Toybox – Creativity in a New Dimension


Tristan flies through the Toronto skyline in a red Classic Supercape while little brother, Phelan pummels him with virtual donuts using the Toybox’s Console of Power!

Yesterday I took my boys to an incredible hands-on traveling art installation called ‘Toybox’.  It is the creation of Playground Studios and is currently open until September 15 at Theatre Passe Muraille.  Toybox is an interactive play space for people of all ages, where cutting edge digital and projection technology is put in the hands of even the smallest players, who are free to create amazing special effects on screen with the help of green screen tricks, lighting, sound and (of course) COSTUMES!  The space also provides creative art materials and building blocks – encouraging creative expression of all kinds from audience members of all ages.

Green screen fun, using the ‘cloak of invisibility’!

This generation of the Toybox (because it is always a little bit different) is themed around the City of Toronto and the projections, video clips and imagery used are created from footage of the city.  My boys had a blast making a TTC subway car drive past the screen over and over and over as they adjusted the action and green screen effects they wanted to add.  Tristan discovered that he could turn the CN Tower into a microphone, or an ice cream cone!  Seeing yourself on screen and experimenting with the ‘magic’ of green screen effects is intoxicating for kid and adults alike.


Green screen fun – turns kids into giant city-eaters at Theatre Passe Muraille.



Fancy Pants Kids has been proud to be a sponsor of this amazing project since its inception in 2010, as the official supplier of the costumes used in Toybox.  The goal of the project is to create a place for audiences to play hands-on with the technological tools of theatre in a fun and engaging way. This ingenious experience is brought to life by the audience. It’s all about what happens when people, their stories, their ideas and their imaginations collide.  My kids did not want to leave and frankly, neither did I!


Toybox by Playground Studios at Theatre Passe Muraille, featuring costumes by Fancy Pants Kids

You can also catch Toybox at City Hall in the Main Atrium next (free of charge!) and at some other locations through the fall.  Follow Playground Studios on Facebook to keep abreast of the schedule, dates and locations.  (You can also contact them about group and school bookings!) If you get a chance to go play in the Toybox, please tell us about it!

My boys create masterpieces out of plasticine and building blocks with Ben Chiasson (aka-Willy Wonka) and Beth Kates – the co-creators of Toybox. When they were done, their creations became part of another play session with the special effects and projections!