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Tube Toys debuted at the New York International Gift Fair earlier this month from NPW, a company that specializes in playful design products, many of which are for children. The toys come from London-based designer Oscar Diaz, who describes his work as “plain and playful objects that take inspiration from everyday things, which, by a simple twist, become something unexpected…and often involve a narrative aspect.”
Though that speaks to his aesthetic as a whole, it’s also a perfect description of Tube Toys, a series of vehicles that can be assembled from their own packaging. Made from cardboard, rubber, bamboo and LDPE (low-density polyethylene), the only extraneous piece is the paper label, which slides off and can be recycled along with the rest of the parts. The body of the car, tractor, fire engine or train is the tube itself, and the wheels and accessories come inside. The tube is pre-cut with slots and holes for wheels and other components, making it an easy build for a young child. I think the most brilliant part of this design is that it plays off the fact that children (and my cat) are often just as interested in playing with the packaging as they are in the toy itself – and now they can have their cake and eat it, too.
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