As both a toy designer and educator in Brooklyn, Assaf Eshet has witnessed a unique perspective of how today’s kids are building their own toys and using modern tools to add new levels of interactivity to them. It was from this unique perspective – and over a decade working for major toy manufacturers – that the idea for Toyish was born.
Designed for kids who want to be makers, hackers, inventors, and creators of their own space, the Toyish platform combines multiple opportunities for kids to design their own toys with a controlled end product that resembles a more polished toy design.
Starting with a themed page in the included coloring book, the artwork is then slipped into a clear capsule that can have multiple components attached for various functions ranging from movable vehicles to spinning ballerinas:
According to Eshet, one of the primary goals of Toyish is to empower kids to be active creators rather than passive consumers. By combining art and engineering, he hopes to touch base on two of the most critical STEAM activities to keep young minds active and stretch attention spans.
“Toyish was born in 2012 when I was invited to teach toy design classes at a school in Harlem as part of the City Arts program. Working with the kids on selfmade toys from everyday objects and witnessing their level of creativity really inspired me. I returned to my studio with a new approach. My focus became on how to recreate that feeling of accomplishment where each child got the chance to express their uniqueness.”
The first kits from Toyish come in five different themes: Champions, Dancers, Astronauts, Drivers and Foodies. Each kit comes with a coloring playbook, a clear capsule that houses the child’s original design, themed play parts and magnetic character parts for expanding on the designs. With 20 days left to go in their Kickstarter campaign, the Toyish team is hoping to raise another $32K to bring Toyish to market. Those who back the campaign can get one of the kits for just $25.