Idkid is a creative agency specializing in toy design. We offer a complete service from concept generation through to manufacture.
Our designs have won numerous awards including the following:
- Creative Child awards
- Dr Toy best product awards
- Dr Toy best green toy awards
- Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold awards
- Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum awards
- Finnish Toy Association: Game of the Year
- Golden Rocking Horse awards
- Best in Play” by Working Mother magazine
- Parents' Choice Gold award
Would you eat your toys?
No !! But, you could eat the EcoToys HappyMais if you wanted because they are made with MaterBi, a bio-polymer derived from Maize. However, we do love unusual ideas like this and are avid lateral thinkers.
In order to stand out from competing brands, EcoToys needed to differentiate their Happymais line with additional play value and excitement without significantly increasing costs. Nearly all the competing brands had a similar product offering colourful blocks to stick together and construct almost anything you can dream of....... This posed a fundamental flaw most children and adults (contrary to common belief) need a lot of inspiration to unlock their creativity and suffer 'creative paralysis' when confronted with such an open ended toy.
By working with a multitude of industry leaders in diverse sectors, we cross fertilize research, trends, technologies, processes and build know-how that we share openly with our clients (with the greatest respect for confidentiality of course !). In the case of EcoToys, this know how sparked a simple yet powerful concept of cardboard features that gave significant expression to children's constructions. This ability to cross-fertilize or 'think out of the box' is the core of our skill set and is the driver behind our innovations.
The objective of the Hape International Scoot-Around was to create the most appealing $70 ride-on in the market and maximize the market share.
Given the huge limitations on the manufacturing budget, the challenge from a design perspective was to maintain a high level of appeal while minimizing the materials, labour and investment costs.
For their new preschool market, Tiny Love asked Idkid to develop a range of innovative toys in keeping with their developmental play philosophy and brand identity. Several intensive creative workshops delivered the killer ideas they needed to kick start the creative process and focus the development team.
The Learn n' Fun Pelican Shape Sorter provides baby with multi-stage developmental challenges and fun. Exploring the shapes by hand and tossing them into the pelican's mouth will keep baby intrigued in the early stage. Later, baby can fit shapes through the sorter, while learning their names and their colors, guided by delightful feedback in 3 different languages.
Whether you're burning up the streets, stunt jumping, mudding off-road or cruisin the skies, the e-vehicles by Hape International are ready for action packed fun !! Oh, by the way... they're also the first ever toy vehicles to be mass produced in bamboo, so they're also very innovative and eco-friendly !
Our main challenge was to design really cool cars that kids (and adults) would just drool over ! The use of tubular bamboo shapes opened up a world of styling opportunities as yet unexplored in the toy car world. Also, the innovative combination of minimal tubular plastics with natural materials offer features such as grab handles that make the vehicles great to play with and also extremely robust.
Seen here is the e-moto (winner of the Dr Toy Green awards) and the e-racer which was the first ever e-vehicle and a pioneer in the mass production of bamboo. Keep your eyes open, there are new hyper-cool e-vehicles coming soon !!
The QUAD is a Ride-on for 12+ month children and is manufactured 100% in Italy by ourselves under the brand Tash Creations Srl.
The objective was to work exclusively with the top toy shops in the world by offering hand-made products to the highest standards with all the know how and skills that have made Italian craftsmanship world famous.
Collectable Bamboo vehicles.
Idkid and Hape International joined forces to create the ‘Mini-Vehicles’, a line of 16 collectable eco-friendly cars made with natural bamboo, water based paints and semi-transparent ABS that subsequently won the Dr Toy 2011 Green Toys Awards.
Despite their apparent simplicity, the mini-vehicles took 2 years to develop...how can that be? Hape International is serious about quality and because Bamboo is effectively grass, no two pieces are the same and this requires numerous 'hidden' technical innovations in the mass production to assure that each and every car is perfect, even with production runs of over 1,000,000 units....
This playset was designed by Idkid for Hape International as a part of their plan to expand into the Playscapes market.
As with all playsets, the challenge is about achieving a high size impression, high level of functions and features whilst keeping the production costs to a minimum.
The skill of the designer is not only about creating fun play activities and nice styling but also about finding the technical solutions to make the production feasible and achieving the desired target cost for mass production.
Super Moose is a balancing game designed by Idkid for Hape International.
