Abstract sculpture toy sets?
November 19, 2020 9:25 AM   Subscribe

A few years ago in a museum gift shop I saw a large set of irregularly-shaped plastic pieces that could be combined to make abstract sculptures. They came in a plastic canister that was about 18" tall. Now I cannot figure out the name of this set. Does anyone know what this is called? I would also love to learn about similar art-making toys.
posted by mortaddams to Grab Bag (10 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Was it Zolo?
posted by jamaro at 9:27 AM on November 19 [4 favorites]

Oliblocks? I had a set that I bought from... a museum gift store.
posted by thack3r at 9:38 AM on November 19 [1 favorite]

I also think it's Zolo. Here it is in the tube you describe.
posted by pangolin party at 10:41 AM on November 19 [1 favorite]

Hi! I used to run a tiny museum gift shop, have a few ideas of what you could be looking for....

Some of these are marketed towards kids, but there's no reason why an adult would enjoy creating things with them.

Was it ShapeScapes? They come in plastic canisters, ranging from 8-in tall to maybe 18-in tall, depending on the size of the set you get. (Edited to fix a broken link)

And a similar vein, take a look at Kaleidograph puzzles. Overlaying colorful layers, like constructing a stained glass window or quasi-snowflake.

Maybe not as abstract, but satisfyingly geometric: Wedgits.
posted by Guess What at 10:54 AM on November 19 [3 favorites]

Edit: No reason why an adult wouldn't enjoy playing with them. I love the Kaleidograph kits.
posted by Guess What at 10:56 AM on November 19

My brothers and I had a Wedgits set as kids and we LOVED THEM.
posted by mekily at 11:28 AM on November 19

Came to suggest Zolo, as well. Though, Zolo was wood, not plastic.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:55 PM on November 19

I was thinking of ShapeScapes, but all of these are incredibly cool!
posted by mortaddams at 4:08 PM on November 19 [1 favorite]

My kid has a set of ShapeScapes I was given by a neighbor, and I had no idea what they were called until right now - thanks for asking this question!
posted by centrifugal at 8:43 PM on November 19

Looks like you have your answer, but in case they're of interest - I keep getting social media adverts for Dojo Balancing blocks, which might also scratch the same itch.
posted by penguin pie at 6:10 AM on November 23

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