It's insult added to injury as you, a parent, peel your kid's spiky metal Hot Wheels racer from the fleshy and quite sensitive underside of your bare foot: If our kids are going to insist on leaving their toy cars where we can step on them, why can't they favor ones with the soft contours of the midcentury design movement?
Called Midcentury Americana, the set of wooden toy cars from Candy Lab are for every parent who has ever asked themselves why their kid's toy cars have to be so garishly and god-awfully designed. Made of wood, these simple but attractive toys distill the design cues of the Mad Men era of vehicle design. There are three separate vehicles—two cool race cars and the Pioneer, a wood-paneled station wagon with a canoe on top. There are also a couple of modernist buildings for kids to put-put their toy cars around, including a vintage drive-in and a motel.
As an adult, I love it. If I was going to play with toy cars again, these are the ones I'd choose. But let's face it. This is the kind of beautifully designed aspirational gift that parents give their children, only for them to collect dust in the toy box. Given their druthers, there's no kid on earth who is going to choose a 1957 wood-paneled station wagon to play with over, say, a Hot Wheels monster truck with a Tyrannosaurus on the side and its engine poking out of the hood.
Kids are design savages, and don't you forget it. So if you're going to preorder one of these wooden race cars on Kickstarter (they're about $20 apiece), you might as well be honest: You're keeping it to play with yourself.
[Photos: via Candy Lab]