More grown-up-friendly kids’ stuff

  • John Colvin and Simon Keegans of Clintonville dressed as Finn and Jake from “Adventure Time” for Halloween.
  • Lea Barker Photo
  • “The Death of Robat,” by Chris McVeigh
By Columbus Alive
From the December 6, 2012 edition

Following are our favorite one-way tickets to Neverland.

In: “Adventure Time”

Out: “Hello Kitty”

This animated Cartoon Network show follows the funny adventures of a boy named Finn and his shape-shifting dog Jake in the post-apocalyptic, kingdom-heavy Land of Ooo. The show is kid-friendly but its subversive humor and goofy nods to things that adults love, like Jake’s infectious ditty about making bacon pancakes, have made it a hit in the 18-and-over category.

In: Electronic playgrounds

Out: Carousels

Last week, downtown’s Columbus Commons unveiled its latest park attraction — a state-of-the-art NEOS 360 system. The Ohio Soft Drink Association and the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America (!) funded the $23,000 electronic playground. The circular playspace’s multiple games require you to touch alternating parts of the playground surface to complete different objectives; it’s a means to build coordination, agility and stamina for kids and a welcome life-antithesis for adults on lunch break.

In: Toy photography

Out: Toy maiming

Posing Barbie dolls or her highness’ likeness in hyper-realistic, dark situational photographs has been hot the past several years (we adore Vancouver photographer Dina Goldstein’s “In the Dollhouse” series that exposes the dysfunction of Ken and Barbie’s marriage… particularly Ken’s closeted homosexuality). “Star Wars” action figures in funny situations are standard Internet art fare. Check out Nova Scotia photographer Chris McVeigh’s clever takes on toys in re-created scenes from famous historical paintings. His LEGO ornaments are pretty clutch, too.