Last night at Midnight Madness, the Ann Arbor downtown sale and pre-Christmas celebration, I found a beautiful solar-powered Mona Lisa at a charming shop, Peaceable Kingdom. Here she is, my Kikkerland Mona Lisa, waving in the late afternoon sun shining in my window today. As a long-time collector of Mona Lisa objects, I can say that this is not one of the best 3-D Mona Lisa renderings I've ever seen, as her neck is rather long compared to my interpretation of the original, and her expression is a little more that of a saint than of the Mona Lisa I know. But as a whole, I'm thrilled by this new addition to my Monas.
Coincidently, earlier today I came across the Kikkerland name in another context: a New York Times headline: Quirky Kikkerland Opens Its First Retail Store. The article says this: "The shop ... offers the company’s entire collection, including lightning-bolt-shaped power strips and bottle openers resembling Mexican wrestlers, along with products from other manufacturers."
|Kikkerland Shop from NYT Article|
|Kikkerland tea robot from amazon.com|
Getting curious, I took a look at kikkerland.com, fascinating website of the company. Several of my favorite robot windups are also their product. I took out some of these robots to play with last winter. Here's a photo:
See the one with really long legs in the photo above? I bought it in the late 90s from a museum gift shop. It's one of their first windup robots, according to the history on their website. Further, the wind-up pencil sharpener I bought last month at the Chicago Art Institute to give as a gift is another Kikkerland design. Reading the website makes me think I've been a customer of this indeed quirky company almost since they began making windup toys.
Best obscure fact about Kikkerland: it's a New York company founded by Dutch immigrants, who called it Kikkerland because that's a pet name for the Netherlands. It means frogland.
|More of my solar Mona: the back of the package and a side view also in the sunlight.|