Mattel recently revealed it had named designer Jonathan Adler as the Creative Director for Fisher-Price. It's part of a continued effort to breathe new life into the baby-focused brand, and if Fisher-Price's new wooden toy line is any indication, it's already on the right track. For decades plastic has been the go-to material for making durable yet affordable toys for kids. Wooden toys have still managed to stick around, but mostly cater to parents who really care about the design aesthetics of a child's nursery. Fisher-Price's new line is a perfect balance of both materials, and the use of clear plastics, with muted colours, means that even image-conscious parents will happily welcome them into the toy bin.
Adler's new additions to the Fisher-Price line won't be available until September, but these wonderful wooden toys are available now, exclusively at Target for now, and are as good a reason as any to seriously consider starting a family of your own.
Sweet Sounds Ice Cream Truck
At $US25 ($33) this rolling ice cream truck with a bell on top and miniature xylophone on the side is a cheaper, and much quieter, alternative to a pint-sized drumset.
Rhythm & Roll Percussion Plane
Made with real beech wood, this $US20 ($26) plane has a pair of tiny cymbals for propellers, and a ridged guiro running along the plane's tail that can be played with a stick that hides away inside the craft's tiny cargo hold.
Early Bird Barista Set
It's never too young to teach kids the importance of a well-made cup of coffee, right? This $US30 ($40) set includes two cups, a milk carton, a sugar shaker and a miniature French press complete with fake plastic coffee beans so you can start your child's obsession as young as possible.
Hungry Humpback Shape Sorter
Kids hate cleaning their rooms, but they love properly sorting shapes, it makes no sense. At least this $US25 ($33) block set will help toddlers improve their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills while they push the three included wooden blocks through the appropriately-shaped cutouts inside this whale's mouth.
Surprise Inside Shapes Set
Once a baby learns how to use their fingers, they will spend the vast majority of their waking lives trying to pry things open. And that's exactly what this $US30 ($40) five-piece set encourages, rewarding kids with unique textures and tactile experiences inside each block.
Assorted Animals and Shapeimals
Ranging in price from $US8 ($11) to $US13 ($17), the simplest toys in Fisher-Price's new wooden line feature simple motions as they're rolled along the ground, or basic transforming actions. These are the toys that can be easily packed in your kid's go bag, so you can impress all the other parents at the playground.
Sea Party Octopus
Reminding us of one of those wire-frame scalp massagers, kids can perfect their hand-eye coordination by using the octopus' long tentacles to snatch up the pair of included fish. It's like the first steps to learning to use chopsticks to eat sushi, which is an important skill every kid needs to eventually master.