Alex Hochstrasser, the inventor/designer of all Moluk toys, is completely devoted to producing toys that are as simple as posslble, as close to indestructible as he can make them, easy to understand, inviting, and deep enough in their invitation to play to keep you on the brink of wonder and delight.
Two of his most recent products include Sunny and Cloudy – sensory toys designed to complement his popular Plui Rain Cloud.
They are both what you might call brushes – the rays from Sunny and the rain from Cloudy follow the fantasy, but introduce a new layer of engagement and tactile experience.
Sunny, as you can see, spins. If you spin it gently. Alex writes:
“The spinning is one of the core functions of the Sunny brush, and kind of works best if you gently set it in motion with your breath. If you accelerate it too aggressively it just wobbles and stops. I keep the Sunny brush on my desk as a fidget toy. It helps me think and concentrate.”
Which brings us to yet another remarkable thing about Alex’s toys: they are as enticing to adults as they are to children – especially to young children and older adults (like me).
I spent a couple hours in the company of these toys. I was enthralled. They took me away to the kind of play I experienced as a young child, but haven’t been invited to for maybe 70 years.
Then there’s Plui. Allow me to illustrate:
Then there’s the Plui Rainball, half of which is now not only removable, but also squeezable. Ah, squeezability. A new portal to physio-conceptual watery delights.
OK. So you can see why all of these toys, that’s right, all. Including the surprisingly simple, yet surprisingly surprising Nello and all the Oogis (especially maybe the glow in the dark one) and the world’s most expressive squeezy ball, the Mox, and, of course, the enthusiastically praised Bilibo; have each and all been granted the coveted honor of displaying the Major Fun award prominently wherever they are found.
And you can understand why we, especially, are so appreciative of toys that have such a wide range of appeal and are yet so elegantly simple.
Alex comments: “We market the toys for children, but one of the main goals is to create play things that transcend the traditional age and gender categories of the toy industry. Ideally they are beautiful and intriguing objects that trigger your curiosity and your urge to play and explore, regardless of how old you are.”
And that, dear fun-seeker, is the reason why Alex Hochstrasser has, himself, been declared Defender of the Playful.