The objective of the game is to place the Moose horns on his head without making him topple over!! Players must take turns to place the horns on his head whilst being careful to position them properly to maintain the equilibrium on the moose. It looks easy but it ain't !
The Book Dog is a manufactured in Italy by our sister company Tash Creations Srl.
The objective of the Book Dog project was to make quirky decorative items for the home using locally sourced natural Cedar wood (Cedrus Libani), a naturally perfumed resinous wood that is native to the mountainous regions of the Mediterranean.
The E-racer was Idkid's first project with Hape International. It is an important milestone in the history of both companies because it pioneered the mass production of bamboo toys and pathed the way for the entire line of bamboo toys seen today in the Hape catalogue.
Despite it's apparent simplicity, the e-racer was a huge challenge to develop. The use of tubular bamboo in mass production creates many difficulties that other materials do not encounter (let's not forget that bamboo is effectively grass) and a vast number of new industrial processes had to be invented to assure consistent high quality manufacture.
The e-racer is the first ever mass produced toy using tubular bamboo.
Muuli is a stacking game designed by Idkid for Hape International.
The objective of the game is to unload the Mule's backpack without knocking it down! Players must first load the bamboo tubes onto Muuli using the box and then carefully take turns to push them out.
The Minimals are cute, posable animals made from Bamboo for Hape International.
There are 12 animals in the collection divided into 2 themes, Savanna and Farm.
These friendly bendable wood figures are great fun because they can be posed in all sorts of funny positions that will offer hours of fun for children ... and adults!
An instant favourite in the office was the boy dancing Gangnam style !
When hape International asked to develop a line of small sized dolls characters, we studied the market and highlighted the opportunity to 'evolve' the classic bendy dolls. Almost all wooden toy companies propose similar bendy dolls (it seems like they all come from the same factory). The opportunity was to create a more attractive modern styling whilst maintaining the classic appeal that people love.
A perfect example of 'step innovation' .
Urchin, a UK based catalogue retail company asked us to design their autumn/winter baby collection and propose some ideas to give it an innovative twist.
The collection included bibs, floor mats, plates and cups. Our first task was to generate a series of colour and textile concepts, each covering a specific taste or consumer group. Urchin needed to evolve specific evergreen styles, develop Christmas specials and also explore new ideas.
The outcome was a style guide including 4 style concepts, each with textile patterns, colour palettes, a guide for the application and simulations of final products. Above you can see the 'ironic' concept which proposes bibs together with accessories for a little splash of humour !
Hape International commissioned Idkid to make a new Doll House for the collection that would be modern, innovative and something a bit different for their clients to try.
Primarily, our concern was to invent innovative play features that would differentiate the product from it's competitors and offer a new type of play experience. Our first invention was the magnetic walls and magnetic accessories. This allows children to decorate the house in the way they like (hence the name DIY Dream House). Secondly, there is a transparent elevator to take the dolls up and down the 3 floors just like a modern villa.
Finally, we moved away from the classic house icon and proposed a modern architectural styling with open plan floors, transparent wall sections and minimalistic styling.
Brickland LLC in Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) commissioned Idkid to create some toys for Mongolian children with the goal to celebrate their national heritage and fascinating history.
Ghenghis Khan is by far the most famous historical figure in Mongolia and was the natural first choice for an action figure.
We offered a turn-key service from concept, 3D sculpting and packaging design right up to the manufacturing and quality assurance with our partners in China.
The Wheels project was born from the necessity to rapidly create an innovation in the magnetic toy market that would distinguish Geomag from it’s competitors and re-establish the brand in the marketplace.
Idkid's role as an external agency was to bring fresh air to the company through an innovative product line that would not only be seen as unique in the market place, but moreover would be considered as a sound business investment by the new board of directors. Our role involved not only concept design, product design, engineering and packaging but also the 'business re-thinking' necessary to get this type of innovation to market.
The core of the idea revolves around new 'wheel' elements that click magnetically onto standard Geomag bars. These in turn fit together with flexible polypropylene bodies that give each vehicle it's particular style. The vehicles are fun to build, even more fun to crash and super fast thanks to the magnetic wheel attachment.
The Walk-Along-Puppy was an instant success when Hape International presented it to the public. With it's cute wobbly movement, adorable face and funny sitting position, it had all the characteristics to make people just love it.
