100-cars-100-designs-splash

100 Wooden Toy Cars from 100 Designers (and You Can Make Your Own)

19 Feb, 2013 by in DESIGN
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If there’s one thing I should have obsessivly started making and collecting when I was younger, it should have been small, wooden cars. Perhaps it’s not too late to begin *grabs log and chisel*, but in the meantime there are people like Matteo Ragni who thought it might be a good idea to gather 100 designer friends together and create 100 wooden, toy cars. It was a good idea. The lot of them provide their own artistic blend of fun and function in an exhibition called “100% TobeUs: 100 designers for 100 new toy cars” and leave you wondering what other possibilities there are.


tobeus-10-matteo-bazzicalupo

From a stump of wood

I’m torn to shreds I wasn’t in Milan anytime during the past two months. The exhibition was on display at the Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia di Milano from December 5th to January 13th. It’s not like you could grab them off the display and send them flying down the il corridoio de museo though. Fortunately, you can view all the wood toy car designs online. The idea was born out of frustration of a designer father seeing the disenchantment that regular, old toys had with his children. So, the idea of Matteo Ragni was to give “children the possibility to love an object.” I’m not so sure love of an object can overcome boredom, short attention spans and bursts of energy dowsed by can of sugar water that send toys flying into the netherworld… but the sentiment is nice.

“TobeUs has become synonymous of a way of design and create new objects. And so designers that want to draw their own TobeUs have multiplied. It seems that everyone has in the drawer an idea for a wooden toy car. But be careful: TobeUs is made by two cuts in a wooden stump that always have the same size, so a project exercise that imposes clear limits.”

Having just finished a pinewood derby car with my son, the attraction to a few cuts on a simple block of wood is understood, especially if you don’t have to maintain weight limits or compete with fathers who own/outsource all manufacturing. If the size of the wooden block is the only limit, I’ll take it. I suggest looking through all the 100 designs, along with the Vintage car editions.

100-cars-100-designs

Make your own

The absolutely unique aspect of this is not the idea or bringing on 100 designers to take part in it, but that you can join in the fun. TobeUs provides a kit that comes with instructions, templates and even 3D file (.3dm and .igs) for you to download, create and submit your own design. Have what it takes to shape a chunk of wood?

tobeus-wood-car-template

Now for some inspirations. Some of my favorites from the 100 Toy Cars…

tobeus-01-bocchieto

tobeus-02-tomoko-azumi

tobeus-03-odoardo-fioravanti

tobeus-04-barberosgerby

tobeus-05-laudani-romanelli

tobeus-06-raffaella-mangiarotti

tobeus-07-luca-nichetto

tobeus-07-marc-sadler

tobeus-08-dodo-arslan

tobeus-09-offcut

tobeus-11-fernando-and-humberto-campana

Images: Max Rommel

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About Josh Mings

Josh is co-founder of EvD Media. He engineers and designs, is the Marketing Manager for Luxion, is a CSWP certified for SolidWorks training and support and excels at falling awkwardly. He is editor of SolidSmack.com and co-host of EngineerVsDesigner.com, a weekly podcast about design, engineering and what makes it all happen.

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  • hank

    so gay

  • Adam

    Thanks for that productive and intellectually stimulating response, Hank. Really classy.

  • Mike

    They don’t have a way to submit a design, but here is mine

  • Josh M

    Ok, you win. That is fabulous.

  • Alessandro Rod.

    You even could say this explodes creativity!
    Here’s mine:
    http://grabcad.com/library/tobeus-alejandro