These days, it’s the rare object in the toy chest that doesn’t require batteries. Children now are reared on a steady diet of video games and virtual reality. These experiences can be emotionally and cognitively stimulating, but risk reducing a child’s agency if undertaken to the exclusion of other forms of play.
Enter Argentine brand Fanny & Alexander, committed to enriching the lives of children with toys that are beautiful, simple and enduring. Utterly analogue, F&A’s toys encourage fantasy, imagination, creativity, and ingenuity. They also foster manual skills at the stage of life -infancy- when that is most critical. Our catalogue includes wood-carved toys, activity kits (like needlepoint and letter writing), handcrafted collectibles, and accessories.
Founder Delfina Aguilar, searching for the precise words, explains her inspiration: “It seems to me like most toys today are just...merchandise...they are movie-franchise spinoffs. I wanted to make old-fashioned, handcrafted toys, and then to create a world around that.”
Importantly, the Fanny & Alexander conception and design process is rigorous and addresses every aspect of the product with devotion to detail. The company’s model is sustainable: largely local raw materials—including Argentine woods good enough to be used for a dining room table—crafted by local craftsmen.
The results of this philosophy and effort speak for themselves. “Fanny & Alexander products are keepsakes… they’re objects people get sentimental about,” remarks Aguilar. “Adults have bought our canvas and leather satchels for themselves and our wood-carved cameras as decoration for their bookshelves. It appears our toys resonate with actual 5-year olds, and also with the inner 5-year old in all of us.”
Whether it is through a rigorously crafted camera with contrasting wood tones or a carefully composed correspondence kit, it’s about capturing that unique feeling of childhood from another time, today.