In the preface of Johan Huizinga’s book “Homo Ludens”, the dutch historian supported the original thesis that “civilization arises and unfolds in and as playing”.
— Johan Huizinga
“It is not my object to define the place of play among all the other manifestations of culture, but rather to ascertain how far culture itself bears the character of play”
It is appropriate to use the term Homo Ludens along with Homo Sapiens and Homo Faber.
This short introduction gives the visitor guidelines to understand Adriano Guidi and his astonishing collection.
Adriano’s collection entertains the guests by showing how men and kids had driven toy cars during a vast time gap and how the vehicles were designed to extend legs and feet, evoking in them the image of people playing while moving, moving while playing.
Movement is the collection’s theme. The common denominator for thousands of wonderful objects dwelling here in the museum. This very fundamental need of movement for humanity can be sensed from children’s toys, declined in many forms.
From litter to tricycles, carousels, carriages and prams… and all the cars, a series of magnificent full-scale models well-preserved and functioning. Feel the simplicity and the complexity and appreciate the shining colours.
The museum keeps the rich world of crafters, their techniques, knowledge and wisdom and the world of whom enjoyed and drove those objects.
Come and see a dreamy world in motion.
Didactic activities allow the public to experiment with the physical location as a space to live, other than visiting.
The museum offers a list of services for an educational purposes: guided tours for single visitor, family groups or school classes, as well as laboratories dedicated to children and teenagers.
Staff members are available on request for a guided tour to deepen the evolution and the history of the toys. Giocars will be involved in organising special initiatives and workshops. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about them.
Who is Adriano Guidi?
Adriano Guidi is a private man of keen insight. He likes strong flavors, especially healthy peasant ones.
He grew up in the second post-war period, learning how to seize objects’ true value.
He showed inborn abilities since the age of 4, picking and proudly showing objects that laypeople would be called instead ‘junk’.
Later in life, he kept following his instinct: a never-ending quest for valuable objects in markets and antique stores, hoarded in his countryside house. Adriano learned everything he knows about toy cars through these objects.
Gradually, his interest shifted more and more to these old toys which, many years later, form the soul of the museum.
Adriano is not a hobbyist, he is a connoisseur, in the truest and deepest meaning of the term.
The collection is a reflection of Guidi’s taste, his aesthetic sensibility and his personality. He has spent all his life searching for these items with special attention, persistence and rare passion and gain deep knowledge of the argument.
Above all, he is the first one to play with his toys, he is still and always Huizinga’s Homo ludens, because his collection is his life’s purpose.
Soapbox car were first produced by the end of ‘800 with the same design as the first real motor cars. Firstly, craftsmen made them only with wood pieces. In the ’60, cars were produced on industrial scale with metal components.
Since demand for soapbox cars skyrockets, production shifted to Moplen and plastic for the components for economic and practical reasons. Soapbox cars became a mass product thanks to the fall in price.
Production of children cycle and tricycle started in 1870 to emulate the ones for adults.
They were first manufactured in France. For what it concerns Italy, Giordani, a company based in Bologna, were the pioneers in cycle production, selling since the XIX century.
The materials used at that time were metal for the chassis and wood for the wheels, substituted later with metal and gum tire in 1920, more comfortable for the kids.
Bicycles were highly diffused a decade later thanks to the famous Balilla and Giordani and their square-shaped bar for tires, selling more than 100,000 unities. Then, they started producing models with tubular tires.
Prams have noble English origin. From the end of 1700, only for the queen and local great ladies.
From the second half of ‘800 prams spread across the population, declined in many forms and produced using many materials such as wood for the body, iron, osier and ceramic.
Il cavallo come gioco ha origini lontane nel tempo.
Poteva essere con le ruotine per trascinarlo, a dondolo, con applicazione di un calesse, a pedali o come emblema per un triciclo. Originariamente costruito in legno, il cavallino si evolse in materiali differenti quali tessuto riempito di paglia, resine, metallo o cartapesta. Nel dopoguerra si diffusero i modelli trainanti un calesse, con un meccanismo trazionante a pedali, manovelle o galoppatoio.
Le prime carrozze giocattolo risalgono al periodo Barocco, prodotte in pochissimi esemplari e in ancora minore quantità sopravvissute ai giorni nostri.
Nel ‘700 ebbero una maggiore diffusione presso famiglie titolate per poi arrivare, nell ‘800, alla portata di una più ampia cerchia di benestanti. L’ utilizzo di tali giocattoli avveniva nei parchi delle ville e dimore di alto rango trainati da capre, cani o piccoli cavalli.