New art exhibit gives kids' favourites an extremely dark twist

Christmas is fast approaching, and for parents that often means a mad dash to get hold of this year's must-have toy. However, one designer has come up with some creations that aren't likely to be on any kid's Christmas list – we hope.

An inventor and engineer has created a range of products in the style of a popular toy brand but with some very non-child friendly themes. They're going down very well on social media, but we wouldn't recommend these to put under the Christmas tree (if you're actually looking for a Christmas gift for a young human, I'd suggest you'd be better off going for something like a Nintendo Switch).

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The Brooklyn-based artist, inventor and interactive technology engineer Andy Sahlstrom (opens in new tab) is to host an exhibition of dark creations under the title Kids Toys, Adult Issues. They use the branding and style of Little Tikes but include designs that we hope we'll never see in a children's toy shop, including a colourful hearse, complete with coffin, a jail cell and a pillory.

A post shared by Andy Sahlstrom (@shampoooty) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

A post shared by Andy Sahlstrom (@shampoooty) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

A post shared by Andy Sahlstrom (@shampoooty) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

The designs have been going down a storm online. On Instagram, people are asking where they can buy them, suggesting there's a clear market for dark toys. Over on Reddit (opens in new tab), one person wrote: "The prison visitation booth in the exact style of the old Little Tykes kitchen killed me. As an artist I'm so jealous of this idea."

Sahlstrom's work will be on display at Brooklyn's The New Gallery on December 17.

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Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.