Interview with Londji team
Why did you choose the name Londji? Which is the relationship between toys and a fishermen village in Cameroon?
Two things happened at the same time: we needed a name and we are deeply in love with Africa. We also loved the sonority and the happiness one can feel in this little village. We started the company short after we had visited Londji, so most probably the name of the company is due to the nice feelings we enjoy remembering.
Londji brings back forgotten toys. The game of the goose, the game of dressing up paper dolls, the kaleidoscope, the spinning tops...Why this choise against the tide?
I don’t think we go against the tide. The toys we played with, the same toys our parents and grandparents played with, and our children are playing with now do have a ludic and pedagogical efficiency proven for a number of generations. There has been a sort of natural selection and we have now the best of each time. We just want to give them back the dignity they deserve.
The Goose Game, the Domino, or the Spinning Tops are games played since times immemorial, and which will be played for many more years. We love taking these games, which have an unquestionable value, and re-visit them, look at them from a different angle; and, being respectful and with admiration, give them a new dress. We often talk about paying homage to toys from different times. Sometimes the dress may differ quite a bit from the original; we like to go a bit further and experiment, as we did with the Piggy Bank or the Box Family (a tribute to the Russian dolls).
Box Family, ispirato alla Matrioska russa
Have today’s kids enough time and concentration to be enchanted by the kaleidoscope and teleidoscope?
Kids have the capacity of being fascinated with many things, they are discovering the world and this is in itself a fascinating adventure. A six years old kid of today and a six year old kid of 30 or 50 years ago are essentially the same. And the fascination they feel today the first time they look through a Teleidoscope is the same we felt 30 years ago. These are non-temporal toys.
Furthermore, we believe in the concept of sharing the game. In fact we talk about kids of 103 years old, and thus anyone is welcome to bring back its kid-soul and play with no limits. It is nice when parents or grandparents share some time playing with the little-ones, and discover that they can have fun together, playing with toys created a long time ago like spinning tops or kaleidoscopes.
When a kid gets involved in a classical game with grown up kid, he does not question if that game was invented yesterday or 300 years ago. They have fun together, so fair enough!
Londji’s toys pays a lot of attention to graphic design and illustration. Even the chromatic palettes from Edward Hopper’s paintings? How is important for you the aesthetic education of kids?
We keep saying that Children are our future, and we would like to do our bit with careful aesthetics in the toys world. Many values are provided to the kid’s educations by toys and games like patience, observation, logics... and many others. We believe the artistic and aesthetical side of the kid can and should be stimulated by toys and games.
Hopper Spinning Tops, chromatic palettes from Edward Hopper’s paintings
What are your plans for tomorrow’s kids?
Londji is based on interpreting classical toys and this is the way we shall follow the next few years, from our own point of view and with this little bit of innovative attitude.
Right now we are developing our range of puzzles and didactic games in cardboard. We love out toys to be didactic as well as playful.
In the next few years we are planning to launch a new range of toys made of wood. This would be our homage to the pioneers who did toys that lasted through the time.
Paper Family, paper dolls to be dressed up
Le petit theatre