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Building Toys: An Architect’s Collection

Building Toys: An Architect’s Collection
by John Rock

Publication Date: August 2022
Format: Softcover with full flaps and case
252 pages
Publisher: ORO Editions
Size: 8.7” × 11.5”
ISBN: 978-1954081987
Typeset in Bluto and Helvetica
Cover photo by the author
Book design by Pablo Mandel

The book Building Toys: An Architect’s Collection documents over 100 architectural building toys from the author’s collection, from the mid-1800s to the present, from the U.S. and abroad.

Each toy has an immersive two-page spread celebrating its unique features with photos of packaging graphics, component parts, assembly diagrams, and a built example designed and constructed by the author. Well-researched background information on designers and company histories provides intriguing facts which complete each toy’s description. When taken together, these stories reveal a microcosm of western commercial and industrial history, illustrating trends in design, advertising, and material production techniques.

The book is organized by toy material (natural wood, metal, plastic, etc.), creating six “chapters.” It includes a two-page introduction which reflects the author’s role as architect, photographer, and collector. There are approximately 250 pages giving a dynamic visual portrayal of a seldom seen world. Book is packaged in an attractive case cover.