Playthings: Today’s TEDTalks playlist

TED’s on its annual two-week vacation; during the break, we’re posting new playlists from the TEDTalks archive.

Today’s playlist is about toys that inspire learning, innovation — and of course fun! These are the toys of the technological age: they are alive, they think, they perform magic. What were your favorite toys as a kid (or an adult), and what did they inspire in you? See how David Merrill replaces traditional building blocks with electronic tiles that can add, subtract, compose and create.

  • David Perry describes a new age of video games: games that “think big” and blend the virtual and the real through emotion and complexity.

  • Pranav Mistry and Pattie Maes announce a big-kid toy, SixthSense. It can help you buy toilet paper, take and share photographs and tell time … and more:

  • Caleb Chung designs toys that require lots of TLC, including the infamous Furby and the revolutionary Pleo.

  • What are your favorite stories about toys and play in the TEDTalks archive? Add your suggestions for this playlist to the comments below, or email with the subject PLAYLIST: PLAY. (Jog your memory with the TEDTalks spreadsheet.)

    And look for fresh TEDTalks starting on August 16!

    Curator of this playlist: Rachel Tobias