Photos of Children From Around the World With Their Most Prized Possessions

Chiwa – Mchinji, Malawi

Shot over a period of 18 months, Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti‘s project Toy Stories compiles photos of children from around the world with their prized possesions—their toys. Galimberti explores the universality of being a kid amidst the diversity of the countless corners of the world, saying, “at their age, they are pretty all much the same; they just want to play.”

But it’s how they play that seemed to differ from country to country. Galimberti found that children in richer countries were more possessive with their toys and that it took time before they allowed him to play with them (which is what he would do pre-shoot before arranging the toys), whereas in poorer countries he found it much easier to quickly interact, even if there were just two or three toys between them.

There were similarites too, especially in the functional and protective powers the toys represented for their proud owners. Across borders, the toys were reflective of the world each child was born into—economic status and daily life affecting the types of toys children found interest in. Toy Stories doesn’t just appeal in its cheerful demeanor, but it really becomes quite the anthropological study.

Stella – Montecchio, Italy

Pavel – Kiev, Ukraine

Arafa & Aisha – Bububu, Zanzibar

Cun Zi Yi – Chongqing, China

Bethsaida – Port au Prince, Haiti


Botlhe – Maun, Botswana

Watcharapom – Bangkok, Thailand

Alessia – Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy

Norden – Massa, Morocco

Julia – Tirana, Albania

Keynor – Cahuita, Costa Rica

Shaira – Mumbai, India

Tangawizi – Keekorok, Kenya


  • Camryn

    omg I live in brownsville! if you look up (orly-brownsville, texas) and click the first link, then click the photo with the dinosaurs and click more info, you will read the reality of living on a border town. with people getting kidnapped daily and shootings everyday. many of my friends live in mexico and some have experienced kidnappings in their own family. it really is disappointing with all of the violence

  • Winterfox

    There is a game mode solely for the purpose of creativity. Player versus player mode is optional and just because SOME people made a sever does not mean that was what the game was made for. MineCraft has brought me and my friends together in so many ways. We play together and cooperate. We’ve built mansions and even large towns based off of other games or our own neighborhood. While there are options to kill monsters/animals/players, that doesn’t mean its a bad game that promotes killing. MineCraft is a largely fan made game. There are millions of mods that are created by players. They can vary from “Mo’ Animals” to “Explosives+” and are optional for people to download and use as they please. As for MineCraft not being creative, there are mods to make smaller blocks or furniture. The creative mode gives use to all the items in the game. How do you think they created the maps for the Survival Games? Your viewpoint is quite biased as you have only said bad things about the game. I’ll admit there are people who kill for fun or create whole cities of villagers and proceed to blow it up. But that does not represent the whole MineCraft community. So if you’d have done ANY research into your topic, you would know these things.

  • EllenO

    Reality! Deal with it. The Ukrainian kid did not seem overly wealthy.

    Idiot bringing race into it. Go to the mirror and look at the racist there.

  • KJEB

    Yes, I agree. And it’s odd to me that so many people didn’t seem to comprehend that each child’s photos and prized possessions were very reflective of their country and environment. Wasn’t that obvious people? Maybe the little boy from Kiev, Ukraine surrounded himself with the guns because he has experienced the violence and political unrest that has been going on around him. If you were living in that kind of environment as a child, maybe your toys guns would help you feel a little safer.

  • Nixie

    The differences from culture to culture and the similarities are just amazing to see.

  • Matt Palmer

    Out of all of those things only one exists to kill other things (and often people). Guns.

  • J.B.

    Out of all the places in the world. There are more kids of African decent with better clothes and everything. The world loves to show us something totally different. Well people other than an African. They do not do proper research. They love showing us like this. I say go to hell to them all. I am glad I am an African who knows. Yes there is bad out there. I am not denying that. But out of all those pictures of African kids, you could have chose better living situations so we won’t give Americans of the Caucasian decent the idea that Africans only have that look.

    God Bless you all! Time for a change!

  • Nicabugodonossor

    If a dinossaur attacks you, I guess you will need a weapon. Guns exist so people can defend themselves from things that menace their lives, be it other people or dangerous animals…

  • Matt Palmer

    How many dangerous animals are there in suburban USA for instance? There are some areas with bears and bobcats but that is still no reason to have weapons in cities etc.

  • Nicabugodonossor

    If a person wants to kill you or do harm to your family, they won’t need a gun. There’s evil in the world, and the best we can do is to try to defend ourselves. If guns are banished, criminals would still have access to them (because if they respected the law they wouldn’t be criminals). If gun factories are banished from the world, some people would still know how to manufacturate a gun (it’s not so hard, anyway) and would use it to hurt others…

  • Matt Palmer

    Most gun deaths are caused by people the victim know, not by criminals. Having a gun in the house means that people can act on impulse in a way that cannot be repaired or reversed.

  • Nicabugodonossor

    The fact that people know the aggressor doesn’t change the fact that he/she is a criminal. I know people act on impulse and having a gun at home can be dangerous. But the world is a dangerous place anyway, and self defense is a natural impulse and a natural right. I’d rather live in a world without guns or violence, but that’s not possible.

  • Matt Palmer

    He/she becomes a criminal after the fact. But you can’t lump a spontaneous violent action at home (unless it is a pattern of behaviour) with the criminals you are talking about in gangs etc.

    Your gun debate has no real leg to stand on. It was probably blown off accidentally by a kid playing with a poorly stored gun.

  • Bishan Samaddar

    Lovely project—and an important one. Things differ for children a lot even within countries, especially those countries where populations are dense and mixed. Here’s a short film from India, made in the 1960s:

  • Gordon Grams

    No, not MEXICO. The Republic of Texas was an independent country from 1836-1846, independent from both the
    United States, and Mexico.

  • Aloe

    THANK YOU!! I would take apart GI Joes so I could make new ones, I’m not a mad scientist. I gave my barbies haircuts, I’m not a deranged scissor-wielding psychopath. Not every plaything reflects a child’s personality. Plus, pretty sure OP is right, that kid has some police accesories.

  • Awsumchari

    Obvious troll is obvious.

  • Osama Yaseen
  • Bo Treat

    totalitarian power, teaching children cops need guns to kill bad guys, or justify the aspect of assumption that crime isn’t justifiable, either way, the guns did put me off a little. we can’t help the fact children grow up with guns, we can’t hide the fact and children need to grow up respecting them, not abusing them.

  • Maya

    This is how kids play in Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Howard Bowen

    Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

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