From a design perspective, we knew that it's success depended on it having both classic and modern appeal. Pull along dogs are classic, but in order to beat the competition, we invented the 'sit up and beg' mechanism that gives the product so much more character. It took several weeks of prototyping in our workshop but in the end, the tribulation paid off and now the Walk-Along-Puppy is one of our best selling designs.
Let's not forget the Pull-Along-Croc ! This followed the same rigourous process of invention, prototyping and styling and is also a very successful article.
Sevi decided to expand their toy assortment with 8 completely new games based on new rules, new mechanics and new themes. In order to optimize their creative resources, they divided the workload into two sections:
Firstly, they assigned the concept design of the games (so rules, mechanics and themes) to Idkid.
Secondly, they instructed internal designers to refine the graphical design and optimize the games for mass production.
This combination of internal and external designers is an extremely efficient method of creative resource management because each team is utilized where they have most talent: Idkid's team for the ideas, Sevi's team for the Industrialization.
Now that's clever !!
Quattro is a game of strategy for 2 players based on the principles of '4-in-a-row' . Players put on the bamboo tubes and the first to create a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line of 4 tubes in one colour is the winner.
The game is made entirely made from bamboo and is manufactured by Hape International.
We believe that innovation can come from diverse sources and materials are most certainly one of these. Through close connections with materials specialists, Idkid have designed and launched many products that are unique in the toy industry. Some examples include the Bamboo Assortment by Hape, The MaterBi Happymais Toys by EcoToys and The E-racer wheels made in Fasal, a wood derivative that can be injection moulded.
Seen above is 'iico', a ride-on concept for infants proposed in Fasal F337, a wood and thermoplastic composite that meets EN71 standards and it suitable for the toy industry.
Activity cubes are an all time hit with children and parents. Consequently, they are good business and Hape International needed to have the best Activity Cube in their collection.
As a design agency, our goal was to not only invent a new activity cube, but also to offer a complete service up until manufacture, resolving all the technical issues along the way.
This product, unlike others is very complex. Each side is effectively a complete toy so we had to design 5 toys in 1 !
From a play perspective, we assured that all the activities were different to those of competitor products by including a ball run and a pull-and-drop shape sorter.
The Forget-me-not photo album allows children to see pictures of their family and at the same time hear a message recorded by each person specifically for them. The album can hold up to 8 pictures with their corresponding messages.
Our role in this project was primarily to assist in the styling following the package that was developed by Tomy and their manufacturing partner.
Idkid has designed many playsets. The challenge depends on the brand values the production ability and market positioning of the specific brand. Here are a few examples of the playsets we have designed.
City Parking Garage by Hape International
Deluxe Train set by LEGO
Wheels Monster Truck Arena by Geomag
Barbie Airplane by Mattel
Little Robots by LEGO
Given it's history and customer loyalty, Chicco decided it was necessary to re-design some of their evergreen toys so the next generation of mums could propose the same toys that they enjoyed as children.
Children love the simplicity and ease of experimenting with shapes and colours to create a variety of artwork. It's a classic play activity that Idkid re-interpreted in bamboo which permitted a beautiful tactile experience due to warmth and versatility of the material.
These products are manufactuerd by Hape International.
This project involved designing a series of animals in cartoon form that would be subsequently silk-screen printed onto basic wooden toys . Due to the costs of manufacturing, it was necessary to limit the colour palette whilst maintaining a high level of aesthetical appeal.
This project was initially developed for Carrefour by the One Off in London and then evolved into the Hape Eco line.
Idkid helps brands evolve their brand identity according to the 'personality' and vision of the company and the people that run it.
In the case of Hape International, this was a strong focus on ecological manufacturing which we represenetd through a total re-design of their packaging and brand communication.
The brand Carioca needed some fresh air and asked Idkid to propose some concepts that would evolve the classic box of felt tip pens.
Naturally, we cannot show all the concepts, but the proposal seen here was appreciated. It is a theme pack including templates, stickers and pens to enhance the artist experience of children.
Chicco Rodeo is a unique rocking and galloping foot powered ride-on horse that grows with the child. Once the rocking base has been removed, it can be adjusted for the appropriate size of the child thanks to the exclusive “Easy Ride” system. This unique system allows the parent to adjust the tension by simply turning the dial. The pony’s legs will then adjust to the weight of the child. This will enable the child to properly ride the pony as they grow. This function can be disabled by using the lock setting and then Rodeo becomes a sit ’n ride.