Back in the old days, Icelandic children couldn’t run out to the next over-stuffed toyshop to stock up on plastic dolls, action figures or computer games, if they happened to be bored. They had to use the imagination to entertain themselves in between daily housework chores. As a large part of the population consisted of farmers, these children grew up in the countryside among cows and sheep and other farm animals and used whatever they could find to make toys and amusing games. What was usually easiest to come across were bones, especially sheep bones, which they collected, played with and stored in homemade boxes hidden under their beds. These small boxes were called Völuskrín.
Now, these old classic playthings have been reborn in an up-to-date way. Named after the traditional treasure chest, this new box set consists of 13 pieces of plastic replicas of bones that resemble farm animals (sheep, cows, horses, dogs and foxes) as well as two farmers. The wooden box, painted with a picture of traditional Icelandic farmhouse in a mountainous surrounding, can also be used in the game.
Created by product designer Lóa Auðunsdóttir and business administrator Þórey Vilhjálmsdóttir, the product is “intended to promote and reestablish the original Icelandic toys for generations to come and introduce this heritage to children all over the world.”
The modern Völuskrín serves the same purpose as its prototype but the product is not only a creative toy for Icelandic youngsters but marketed for tourists as well. The set, which includes information on Völuskrín and its history in Icelandic, German, Danish, English and French, can surely be a different and unique souvenir to take back home. All the supplementary items can be used in the game and every tiny little piece you can think of can be used to create your own tiny farm. All you need is a bit of imagination.
The toy caskets are sold at the shops Kisan, Leikbær and Rammagerðin as well as at the National Museum and various hotels in the city.
For more information see: www.voluskrin.is
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