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Nightmare Playgrounds, Part 3

"QUANTUM SHOT" #550(rev)
Link - article by Avi Abrams

When you are trapped in a nightmare, you might as well enjoy a swing and a kiddie-slide

As we mentioned in our Part 1, these hilarious and often ugly sculptural atrocities for kids are seen generally in Eastern Europe and Asia, with only a few of them located in America. It seems that these monuments to bad taste are the results of either builders being lazy (perhaps on drugs?), or artists sincerely believing in freedom of artistic expression but lacking skills to convincingly pull it off. The weird thing is, we really like to see such crazy playgrounds sprout everywhere - yes, bring them on! - because then, your typical urban landscape would change overnight from "soul-deadening" to "mind-boggling".

1. Aaah! I hope this thing is not going to roll after me (like a wild unshaven Katamari)

Open the gates! Fun awaits "beyond thrice nine lands, in the thirtieth kingdom" (Russian idiom, written in the image below) -

2 - 20. Various awesome examples of Russian playgrounds, including the "Cheburashka" character, via

23. Pig? from Saratov kindergarten - photo by Tatiana Mitrofanowa
24. Wolf, threatening to sing (don't let him!) in playground in Tomsk - image via

25. "Swan Lake Ballet" by Mikhail Dronov, seen in Moscow - image via
26. Is this... Jar-Jar Binks?? - photo by Lyudmila Juhimec

27, 28 - Again, Cheburashka - and Dr. Aibolit "healing" animals;
Bottom image 29, 30, 31 - various abominations

32. Abandoned playground in North Chertanovo, Moscow - via

Mushroom Land! I like it -

33. unknown location

Japanese Manga Monster Land! (I like it even more) -

34. image via

Drunken statue and its dog (turns out to be a memorial to Russian poet Sergei Esenin... come to think of it, this is quite an original and charming interpretation):

35. in Krasnoyarsk; image via

Many Soviet pioneer camps in the 1930s through the 1950s featured standard-issue pioneer statues, which since then fell in awesome disrepair (it's pretty common to find headless, limbless statues of young athletes, spread all over the lush forest). These statues often were erected just outside children playgrounds... see the one below, telling a tragic tale of "love triangle gone wrong":


This is a winner (Peter Straub, author of "Shadowland", take note!) - from the Soviet pioneer camp Petrushkovo:

37. photo by KateLiby

And here are the children that played in these Soviet pioneer camps in the 1930s:

38. - photo by Nikolai Khlopov, via

Playground representations of animals just keep getting weirder (and why not? I ask you, why not). This cow is one of many wonderful cow installations in Madison, Wisconsin:

39. image credit: Masha Vodyanik

40. A goat in Nizhny Novgorod - image via
41. strange puppies hanging in a tree in one kindergarten

42-44, originals unknown

This cow stands near the sign "No Swimming" but conveniently has her eyes closed! -


Check out these "climbing structures" that, just possibly, hide some wicked portals to dark fantasy lands inside of them? -


Here come the Swings!... of all sorts. This one is permanently frozen:

47. - spotted in Fira, Santorini island, Greece.

This one is for the "frozen in time and morphed into bricks" kids:

48. - the bricks are actually an open book, in downtown Charlotte, NC

49, 50 - a space baby, and a pesky monkey

51. Dante Fascell Park in Miami, sent to us by Jay Zwelling

The Slides Are Epic, indeed. They should definitely lead into some sort of alternate reality:

52-55. Hard landing guaranteed

56, 57, 58. - nameless place, a cannon in a forest, and a rusty elephant

This is an actual slide in Poland. Apparently, its designers did not mean anything bad, they just did not check out a particular angle -

59. image via

See the video (slide in action) and continue to the read the rest -


So, now that you've seen how low in taste a slide can be, feast your eyes on an example of a good exciting slide: a giant robot "thing":


Some examples of grass-roots creativity from the Wild West:

