Modern toys for modern children
By Alan Powers
Published by Design For Today ISBN 978 1 912066 74 2
Reviewed by Simon Whittaker
Abbatt Toys was founded by Paul and Marjorie Abbatt in the early 1930s – a while before my time and not a company I was previously familiar with – and this nicely presented book provides an interesting read on the history of the couple behind the company and their toys and play equipment based on studies of how children play.
There are many images throughout the substantial book showing a range of period photographs, plans, sketches and products. The sections on the Abbatt’s collaborations with Ernö Goldfinger and their pre-Second World War toys standout, showcasing some fascinating hand-drawn sketches and some beautifully rendered mid-century illustration respectively.
As someone with no knowledge on the subject I found the text to be, if anything, possibly too detailed and a challenge to take in, so the real interest for me lay in the great images.