Czech national treasure and world queen of toys. A world-renowned designer and innovator who created over 230 original toys, many of which were produced in many color variants. Her legendary work is represented in the collections of museums around the world, for example in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, in the Museum of Decorative Arts in the Louvre in Paris, in the Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo or perhaps in the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague. In 2012, on the occasion of the annual Czech Grand Design Awards, she was the first female designer ever to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Libuše Niklová was born on April 1, 1934 in Zlín, Czechoslovakia
Libuše Niklová studied at the Zdeněk Nejedlý State School of Applied Arts in Zlín and Uherské Hradiště
After graduation, Libuše Niklová joined Gumotex Břeclav in 1954 and started designing toys
The first mass-produced toy designed by Libuše Niklová was Hurvínek
Libuše Niklová married František Nikl, a painter and classmate from high school
Libuše Niklová gave birth to a son Petr, a well-known artist, painter, writer and theater actor
After the birth of her son Petr, Libuše Niklová started working for the national company Fatra Napajedla.
Libuše Niklová was in Fatra Napajedla mainly devoted to designing inflatable toys, her first was Slepička under the number DR2361
Libuše Niklová invented the accordion Tomcat and applied for a patent for the first flexible plastic toy ever made
At the end of her tenure at Gumotex, Libuše Niklová designed a legendary series of figurines representing various professions
Libuše Niklová received the first patent for her invention of a flexible plastic toy
The first Tomcat rolled off the production line at the national company Fatra Napajedla
For the competition of the best toys for the World's Fair in 1967 in Montreal, Libuše Niklová designed toys based on Jules Verne's novel
Libuše Niklová gave birth to a daughter Veronika
Libuše Niklová invented inflatable furniture in the shape of animals and applied for a patent
The first Buffalo rolled off the production line at the national company Fatra Napajedla
The first Giraffe rolled off the production line at the national company Fatra Napajedla
Libuše Niklová passed away on June 5, 1981 in Gottwaldov (Zlín), the world has lost one of the most important designers
The monograph book Libuše Niklová by Tereza Bruthansová with a list of the creations of Libuše Niklová has been published
The first large-scale exhibition of Libuše Niklová's work entitled 200 dm3 breath in the House of Art in the Regional Gallery of Fine Arts in Zlín
An extensive exhibition of the works of Libuše Niklová entitled 200 dm3 breath in the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague
Libuše Niklová's sitting toys are again produced in Fatra Napajedla, these are the Buffalo, the Giraffe and the Elephant
Exhibition of Libuše Niklová's work at the Museé des arts Décoratifs in the Louvre in Paris
Haukola the Buffalo in a display case at the famous Galeries Lafayette as a banner for the Plastique ludique exhibition at the Louvre
Libuše Niklová was inducted into the Czech Grand Design Hall of Fame as the first female designer ever.
Libuše Niklová's work was presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as part of the exhibition Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900-2000
Fatra Napajedla started producing Libuše Niklová's inflatable Caterpillar again
Fatra Napajedla started producing Libuše Niklová's inflatable Horse again
Fatra Napajedla started producing Libuše Niklová's inflatable lounger named Šipka (Arrow) again
Fatra Napajedla started producing Libuše Niklová's inflatable Piggy again
Libuše Niklová's work was presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as part of the exhibition Designing Modern Women 1890–1990
Fatra Napajedla has again started producing Libuše Niklová's inflatable grabbing toys, Micinka (Kitty), Punťa (Doggie) and Sluníčko (Little Sun)
Fatra Napajedla has again started producing Libuše Niklová's inflatable canoe named Indian
Libuše Niklová's work was presented in 5 museums of art and design in Japan as part of the exhibition 100 years of Czech design
The state printing works of securities issued a commemorative sheet in the form of a banknote, 2000 niklaks, on which an inflatable Buffalo is depicted
The accordion Tomcat became the mascot of the 26th General Conference of ICOM (International Council of Museums)
The accordion tomcat was named Líba on the occasion of the 26th ICOM General Conference in Prague
How a tomcat travelled the world: Libuše Niklová's toys and their foreign hybrids, the revealing exhibition in the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague
On the occasion of the 26th ICOM General Conference in Prague, the Czech Post issued a stamp on which Líba the tomcat is depicted
In the last few years, a lot of interesting things have happened regarding Libuše Niklová and her work. Way more to come in the coming years…
Libuše Niklová’s work is increasingly admired and sought after by collectors and museums all over the world. In the Czech Republic, she becomes an unshakable legend of design, whose work amazes all generations. Her toys have been produced for almost 70 years. Her work becomes a national treasure. And that’s why we decided to preserve her legacy for future generations. We have the largest collection of Libuše Niklová’s work and we want her work to be admired publicly. Therefore, follow us regularly for information about interesting news, new exhibitions, and other projects.
An article about Líba the tomcat and our exhibition on Novinky.cz
Our exhibition with Líba the tomcat on the front page of the newspaper Právo
Heroic statue of Líba the tomcat was transported to UPM and is now a part of our exhibition
The Dubai princess Latifa was photographed next to Líba the tomcat
Heroic statue of Líba the tomcat at ICOM PRAGUE 2022
Current notable exhibitions
Hřiště hraček - Playground of Toys
L’Avènement des plastiques
Traveling exhibitions in museums and galleries in the Czech Republic and abroad.
Children’s books, professional books, but also coffee table books.
A non-profit association with the aim of preserving Libuše Niklová’s legacy for future generations.
Completion of Libuše Niklová’s work and its preservation for future generations.
Beautiful shapes, colors, decors and interesting sounds. Different materials and functions. She elevated toy design to art.
She created over 230 original toys, many of which were produced in several color variants, for example, rubber figures, animals with accordion bodies, or inflatable toys. Some of them have become iconic, for example, the accordion Tomcat. In the course of her career, she obtained patents for nine inventions and three national industrial designs. Her work won many awards in its time and is now considered modern art and is admired around the world. Her toys have been copied in at least 25 countries on both the East and West sides of the Iron Curtain, which is a very unique feature.
Rubber squeaky toys
Accordion and Vernian toys
Czech design icons
Partners and sponsors of our public projects.
TV stations, radio stations, newspapers, magazines, and websites where Libuše Niklová and her toys appeared.