto lens attached to it. The picture was taken this time last year.

And of course, all of us are here today because we all own one of these "toys." And oh, how we play!

And just to top all this off, how about a little blast from the past? I loved Lene Lovich; I think I have all her albums (yup, on vinyl) here. And of course her song "New Toy" definitely fits today's theme. Enjoy!

Okay, now go play with your toys and have fun!

© 2008 & 2009 by A. Roy Hilbinger
portrait of the artist @ work © 2008 by Elizabeth Evans


  1. Nice collections and you covered a wide range of implementations to the theme. Now if I could somehow inject 'play' into 'work'...

  2. you should post a recording of yourself playing the flute(s). I'd love to hear it!

    Great post; I'm so inundated today I'm just getting around to reading.

  3. Love the video ... as a fan of Bjork, and Cyndi Lauper, I'm wondering how I missed Lene Lovich?

    My toys aren't very traditional 'cept for the trolls - but I love to play with my tools and paints - and someday I hope to afford a decent camera so I can play "photomoto" with the big boys.

  4. one can never have enough toys! the camera is a great toy as are musical instruments. thinking I might get that drum I've always wanted...

  5. Roy you sure are a boy with toys!

    great post!

  6. Great post and pics!
    thanks for sharing :-)

    Take care
    peace and love

  7. My, what a lot of toys you have!


    I'm having fun today, for sure.

  8. I enjoy all of these toys very much!

  9. Oh yes, we play solitaire with real cards- the best way!

    I have always wanted a wooden flute:)

  10. Great take on the theme. I love all of your toys. Your version of worry beads has me thinking I'll switch.

  11. That's so cool. I love the flutes. Makes me wish I was more musical. And understood my camera better.

  12. that is the 'toy; you use to take those marvelous bird shots ....well & the rest....sweet seeing more of you.....

    guy noir is invited to my house for dinner but he's always on a case

    i should have included a pic of my new netbook....

    oh I use real cards 4 solitaire....

  13. I LOVE toys. You have some nice ones.

  14. I'm with tut-tut. I'd like to hear a recording of you playing the flutes...and any other instrument you play!

  15. I play solitaire on my DS or the computer. I can take a bath and play the DS while I am running the jets. It would be more relaxing if the thing did not time the game. Maybe I should find one of my hand held solitaire toys. Or the slot machine one. I have a Yahtzee one and a sudoku hand held that I also play with in the bathtub. Where is my liddle rubber ducky?

    I guess when you are an empty-nester and no longer work that you are allowed to take long baths. Hubby even brings me a cuppa tea if he is home. He spoils me with his tea habit. He's from Canada and so we drink tea with milk. I guess because of him I never got into the coffee habit. He drinks coffee when he works though.

    Nice, nice pictures and yes the computer was my favorite "toy".

    PS...was here earlier but internet went out and so still visiting. Gotta write shorter comments. But I guess I like to write what I am thinking after I read their posts. Great posts by everyone this week. Such memories.

  16. The Guy Noir bobblehead is simply awesome. I applaud you, sir.