02 July 2010

Toys Going Postal

A number of years ago I recall seeing the news story about a garden gnome that had been 'borrowed' from an Englishman's yard.  Sometime after the abduction, the homeowner began receiving a series of letters from all over.  Each contained a photo of the gnome in some exotic setting. 

The folks at ToyVoyagers have made a postal game out of the idea.  Here's how they describe it:

[from the About Us section of their website]  
"ToyVoyagers is a free-to-join website dedicated to travelling toys and their adventures around the globe. . . .The idea was a culmination of admiring some snaps we'd taken of our son's toys on holiday, loving the travelling gnome in the film, 'Amelie', as well as the way a tin of treasures that she finds in her flat finds its way back to its original owner. This led to some late-night musings about what would happen to a series of random objects released into the wild over a lifetime. We found some websites doing similar things, such as PhotoTag and BookCrossing but none were doing quite what we were looking for. We wanted the objects to become travel companions, so they could go places, do things, meet people, have adventures and develop personalities of their own. .
Thus, our experiment in karma - ToyVoyagers - was born. We created the website as our tracking system, created travel tags to attach to the Toys and immediately started releasing the toys into the wild, leaving them for random people to find. . . . We have members from all over the world. Membership is free: all you need is access to the internet, a camera, your own (or someone else's!) ToyVoyager, a good sense of humour and a willingness to be stared at whilst randomly photographing a soft toy in front of a famous monument."  
 I know I still have the small yellow stuffed dino one of my students gave me once upon a time.  Methinks wee 'Ferguson' has some travels ahead of him!
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