Dallas AD EX Toys with Architecture

For a few more days, visitors to the AD EX Dallas can look at the literal building blocks for many a design career — the toys that fostered that imagination from childhood.

AD EX looks at Lincoln Logs, TinkerToys, erector sets, LEGO, and even the wooden block in its exhibit Building Toys and Toy Buildings: Architecture Through a Child’s Eyes.

“The timeline of the toys that we’ve used to build our fantasy buildings, towns, and towers is long and varied,” the organization said.

The exhibition includes a wide spectrum of vintage and modern toys, including the more unusual examples like the Eames House of Cards, AstroBrite, and Girder and Panel Sets.

“A section of the exhibition examines a variety of blocks—from German stone Anchor Blocks dating from the early 1900’s to the colored Playskool wooden blocks that have been a part of so many toy boxes for decades,” organizers said.

The show also looks at various toy buildings, with a special emphasis on dollhouses, including the first Barbie Dream Houses, and a house built by an architect for his daughter in the 1970s. Groups of buildings from the Fisher-Price collection and the metal toys of the Marx Company are also included, and one highlight of the show is a 6-foot tall K’Nex Ferris Wheel made up of 8,550 individual pieces.

And even though the exhibit itself is hands-off, visitors can head to the “Construction Zone” to design and build their own buildings with blocks, TinkerToys, and LEGOs.

The show will run through January 25 and is free and open to the public from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, with additional hours on Thursday evenings from 6-8 p.m. AD EX is located on the first floor of Republic Center at the corner of St. Paul Street and Pacific Avenue.

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