The photos that will blow you away.

Kids always have a lot to say about their toys. More opinions than there are monkeys in the barrel. But what do these toys say about kids?

Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti has travelled the world taking pictures of children from many countries and walks of life photographed with their favourite toys. The images show the beautiful universality that is our attachment to childhood toys.

Ben Machell from The Times Magazine spoke to the artist about the photographs (which you can see here):

How they play can reveal a lot. “The richest children were more possessive. At the beginning, they wouldn’t want me to touch their toys, and I would need more time before they would let me play with them,” says the Italian, who would often join in with a child’s games before arranging the toys and taking the photograph. “In poor countries, it was much easier. Even if they only had two or three toys, they didn’t really care. In Africa, the kids would mostly play with their friends outside.”

…Parents from the Middle East and Asia, he found, would push their children to be photographed even if they were initially nervous or upset, while South American parents were “really relaxed, and said I could do whatever I wanted as long as their child didn’t mind”.

How about you – what were your favourite childhood toys? Do you still have them?