Some claim that this was originally designed to be sold at Jouets + Cie, a Paris toy store designed by Philippe Starck in 1986. At the entrance, Starck produced a gigantic gold leafed baby doll, creating the ambiance of a giant Buddha. The store was also well-known for the large size Keith Haring mural on the wall. The riding toy when vertical resembles a happy face with the hand grips as a mustache with a smiling mouth below and the end with the ball becomes a large turban or hat. The story on the outside of the box, explains, "When positioned vertically, the vehicle also delights art-lovers from all over the world as a witty and decorative sculpture." When ready for riding in the horizontal position, the mustache becomes the handle bars and one wheel under the "turban" makes it steer and glide easily. Manufacturing details on the outside of the original box include, "We have manufactured this item - strong as a buffalo but showing Starck's hand - from environmentally compatible and recyclable material in proven BIG quality." We find this object a humorous and amazing collector's piece.
Signature: Incised in plastic, "The Face by Starck © for BIG"
Image rights: The Modern Archive
Designed in 1997. No longer in production. Original production quickly sold out. In original box.
About Philippe Starck
Since the 1970s, prolific French designer Philippe Starck has produced everything from interiors, furniture, and fashion to kitchen utensils, motorcycles, and food. Starck uses his prodigious talent to create designs that are, in turn, whimsical, witty, ironic, subversive, and incendiary, but never purely functional. In fact, his best-known design, the Juicy Salif Lemon Squeezer (1990)—a sculptural cast-aluminum juicer inspired by the shape of squid—barely works. Nevertheless, it has become an icon of postmodern industrial design, of which Starck is a central personality.
French, b. 1949