It’s Only Mr. T! 30 Years Of Toys Confiscated From London Schools

It’s Only Mr. T! 30 Years Of Toys Confiscated From London Schools

Yeah, it’s easy to romanticize the past, but there’s something almost sweet about Confiscation Cabinets, an exhibition at the V&A’s Museum of Childhood showing 30 years’ worth of contraband swiped from kids at over 150 schools in London.

Teacher and artist Guy Tarrant collected a lot of the ephemera himself, with the rest donated for the project by fellow educators across the city.

The variety is impressive — folded, hand-written fortune-tellers, Dr. Who trading cards, plastic Stormtroopers, tennis balls, way-outdated electronics — with the majority of this stuff riding right on the razor thin line between total junk and absolute treasure.

Then some of it is, unsurprisingly, less playful and more worrisome: a bottle of bourbon, homemade axes and slingshots, found bullets, and a freakin’ lit fire bomb (!) were all sourced directly from students.

All of the specimens are labelled with a year (or decade), showing an evolution of cultural and adolescent interests as we’ve edged into a more modern age. Taken together, they exist as a testament to the innate skill that kids of any era have to turn pretty much anything into a distraction, nuisance, or major annoyance. Wouldn’t it be nice if creepy crawlies were the worst of what’s being brought into schools today? [Golem13]