Actually, they're playgrounds from the former Soviet Union, where people were good at making a lot of things -- tanks, rifles, factories to make tanks and rifles -- but cheerful playground statuary clearly wasn't one of them. The following playgrounds give me nightmares as an adult; I can't imagine the many ways they might warp the imaginations of children.
Perhaps this play sculpture from Moscow is meant to impart a lesson: never crawl into a hungry dragon's mouth.
The doctor is in ... and he wants to stab you.
This seems to be some sort of animal? Its gaping maw slick with the blood of innocents?
Break a leg, kids!
This must be the playground where the little girl from The Exorcist hangs out:
This is either some sort of phone, or a rune-inscribed portal to the Underworld.
So much worse than a scary clown; probably a character from Russian folklore, this guy couldn't be scarier.
Even before it was defaced, I'm not sure how this could've looked like anything other than an abused youngster.
Fun with gravity:
The decapitated monkey swing set:
Ransom Riggs originally posted this back in 2008, long before he became a wildly famous author.