FLIGHT OF FANCY
CAN PLASTIC AND BAMBOO FLY TOGETHER?
This has been the challenge of the Mini-Vehicles collection by Hape. Bamboo is said to be “the wood of the future” because it grows really fast, just like giant grass. And its fibers, put together, are as strong as wood. The point is: working it is not an easy business because the cylindrical shape is very variable, so why not to select the diameter of sticks in order to use it for mass production? This is what this collection is about and it was very exciting to ride on the challenge of making bamboo and plastic work together.
There are many little stories about the design of this toy. One of these is that when I was asked to design an helicopter for this collection I realized that I literally falled in love with helicopters, especially the small ones with a big cabin and an essential structure that make them look like flyes. I was particularly inspired by mosquito helicopters so I wanted the toy helicopter to grab this imaginary and at the same time look dynamic and organic with bamboo.
The top plastic part represents the engine, part of the tail, a good part of the cabin and the support for the blades, the bottom part supports the rest of the cabin and the three wheels. As for the Mini Plane the 3D modeling was very fun and at the same was a very technical task because I had to make sure that parts would fit and get out of the mold effortlessly thanks to draft angles.
Client: Hape International