The Little Toy is an Eames-inspired Ticket To Some Retro Fun and Creativity

For everyone who loves DIY and spaces, this one’s for you! The Eames Office just pulled off the ultimate nostalgia move by resurrecting The Little Toy, a blast from the past that hasn’t seen the light of day since 1961. Charles and Ray Eames, the dynamic design duo, cooked up this gem in 1952 as a tabletop spin-off of their iconic creation, The Toy. And trust me, it’s not just a reissue; it’s a time-traveling invitation to creativity for both the OG fans and the newbies.

Designer: Eames Office

The Toy was for playing “in,” but The Little Toy is all about playing “with.” It’s like they miniaturized the fun, letting you build tiny sets, tents, and houses to jazz up your toy collection. Unlike its flexible predecessor, The Little Toy uses sturdier cardboard panels. It is a DIY dreamland for kids and grown-ups.

The Eames magic remains intact – freedom to build whatever your creative heart desires. The Little Toy consists of colored cardboard panels that are tougher than ever, replacing the old plastic-coated paper which is also a gesture towards sustainability. And forget the dowel rods; they’ve jazzed up the assembly with wireframes, making it a breeze to dive into the creative process.

Back in the day (1952-1961 to be exact), The Toy was the answer to space issues and a game-changer when paired with other toys. Tigrett Enterprises of Kansas made sure this mini marvel was a hit. It’s a testament to the Eameses’ knack for turning everyday materials into something extraordinary.

Fast forward to now, and The Little Toy is back, sporting a retro price tag of $79. This reissue isn’t just about reliving the good ol’ days; it’s an open invitation to explore prefab architecture and modular magic. With its vibrant panels and snazzy wireframes, you can go wildcrafting toy houses, funky sculptures, or even desktop architectural wonders.

This revived Little Toy isn’t just a relic; it’s your golden ticket to unlocking creativity, just like it did over fifty years ago. The Eames Office has not only resurrected a classic but handed you a chance to embrace that timeless spirit of play and innovation. So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the past and let your creativity run wild!

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LEGO Brings You An Exciting Set That Makes You Forget Fidget Toys and Pinball Machines

LEGO, the iconic Danish toy manufacturer, is renowned for its innovative creations that capture the hearts and minds of builders young and old. In a world filled with pinball machines and fidget toys, LEGO takes a bold step forward with the introduction of the mesmerizing Magic Maze. Unlike the static display sets commonly associated with LEGO, this 332-piece creative masterpiece is more than just a construction project; it’s a tabletop game designed to challenge your patience, balance, and precision.

Designer: Lego

LEGO enthusiasts and novices alike are in for a treat with the Magic Maze. Unlike static display sets, this creation is an immersive game that promises hours of fun. The premise is simple yet utterly captivating: guide a marble through a challenging playing field by skillfully tilting the set, all while navigating past treacherous holes and obstacles. It’s a true test of dexterity and strategy, making it a perfect addition to your collection.

The Magic Maze adventure unfolds as you roll the marble through different terrains, each with its own unique challenges. Whether you’re exploring the desert, traversing a lush grassland, or crossing a striking red bridge, there’s never a dull moment. Along the way, you’ll encounter charming characters that add an extra layer of whimsy to the game, including a delightful ladybug and an endearing sheep.

Once assembled, the Magic Maze stands tall at over eight inches in height, spans an impressive nine inches in width, and has a depth of 1.5 inches. This colorful construction is a visual treat on its own, showcasing LEGO’s commitment to design excellence. It’s a display piece that can be proudly showcased on your desk or shelf, serving as a reminder of the creativity and craftsmanship that goes into every LEGO creation.

What sets the Magic Maze apart is its ability to provide both a creative building experience and an engaging tabletop game. Priced at just US$29.99, it offers exceptional value for a multifaceted LEGO set. Whether you’re a child looking to escape the screen, a parent seeking a wholesome family activity, or an adult searching for a unique way to unwind, this set has something to offer everyone.

