Mixed Animals encourage creativity through physical play
Hong-Kong based design studio Huzi have put a new spin on the traditional soft toy, creating a line of stuffed animals with detachable parts that can be used to create different creatures. Mixed Animals are plush toys with magnetic body parts and accessories including wings, horns, tails and paws.
Fabienne Roepke of Huzi tells PSFK:
Mixed Animal represents Huzi’s back to the basics mandate of creating designs for analogue play. At first glance, the handmade Mixed Animal brings a feeling of nostalgia for your favourite childhood plush toy, but with modern design sensibility and a unique twist: you can mix and match the magnetic plush animal pieces, fostering imaginative play and numerous possibilities.
Instead of playing with a toy designed by a brand, Mixed Animals lets children create their own designs. They can change the way the toys are put together to make weird and wonderful creatures with features like a dragon’s tail, birds’ wings and rabbits’ ears.
“Every part of the Mixed Animals can be attached and detached, from the head to the legs and all the accessories. You have the freedom to mix and match any of these parts to create any kind of animal that you want,” Roepke explains.
Nowadays many toys are enhanced with technology, they have the power to interact with children through expression, keep parents connected with their kids and answer their questions by calling on Wikipedia.
Roepke believes that analogue play is just as important as digital play in stimulating children’s’ imaginations:
In today’s world, we believe that analog and digital play complement each other. We see analog play as a way to create an emotional reaction through products that re-instate back to the basics mandate and core values. Analog play is intuitive and is an essential part of life at every age. It is a way of experiencing and exploring the world that allows us to open our mind to fresh ideas with freedom.
Other designers are also updating traditional toys and play areas to encourage children to take part in hands-on, non-digital play. There is a playground that sparks creative thinking and even a museum that lets children wear a crayon helmet to draw with their whole bodies.
Like these examples, Mixed Animals encourages kids to get away from the screen and expand their imaginations through hands-on play.