March 29, 2009

Giganta The Playground Robot Automatically Produces Fun, Nightmares

giganta_playground_robot.jpg

Giganta is certainly not the creepiest piece of playground equipment on this list. But it definitely leads the Non-Russian Surrealism, Most Prison-Like, and Robots Will Enslave Us categories.

I'd love to see where these things were ever installed, if only to alert the human resistance forces.

DANGER DANGER: holy crap, they're everywhere! Lakewood City, CA; Beverly Hills; Santa Clarita; Benbrook, TX: Chicago; Maryland's Eastern Shore; Patagonia...

1974 Catalog: Giganta Robot Playground [plaidstallions via darkroastedblend, thanks dt reader rolf]

14 Comments

I'm having nightmares already.

I played on one (not as large as that) as a child in the 80s in Leavenworth, KS. Sadly, I think it's long been replaced. Probably for the best as the thing was super high and as I recall, a bunch of open gaping holes about the size of my 5 year old body to fall through. It creeped me out.

In the 80s there was a similar structure in the shape of a rocketship instead of a robot at a park in Bettendorf, Iowa. The park's official name was McManus Park, but everyone knew of it as Rocketship Park because of the big rocket (and several other space-themed climbing structures). Sadly they were all torn down a decade or two ago and now McManus is just another park.

As far as scary park structures, though, it's hard to beat the Monster in Rabinovich Park in Jerusalem. I looooved that thing when I was a kid, and as of 2004 when I last visited, it was still there (and still fun).

I remember climbing on these in the 70's. The cool thing was to climb up the outside. I would freak if I saw my kids climbing up the outside of one of these now.

I'm sorry but that thing is so scary... I don't know if anyone here has ever heard of a Druid Wicker Man? All that robot needs is a fire under it and a few more kids packed inside.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicker_man

We had one in Santa Clarita. I'll have to ask my mom if it's still there. We were playing on it in the late 80s and early 90s. Devilish thing, I'm still in pain from playing on it.

The one in Santa Clarita is still there, but... a few years back, the City put up fencing around it and blocked off the slides so that people can no longer enter it. There is a sign explaining that, under pressure from City residents, it was kept as a piece of art in the park since it is no longer deemed safe for children to play on.

i grew up playing on this robot, located in placentia california the park name was koch park was their for most of the 80's and was destroyed in the late 90's. i though this was the coolest playground i wish it was still there so i could show my daughter now!

Came here from a link at Boing Boing...I've been on the one in Lakewood! It's gone now. PS, it's just Lakewood, not Lakewood City.

thanks for the update/correction. And thanks to Micah for the namecheck in BB's comments.

hey theres still one in my town.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_viVNmwkyrGM/RucU_KdwrWI/AAAAAAAAAKU/v9sHwVCeu34/s200/PIC_0002.JPG

I didn't know it was mass produced or that it's name was giganta. I'm from Argentina by the way, Paraná,Entre Rios to be more precise.

Yes! Im from Paraná Argentina also, and woke up this morning with the sweetest piece of souvenir from my childhood since I saw Giganta 74s ad in my cousin's facebook. As I read this post, I can see how we all did the same kind of stuff with Giganta, tryig to climb it from the outside for example. What a great piece of structure! I wonder if they were not an army of robots trying to take over our world! Hahaha cheers
NICO

Yep...still in Santa Clarita Ca, in the Saugus community at Santa Clarita Park. Kids in the area still refer to it as "the robot park." Even though it's strictly an art piece now, it still draws the kids in.

I grew up in Lake Chelan, Washington and we had this Giganta slide growing up. It's a huge piece of the past of all of us from there. As scary as it looks it was a lot of fun! We climbed all over it inside and out, surprised no one ever fell off! Sadly it was taken down more than 10 years ago. I'd love to have one in my yard!

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