61. Does it double as a mail box? We've seen worse. - 62. Beer caps get respect in Bavaria, Germany - image via

63. photo by Paul McLaughlin

Not at a playground, but located close to it, in a family park - "The Mother" (Maman) installation in Paris, by Louise Bourgeois (more info and a gallery):

64. image via

Also not a playground, but so cool a structure that I just had to include it (imagine yourself relaxing on this bench after playing around - but beware, time starts to flow differently once you sit down...) -

65. Bench at the Dali museum entrance in St.Petersburgh, Florida - photo via

Androids and robots get into play:

67, 68. somewhere in Moscow

Back to the miserable kiddie grounds... Babushkas seem to like it, as well:

69, 70

A murder scene -

71 - via

Sigourney Weaver in "Aliens"?! -

72. (original unknown)

So... after everything you've seen so far, you still want to come inside and play around? Go ahead, make my day! -

73. Seen in Moscow, in Sokolniki Park - image via)

Article by Avi Abrams, Dark Roasted Blend.



Also read:
Abandoned Amusement Parks in Asia, Part 2


Futuristic Concept Cars of the 1970-80s

French, Italian & Japanese rare beauties

DRB Feel-Good
DRB Feel-Good Issue #29

Loads of cool and rare imagery

Epic 1970s French Space Comic Art

DRB Time-Slice: Valérian and Laureline

"Dark Roasted Blend" - All Kinds of Weird and Wonderful Things, Discovered Daily!"

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Blogger John Kankley said...

It looks like the Manga Monster is crying.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL @ phallic slide

Blogger ediFanoB said...

I love your blog. I asked myself: Where do you get these terrific pictures from.

Your blog lighten my days!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. 11 (the concrete robot thing) is called Tilli-Willi. You can find it in a book by Alexander Melentyevich Volkov called "The Yellow Fog".

picture 1 , picture 2

Blogger Alexandre G said...

Number 48 is a sculpture of children on a giant book in down town Charlotte. the sculpture is located in a park called the green.



Anonymous Raymond L said...

When I was growing up in the 70's, our nearby park near Los Angeles installed the "Giganta" robot slide. Very popular; it wasn't just fun to climb inside of...many an intrepid explorer climbed up the outside as well and would slide down the tops of the arms (very safe!)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the Mushroom land thing is in Göteborg, Sweden. I vaguely remember this...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

#47 is in Fira, on the island of Santorini in Greece.

Blogger Rodrigo said...

Giganta reminds me of the Wicker Man.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"24. Wolf, threatening to sing (don't let him!) in playground in Tomsk"

It is not so much a playground element, but rather a statue to a cartoon character. In the cartoon, the wolf was led covertly to a house to eat and drink, as a return gesture for the wolves previous actiones which led to the dog's being accepted back to the household after it had been kicked out for gross negligence.

having eaten and drunk a lot, whiule hidden under the table at a marriage party, the wolf said "And now I shall sing", and thus revealed its presence, to the dismay of the dog and those in the room.

Anonymous the Raven said...

there was one of those big robot things in my local playground. wonderful structure, but they boarded up the head bit when i was young to keep kids from getting stuck/doing drugs up there and eventually tore the whole thing down. now the park is "safe," and i have to say, much less awesome.

Blogger Carrie said...

I never get tired of looking at these.

Anonymous Jenny said...

I´ve seen the spider in reallife thay had it in sweden for a while it´s really big but cool. :D

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steampunk doesn't mean what it appears that you think it does.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like it! It remind me on my childhood. Dr. Aibolit, the tale of the turnip, and Nu, pogodi! (the wolf and the rabbit, the East-European Tom and Jerry) were popular in Hungary too.
There is some weirdness that in found in the internet:
a collection: http://itscoolweb.blogspot.com/2008/11/most-weird-russian-kids-playgrounds.html
Playgrounds from Hungary:

Blogger Justin Rycaj said...

What the hell is Walter White doing to that bear?


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