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TOYS & MEMORIES - A RETROSPECTIVE ANALYSIS

De Fine Licht, Peter (2015) In Diploma work IDEM05 20152
Industrial Design
Abstract (Swedish)
TOYS & MEMORIES
What makes some toys great? This was the question that started this entire project. When remembering toys from ones childhood there are always some toys that are more commonly referenced. Were these toys “the best toys” and more importantly: what traits made them better, and can they be replicated?

A toy is something created with the main purpose of being a catalyst for ones imagination.
This project is a retrospective analysis based on childhood memories of people born all throughout the last century. The purpose is to find values represented by good toys over the past hundred years. The result of the study boils down to Four key words, that are reoccurring as traits of good play amongst almost all test subjects. The... (More)
TOYS & MEMORIES
What makes some toys great? This was the question that started this entire project. When remembering toys from ones childhood there are always some toys that are more commonly referenced. Were these toys “the best toys” and more importantly: what traits made them better, and can they be replicated?

A toy is something created with the main purpose of being a catalyst for ones imagination.
This project is a retrospective analysis based on childhood memories of people born all throughout the last century. The purpose is to find values represented by good toys over the past hundred years. The result of the study boils down to Four key words, that are reoccurring as traits of good play amongst almost all test subjects. The final result of this project is a toy that is representative of all these traits:
MODULARITY

Whether it is Letter blocks, Meccano, BRIO or LEGO, modular toys caters to a wider age group. This is partly because the user chooses the complexity of the constructions, but mostly because the toy becomes something new every time you play with it. The shear freedom of modularity is something that never grows old.

ROLEPLAY
Roleplaying affects all aspects of play, immersion is key. Dressing up is a great way of getting into character, or having some object that is representative of the world you want to create. A piece of fabric tied around the head could turn you into a pirate, or a stick found on the ground can turn into a sword and you into a brave knight. In this case the object or toy works as a conduit to your imagination.

ABSTRACTNESS
Children are very adept at filling in gaps with imagination. As long as they find a nice stick and something to use as a cape they are a knight, the details does not matter. An abstract toy can be applied to many situations, and varying types of play. Abstract toys also tend to have a longer life span due to being less connected to current trends.

TECHNOLOGY
Children are not adept at planing ahead. This means that when they most want to play with a toy that is when they realize that they forgot to put the battery in the charger the last time they played with it. Play should be spontaneous, not planned. Additionally, the more complex something is, the bigger is the risk of something breaking.
In the end I found a way to combine a modular toy with roleplaying aspects like dressing up. A soft modular system. A toy that represents all of these traits.

FINAL PRODUCT
The product is a soft, yet flexible fabric construction toy. It is built to last, made with certified non-toxic cotton materail and snap buttons of stainless steel, no plastics. It is meant to not only last for one childhood, but to be inherited for generations to come. With the ability to construct anything from space ships to wearable medieval armour, the product fits well into all three categories.
The children at the kindergarten where the toy was tested also gave it its name:
KNIPPKNAPP (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
De Fine Licht, Peter
supervisor
organization
course
IDEM05 20152
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
publication/series
Diploma work
report number
ISRN: LUT-DVIDE/ EX--15/50263—SE
language
English
id
8057129
date added to LUP
2015-10-15 16:12:50
date last changed
2015-10-15 16:12:50
@misc{8057129,
  abstract     = {TOYS & MEMORIES
What makes some toys great? This was the question that started this entire project. When remembering toys from ones childhood there are always some toys that are more commonly referenced. Were these toys “the best toys” and more importantly: what traits made them better, and can they be replicated?

A toy is something created with the main purpose of being a catalyst for ones imagination.
This project is a retrospective analysis based on childhood memories of people born all throughout the last century. The purpose is to find values represented by good toys over the past hundred years. The result of the study boils down to Four key words, that are reoccurring as traits of good play amongst almost all test subjects. The final result of this project is a toy that is representative of all these traits:
MODULARITY

Whether it is Letter blocks, Meccano, BRIO or LEGO, modular toys caters to a wider age group. This is partly because the user chooses the complexity of the constructions, but mostly because the toy becomes something new every time you play with it. The shear freedom of modularity is something that never grows old.

ROLEPLAY
Roleplaying affects all aspects of play, immersion is key. Dressing up is a great way of getting into character, or having some object that is representative of the world you want to create. A piece of fabric tied around the head could turn you into a pirate, or a stick found on the ground can turn into a sword and you into a brave knight. In this case the object or toy works as a conduit to your imagination.

ABSTRACTNESS 
Children are very adept at filling in gaps with imagination. As long as they find a nice stick and something to use as a cape they are a knight, the details does not matter. An abstract toy can be applied to many situations, and varying types of play. Abstract toys also tend to have a longer life span due to being less connected to current trends.

TECHNOLOGY
Children are not adept at planing ahead. This means that when they most want to play with a toy that is when they realize that they forgot to put the battery in the charger the last time they played with it. Play should be spontaneous, not planned. Additionally, the more complex something is, the bigger is the risk of something breaking.
In the end I found a way to combine a modular toy with roleplaying aspects like dressing up. A soft modular system. A toy that represents all of these traits.

FINAL PRODUCT
The product is a soft, yet flexible fabric construction toy. It is built to last, made with certified non-toxic cotton materail and snap buttons of stainless steel, no plastics. It is meant to not only last for one childhood, but to be inherited for generations to come. With the ability to construct anything from space ships to wearable medieval armour, the product fits well into all three categories.
The children at the kindergarten where the toy was tested also gave it its name:
KNIPPKNAPP},
  author       = {De Fine Licht, Peter},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Diploma work},
  title        = {TOYS & MEMORIES - A RETROSPECTIVE ANALYSIS},
  year         = {2015},
}