Wooden toys don't seem so appealing--until you take a look at Take-G's insanely-complicated-to-produce line of handmade characters and vehicles. Artist Takeji Nakagawa takes the Japanese craft process of Yosegi-Mokuzougan (joined wooden block construction) and cranks out some uniquely weird little robo-guys. As he says on his website:
I often get asked "Why do you make robots with wood?" I don't really have an exact answer for it but I often relate my robots with [the] 'future'.
What do you relate [the] future with? Cities full of metal, glass and plastic [like] in a SF movie? What we really want is not that kind of future but one full of trees and something more natural. I don't think humans can live without trees no matter what advanced technology makes.
When I think of 'future', I cannot help thinking of 'past' at the same time. Trees take long time (tens and hundreds of years) to grow and show us their beauty (the product of their past). I think that I have responsibilities as a craftsman and an artist of breathing new life into these trees. I have a job to link 100 years in the past and 100 years in the future through my work.