When we play (or we played, that’s up to you), we are used to following instructions, opening a booklet that explains how that toy works or listening to indications, a more or less rigid path that guides us in a sequence of actions. What if all this was limiting for a child? What would happen if instead of following consequential steps, was given a final goal without caring about the route? We find out with Rigamajic, a toy without instructions that challenges different clichés related to the sphere of childhood and the toy world in general.
There’s something magical between 5 and 12 y.o. If you’ve ever chat with a child of this age, you can understand what I mean; it’s easy to be fascinated by the great imagination that develops from the post-childhood growth phase, until adolescence. What I mainly envy as a designer is the spontaneity in the invention of a game, an activity or an object totally free from economic or functional limits. It is no coincidence that different techniques for generating ideas, such as brainstorming, encourage to become child again, to free the flow of thoughts from any productive or practical constraint, on the assumption that there are no wrong ideas, to become little inventors for huge ideas.
Innovation in the toy world can born in many ways, with a new material, a new technology or ideas out of the ordinary. Sometimes happens that the difference starts from a strategy, a series of choices and actions that leads a company to position on a different level than its competitors. This is the case of Sago mini, a toy designers studio, a place of contamination but above all a company, a brand that deals with designing a storytelling through digital and physical game for preschool children. This Canadian reality is particularly interesting for the wide approach to the project and for the business planning that has carried out from 2013 to today.
It seems that in the field of board games design there is a growing trend towards the design of politically incorrect toys that gain success. Moreover if we analyze human nature and the behavior of young and old players in front of a board, it’s not strange to confer to the unfairness their success. These games are often play with friends or acquaintances and it is easy to resort to their weaknesses to anticipate their moves or think of ‘borrowing’ a little more money from the Monopoly bank; on the other hand, the fun is also in this, and why resist the temptation to cheat even when playing together, and skipping a turn is not so serious?
Only in Italy, people with diabetes type 1 (DT1) are about 300,000. This specific disease is also called juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes because it usually occurs at a young age and is treated exclusively with insulin bites. The Mexican designer who designed an invention to help children with diabetes knows this issue really well.
Once upon a time there was Niamh Barnes, a 7-year-old girl treated in an English hospital. One day she suggested to doctors and nurses to find a system to support the little patients, to distract them and go with them during their stay in the wards. That desire by Niamh is now reality in Alder Hey’s pediatric hospital in Liverpool that introduced Alder Play, an app created to help kids during therapies that combines Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence for a better hospital experience.
Stimulate logic and creativity of children is a common mission for many toy companies. It is not easy, however, to find great distribution games that focus on this goal without go bad in already-viewed solutions or with an expected design. For this reason, we have noticed Cuboga, an essential design toy that develops computational thinking.
The stuffed animals story has very far-reaching origins. The first traces date back to the ancient Egyptian and the discovery of puppets made with animal fur for recreational or religious purposes. The success of this toy, however, confer to a German lady who, at the end of the 1800s, began to pack teddy-shaped pillows, triggering a great interest among the toy companies. Since then, it is difficult to find someone who has not had at least one plush among his childhood games, as it is rare to find a re-design. That’s why it seems interesting to introduce you to Animoodles: stuffed animals to develop emotions and relations.