Maileg’s Mice and More

By Karen Parr-Moody


Whimsical mice and cat toys live the good live in a corner of Booth 277 at GasLamp Too. This tableau is courtesy of Maileg, a Danish toy company that merges Scandinavian design, fairytale nostalgia and meticulous attention to detail.

Maileg’s tiny mice are a celebration of all things miniature. Made using natural materials such as cotton, linen, wool, wood and metal, each Maileg toy is hand-made or at least hand finished. In the iconic matchbox mice, that means hand-sewn clothes, hand-stitched eyes, tiny suitcases and itty-bitty accessories.

Maileg is designed in Denmark by Dorthe Mailil, a Danish designer and illustrator whose work has been exhbited in art galleries, the Louvre and MoMA. She and her husband Erik founded Maileg in 1999; the name combines their last name “Mailil” with “leg”, the Danish word for play.

These two tiny mice are on vacation at some fashionable beach, complete with striped chaise lounges and a yellow-and-white striped cabana. They could be on the French Riviera, such is their style; we particularly love the lady mouse’s floral bikini with daisy motifs. Some lucky child can take these mice to the beach, too, whether it’s in Florida or the south of France.

This dancing cat comes in a shoebox for ballet slippers, which is just perfect – she can dance with some lucky child in ballet class. Her cute box features a bar for hanging ballet costumes, tiny hangers, a tufted mattress and two metallic gold cushions. Adorable! She’s ready for her opening night.

Here comes the teeny-weeny bride and groom: This just-married mouse couple will surely ignite the imagination of a creative child. The bride wears a long, vintage-style veil and an ivory gown. In her tiny hand she holds a bouquet of pink flowers. Her hubby wears a natty bow tie and a shimmering black tuxedo. Handmade from soft cotton, this adorable set comes in a floral print gift box ($62; booth 277).

Maileg’s ballerina mouse comes in a tiny tin suitcase that is a cozy container for travels and sweet dreams ($28). This lovely mouse has big ears, a delightful smile and a soft pink leotard with matching tutu. The suitcase is decorated with whimsical illustrations, as are all Maileg containers.

The Princess Mouse and the Pea from Maileg is simply enchanting ($65; booth 277). This tiny princess wears a stunning sparkle dress and comes in a keepsake castle box that slides open and closed. Inside the box, which acts as a stage drop and bed, there is a stack of handmade patterned mattresses, a duvet and pillow. There’s even a crocheted green pea, naturally. A child can relive the classic fairytale while playing with this tiny mouse.

The character and charm of Maileg toys are rarely matched. We love that each toy is slightly different from the next, as unique as each child who plays with them. These little cloth creatures will inspire a lucky child to indulge in creativity and imagination.