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100% TobeUs: 100 designers for 100 new toy cars

Tue, 05 Feb 2013

Perturbed to see his children lost interest in their toys after just a few hours, Italian designer Matteo Ragni conceived a plan to create a toy with which they could form an emotional attachment. No simple feat, as parents will testify.

After crafting simple cars from fragrant cedar wood, he saw his children's reactions and invited 99 other international designers to get involved.

Not only did Ragni want to make the toy cars loveable, he wanted them to be sturdy and sustainable. Getting the right material was key – it had to have a recognizable smell, the ability to withstand shaping and, when the time comes, could be recycled or reused.

There were a few simple guidelines, such as creating the car from a wooden stump and two cuts of equal size. The results were recently showcased in the ‘100% TobeUs: 100 designers for 100 new toy cars' exhibition at the Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia di Milano.

Italian carrozeria Pininfarina recently announced that it would be creating a 'Special Cars by Pininfarina' model car collection of 12 1:43 models that would include a number of cedar wood models of classic designs. The range was showcased at this year's International Toy Fair.

Take a look at the gallery above for some of our favorites and check out the results from all 100 designers on the ‘100% TobeUs' website.

By Rufus Thompson