Making toys in Bogorodskoye is a family business where children and adults work together, reflecting in toys the themes and subjects of everyday life. Everything is carved using traditional hand tools. Although there is no formal school that teaches this style of woodcarving, the art form has been endured for over centuries by being passed down from father to son, from generation to generation. The most popular toys are the ones with moveable parts. This original design makes these simple toys entertaining and intriguing.
Most popular Bogorodskoe toys are the so-called "motion" toys (operated by balances and counterbalances, springs, strings, etc.) and decorative figurines.
There is a story that in the mid 17th century a peasant carved a toy of linden for his kids. When the children had played long enough with it, the father took it to a fair to sell. One of the merchants got interested in the toy and ordered the peasant a whole lot of suchlike toys.
But that is just a story, as for the facts, back in the 17th century the carving handicraft existed in the monastery of the Most Holy Trinity at Sergiev-Posad. This could not but influence the nearby villages, which adopted the toy handicraft. At first Bogorodskoe artisans made only separate parts and sent them to Sergiev Posad, where the toys were finally assembled. But soon the Bogorodskoe wooden toys came to be finished in the village itself.
The majority of toys involved an image of the principal characters in many Russian legends, fairy tales, and folk songs: bears, rabbits, birds.
Looking at those toys made with a good sense of humour and style, however, one can hardly remember about the tough work of making them. Good-natured bears holding hammers or carrying baskets of mushrooms, just like other characters, they all look fairy-tale and as though caught in movement, even if they are not movable. The figurines having nothing redundant in their style, some of them are real masterpieces of plastic art.
A Bogorodskoe toy will make not only an amusing artistic souvenir, but also a superb toy for a kid: it develops both hands and fancy, and is made of safe and healthy material. Fortunately, such toys have come down to us and can be purchased nowadays.