Breathing Life Into Abandoned Toys

Remember Toy Story from back in 1995? Back then, Buzz Lightyear and Woody taught us to cherish the things we own. Well, certainly the gifts from our parents at least. In years past, toys were special, carried emotional significance, perhaps even passed down generations. But today? Toys are convenient gifts for a birthday. Cheap distractions to keep Jimmy occupied. Pieces of plastic destined to be forever buried in landfill.

In fact, toys account for a staggering amount of plastics ever made by mankind, and they're not going anywhere anytime soon, for most toys are not recyclable. Many even contain inseparable plastic, metal, and electronic parts that bar them from recycling facilities. And that’s not even including all the plastics used for packaging.

All that waste, all that environmental damage, for a moment of a child's attention. Is it really worth it?


Based in Yogyakarta - the cultural and arts capital of Indonesia - Hendra is a whimsical and innovative artist from Indonesia whom often uses toys to create works of art. Beginning at first out of amusement, he soon realized just how easily abandoned toys can be found. New toys are bought so frequently as gifts for children that families often receive too many to even keep track of. So Hendra thought,

“Why not put these abandoned toys to good use, turn them into something beautiful and meaningful, and give them purpose once again?"



Thus, the Abandoned Toy Story project was born. Like us, Hendra believes in the power of art to drive sustainability awareness. By creating unique art forms using discarded toys and household items, Hendra's mission is to remind us of the waste we generate in our lives so that little by little, we become more mindful of the things we consume.

The Abandoned Toy Story project involves Hendra training groups of young artists in using abandoned toys to make sculptures with meaning. Select pieces are then displayed at art fairs or auctioned. 40% of the money raised will contribute to the Little Yellow Flower Education Foundation, an NGO that provides underprivileged children in Asia with education and emotional support.

Through the project, Hendra hopes to inspire parents and children around the world to reduce plastic waste by opting for sturdy wooden toys or other eco-friendly options, or better yet, substitute physical gifts with unforgettable experiences like a weekend family trip or trying a new sport. With your support, Hendra can display his work in more art fairs around the world to spread his message, train more artists, and inspire a new sustainable generation using the power of art.

To learn more about Hendra’s work, please go to Hendra's Sculptures !