When you think of Czechoslovakia, I’ll bet toys don’t come to mind; you most likely think of communism, or maybe one of the ex-country’s Olympic athletes, perhaps your mouth waters at the thought of delicious Czech schnitzel, but I can almost guarantee that you don’t think of toys … unlessyou are familiar with the name Libuše Niklová (1934-1981).
One of Niklova’s most famous creations is the cat with the accordion body, which dates back to 1963. Libuše Niklová saw the employees in the Fatra Napajedla factory developing a new toilet flush system that used a special accordion tube. In this way the accordion cat was born! Not only could you squeeze the tube body, but you could also make it move in all sorts of ways, which was pretty revolutionary at the time. The cat was the first one of the tube collection, which consists of 11 toys in all – ten animals and one baby.
There is a show up in Paris on the works of Niklova titled “Plastique Ludique.” It will be at the Musee de Arts Decoratifs, until November 6th, 2011, but just in case you can’t make it to France for the show, check out the book Gift Set – Toys and Monographs from Libuse Niklova!