Playgrounds as nightmare fuel
July 12, 2014 5:55 PM   Subscribe

Creepy masterpieces of sculpture and landscaping masquerading as children's playgrounds. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
posted by Room 641-A (21 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Ah, the Dark Roasted Blend. My vote for the most creepiest is... ah, you decide.
posted by ovvl at 6:38 PM on July 12, 2014

I was just going with "cultural differences", until I got to the cock slide in Part 3.

The elephant alimentary slides hadn't fazed me... but the cock slide was too much.
posted by allthinky at 6:49 PM on July 12, 2014

so... much... tetanus...
posted by Sternmeyer at 7:04 PM on July 12, 2014 [5 favorites]

i WANT those giant bees and the dark bears with glowing eyes.
posted by lapolla at 7:05 PM on July 12, 2014 [6 favorites]

Yeah those bears are awesome.

The cock slide is hilarious.
posted by MillMan at 7:33 PM on July 12, 2014

Aaaah! Creepy grinning snail, statue of woman with hollowed-out uterus for kids to climb inside, creepy doctor about to give you an injection, Cthulu feeling up a little girl's's horrible, and that's just part 1.
posted by medusa at 7:37 PM on July 12, 2014

Ok the penis slide is awesome.
posted by medusa at 7:43 PM on July 12, 2014

Some of these I kind of like, in a "Looks like it was made with… you know, longing. Made by a person really longed to see a swan" kind of way.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 7:48 PM on July 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Those collapsed slides are so sad. Kind of like paens to a lost childhood.
posted by arcticseal at 7:56 PM on July 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Playgrounds in the US today seem to come from kits. I occasionally see the exact same playgrounds in different locations around the city. They are made of plastic and even when not exactly the same, they're pretty homogenous. My instinct was to think this fact was a little sad, because of the lost opportunity for creative and original spaces. After seeing some of these though, unoriginal is sounding good. That giant spider...just no. Just no forever.
posted by mirabythelake at 8:07 PM on July 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

The 'cock slide' is available in the US.
posted by eye of newt at 10:28 PM on July 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

The bike-as-bike "rack" in part 2 stands out to me because my kid hopped on one of those the other day, and I blurted out "hey, I'm pretty sure that's a bike rack and not a safe place to sit..." But for a second I did see it as a normal playground toy and briefly thought to myself "this is a decidedly pointless gonad-threatening amusement, what depraved person thought this up" before realizing it was a bike rack. Or maybe it's not, the one in the picture seem to have free-moving "pedals" as implied by the caption, it just doesn't occur to me that sitting astride a single length-o-pipe would be all that pleasant for anyone.
posted by aydeejones at 12:22 AM on July 13, 2014

One of the figures in section three (sad looking large eared teddy bear)is from a russian Cartoon that is actually pretty good. I saw a variation of a slide that worked like the penis slide , but was kids popping out of a giant bunny's crotch.
posted by boilermonster at 12:30 AM on July 13, 2014

Playgrounds in the US today seem to come from kits. I occasionally see the exact same playgrounds in different locations around the city.

My wife's an education consultant and has worked with landscape architects to develop a couple playgrounds. You're essentially right about them coming from kits-- in most areas there are tight civil codes and insurance requirements, so there are only a handful of companies making compliant equipment. It's not like the 60s and 70s, when every steelworks offered slides and monkeybars alongside scaffolding and automotive lifts.

Basically, the architect or the client picks one of the equipment companies, and the architect designs a playground Lego-style out of the pieces offered. You don't mix-and-match from several sources because the pieces don't fit together easily. That's why playgrounds tend to look the same.

If you're a civil planner updating playgrounds, it makes sense that you'd just duplicate the design that you've already paid for-- you know it's up to code, your guys have assembled the stuff before and if you have to involve the architect again, it's minor adjustments.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:40 AM on July 13, 2014 [6 favorites]

I mean, if you are going to make a slide out of an elephant, going down the trunk is an obvious delight. The elephant slides in parts 2 and 3 are a little old and worse for the wear, but looked like the were actually pretty cool in their prime. Unlike the newer "let's just shoot you out the elephant's ass" slides in part 1.
posted by freejinn at 5:47 AM on July 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

I don't quite get the brief here. Quite a lot of these images are of legit sculptures for adults (e.g. the Louise Bourgeois Spider) and have nothing to do with kids' playgrounds at all.
posted by yoink at 7:32 AM on July 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh my god. This really is The Best of the Web. Can't stop laughing and shuddering. Absolutely delicious. Thank you!
posted by nacho fries at 9:48 AM on July 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

We have this guy here in a Minneapolis.
posted by mirabythelake at 9:50 AM on July 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

It's so unfair that all the cool public "play" places are devoted to kids. I want something like this for adults, dammit.

I suspect my (adult) friends and I may be partly responsible for the recent trend at our local play areas to fence them off and post warning signs that adults are only allowed in if accompanying a child. Maybe getting high on cough syrup late at night and getting the playground merry-go-round spinning up to mach-looney speeds was an off-label use for the park, but can ya blame a girl for wanting to have a little fun?
posted by nacho fries at 10:02 AM on July 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

Kids will always make the best of what's around. If a kid wants to play and this is what is presented to him, he will construct a mental narrative that makes this playground the perfect place for how he wants to play. It's not creepy, it's just the tools that he has to work with.

This is one of the reasons why kids are the best, and why adults are at their happiest when they are emulating kid-like attitudes. Life doesn't always hand you colorful and sweet McDonald's PlayPlace slides with safe squishy landing spots; life sometimes hands you creepy melted faces with peeling paint, or sharp edges sticking out of places you wouldn't expect. But kids can get happy anyway, and that's what makes them awesome. I would give as Exhibit A this amazing girl, who is driving the shit of whatever that thing is.
posted by jbickers at 6:31 PM on July 13, 2014

I thought I'd seen these before. So DRB is recycling posts now?
posted by unliteral at 8:43 PM on July 13, 2014

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