After the recent Toy Fair in New York City, buzz spread very quickly amongst the modern mini community about the Emerson, a stunning 1:16 modernist creation unveiled at the Fair. FromDaddy Types, to ohdeedoh, to my fellow bloggers Mini Modern, Altera, and Rebecca, design and doll house aficionados posted with intrigue about this newcomer, designed by the firm brinca dada (that's "BREEN-kuh day-duh"). Modern MC of Mini Modern recalled that a very similar-looking house sold on eBay for over $400 a few months ago, and it was confirmed that it was indeed the Emerson prototype. See this Daddy Types post for more on this.
The house will retail for $299 this spring, and according to the Brinca Dada website, the home has it all: six rooms including a living room, kitchen, library/office, master bedroom, bathroom and child's bedroom; a large, open floor plan and floor-to-ceiling windows; many extras including mitered-glass corners, two fireplaces, sliding glass doors, solar panels, and recessed LED lights; and non-toxic and lead-free wood stains and paints.
I was in touch with brinca dada head Doug Rollins, a dad of three, about the house, and wanted to share some more about this welcome addition to the modern doll house scene.
What's the scale?
The scale of the house is closest to 1:16, although buzz early on said everything from 1:12 to 1:18. Rollins says, "The actual size is 3/4" which I think equates to 1:16. When we originally designed Emerson as 1:12 it was enormous and we thought it would be too big for many playrooms and too expensive. We're learning about scale as we go here. The idea for the company is to make toys that adults love to look at and kids love to play with. For the houses, we are finding that there is a significant market for dollhouse collectors as well. So we are quickly learning how best to give them what they are looking for. We developed Emerson House for kids as the primary user and adults (re: dollhouse enthusiasts) as a secondary target."
By the way, I have to assume a level of durability of this house given it is geared for children, who will likely not be deterred by the lack of stairs!
Are there accessories for the house?
There are dolls and living furniture. The dolls have a minimalist edge and in my opinion might resonate more with the kids and may not suit those adult collectors who use dolls in their scenes, but the furniture is more adaptable for collectors. Rollins said of the furniture and pricing, "We don't have prices for the furniture, but we are hoping to keep them in the $30-$40 per room range. More to come on that. We are still in the design phase so we don't know materials etc. yet." The chair is an absolute definite for me, and it would be great if the firm produced a range of rooms.
Where will the house be sold?
The house will be sold on the brinca dada website and in fine toy stores. Rollins said that he is "...pushing for wide distribution of our toys at retail. We plan to be in toy shops, hobby & doll shops, design stores, museum stores, department stores and maybe even some furniture stores." They are currently seeking a European distributor, but will ship worldwide!
Who is brinca dada and what is the meaning behind the name?
Rollins, a toy industry veteran, co-founded brinca dada with architect Tim Boyle, who as Rollins stated has "designed houses for a number of celebrities (which he can't disclose, even to me)." On the name, Rollins shared that "Brinca dada (it's day-duh) comes from the Brazilian term for toy or game. It's a total butchering of the spelling, though. Tim and I both lived in Brazil at different times and we both always liked the term. It has a great ring to it. Brinca is also Spanish for jump and we like the association with the dadaist movement which was so playful and also with the idea of daddy, which Tim and I both are." Boyle is dad to four, and both he and Rollins reside with their families in New York City. The company is so new that as Rollins said, "...when I say new, I mean new. We launched this last Sunday at Toy Fair."
Will brinca dada continue to produce doll houses?
Rollins said that brinca dada will continue to design houses as part of their line and have some ideas for other toys that he did not want to disclose at this time. Regarding additional items, they have a modern townhouse in the works, the Bennet House, that Rollins hopes will be available by October. "It's truly stunning," Rollins said. "I can't wait to finalize the designs so we can get some renderings out."
We can't wait either!!!
The Emerson definitely fills a niche for modern doll house collectors, including those who prefer working in 1:12, but who might be amenable to working in a smaller scale. I absolutely love the use of materials and the warmth of this house. I am impressed by what looks to be fine finishings and a keen level of architectural detail; I look forward to seeing it in person.
I'll keep tabs on brinca dada, and have a feeling you will too.