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Playtime for grown-ups: There are toys for all the kinds in us

January 31, 1993|By Elaine Markoutsas | Elaine Markoutsas,Contributing Writer Universal Press Syndicate

If you prefer a more leisurely pace, an alternative is assembling objects more in the manner of Legos. Check out Zolo and Zolo 2, the sequel. Originally produced for the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Zolo is a collection of more than 50 hand-carved, hand-painted wooden pieces that can be put together in an infinite number of ways. A winner of the "Excellence in Design" award at the Accent of Design show in New York, Zolo is $149 from FLAX. The sequel consists of 27 new pieces to stand alone or to add to the original. The wood and rubber pieces come with a pouch for small parts and a storage drum for $89.

Another throwback to childhood consists of blocks and puzzles designed for adults. Many of these block sets are affordably priced and available in a variety of patterns that create a range of graphic designs and optical illusions. Inspired by one of its own quilt exhibits, the Metropolitan Museum of Art created a set of 16 wooden cubes, each with six different patterns of various colored triangles. Quilt cubes such as these were actually used to plan the geometric rhythms of patchwork quilts. These striking toys, which sell for $19.95 a set, fit comfortably on desks or coffee tables.

"The adult puzzles, toys and games sell," said Louise Chinn, director of MOMA's department of sales and marketing, "because they are intellectually stimulating as well as visually satisfying."

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