German toy design company, Grimm’s Spiel & Holz, has freed the standard wooden block from its cubist confines by creating the aptly named Fantastic Blocks – tiny building structures that burst with color and are devoid of straight lines, angles or corners. Conceived as fictional gnome dwellings, the block sets vary from the simple 2-piece Onion House ($6.98) to the more complex 16-piece Gnome Town set ($59.98). Each block gets its burst of color from non-toxic water based dyes and is hand-sanded to perfection. “Whether used for building, pretend play, storytelling or decorating – these rugged blocks will last a lifetime.” They’re the kind of toys that foster a child’s inner Dali. (Available at the Fine Wooden Toys website).

+ Fantastic Blocks sets range from $7 – $80

+ Grimm’s Spiel & Holz Design