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.
Animoodles is a project that was born in California in 2015 from the idea of the character designer Dan Holland and the interaction designer Marissa Louie. The starting point is to combine the benefits of stuffed animals, that are emotional and relational development , with the ones of construction, that are spatial development and problem solving skills. The characteristic of these puppets is their modularity: the limbs and the head are attached to the central body through magnets. The serie consists of five characters and children can have fun experimenting with different combinations and creating strange animals.
The magnetic joints system is well designed and securely hidden. This aspect is not to be overlooked because attention to detail, especially in such a product, makes the toy pleasant aesthetically and does not affect the overall image. For the development of stuffed animals to develop emotions and relations it took two years, made of technical solutions, testing with more than 50 children and adults, packaging and suppliers research. Now the project is on kickstarter, where has already tripled its goal.
In the two years of product development the toy designers also devoted some of their time to build an effective storytelling to push and enrich the product. In addition to the plush and fairy tale that narrate the origin of these strange animals, the packaging contains a card with the biography, strengths, and habitat of the character. Building a narration around the product is fundamental in toy design and represents added value both in promotion, sales and game experience.