In a world where screens have become ubiquitous, LEGO’s Magic Maze reminds us of the enduring allure of hands-on, tactile play. It encourages us to step away from our mobile devices and rediscover the joy of physical engagement. With its combination of creative building and thrilling gameplay, this set proves that LEGO’s innovation knows no bounds.

So, if you’re ready to embark on a hypnotic journey that challenges your skills and captivates your imagination, LEGO’s Magic Maze is the answer. Get ready to tilt, roll, and explore your way through an enchanting world of adventure, all from the comfort of your tabletop. LEGO has once again raised the bar for entertainment that transcends generations, reminding us that the magic of play is timeless.

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A minimal wooden chess board inspired by the Yoruba game Ayo merges two games in one

African designer Philion has designed a chess board that’s inspired by the rules of chess and takes on the layout of the Yoruba game, Ayo.

Chessboards have seen some pretty creative designs in recent years. The pandemic and Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit have put the game of chess back on the board again and people of all ages are trying their hand at the game. Similar to the game of chess, Ayo is a traditional board game that’s played by the Yoruba people where two players attempt to “capture” their opponent’s seeds.

Defined by two of six pockets, the board game is rectangular by design and features a similar premise to the game of chess. Inspired by the games’ similarities, African designer @philion.cgi merged the two by abstracting the shapes of conventional chess pieces into rounded forms and incorporating pockets into the chessboard. While the game of chess is being played, using the layout and look of Ayo gives the board a unique personality. The chessboard takes on a minimalist profile, with natural wooden elements and a free-flowing design.

Since Ayo is traditionally played with seeds, Philion adapted their chess pieces to more closely resemble seeds. Rounding out each piece’s edges and fitting them into the board’s pockets, each one fits snugly into its pocket as if it was scooped out. The pockets also give the chess pieces a fastened grip to the board to ensure a balanced, sturdy game. `

Designer: @philion.cgi

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This Mario Kart hovercraft is made from cardboard and looks like it’s floating off the ground

Being a hardcore fan doesn’t always mean having the real deal. Sometimes, it also pays to also step outside the box, like these cardboard masterpieces that actually work.

Among the many games attached to the Super Mario franchise, Mario Kart is perhaps one that is loved by almost all demographics. It isn’t as serious nor as demanding as other Mario titles, particularly the platformers, but is just as fun and perhaps even more so because of its wacky antics and controls. There have been many attempts at bringing this game to the real world, with some leading to sometimes legally questionable stunts, but one YouTuber goes the extra mile by making versions that are eco-friendly to some extent.

Designer: DanCreator

Things in the maker and design communities have changed drastically in the last few years. The Raspberry Pi and similar single-board computers or SBCs kicked off a variety of small and DIY projects that needed an affordable and small computer to run the show. 3D printing also made it possible for almost anyone to create parts for those creative endeavors. Nothing, however, truly says “creative” than creating something out of almost nothing using one of the most common materials available: cardboard.

YouTube=r DanCreator is more than just a gaming fanboy. He is also an artist and a maker that recreates childhood memories using cardboard and with very minimal electronics and even fewer non-recyclable materials. Of course, when making something that somewhat realistically recreates the feeling of Mario Kart, he does have to make some compromises. For example, he had to basically use a Nintendo Switch for one project while using a sheet of wood for another. It was, however, all worth it.

The creator loved Mario Kart so much that he did more than just one cardboard-based project. The first is perhaps a bit more common, an arcade cabinet that plays the game the way it is meant to be played, with a steering wheel. The more interesting project, however, is the hovercraft, a vehicle that is admittedly not present in the game. Granted, it’s also less sustainable, with the use of large fans and electricity to lift the lightweight construction off the ground. Seeing it slide over a smooth indoor gym floor, however, might make you forget that, even for a brief moment.

The Mario Kart hovercraft doesn’t exactly levitate over the ground. Instead, it uses inflatable tubes whose transparent bottoms give that illusion. At least he does reuse the steering wheel from the cardboard arcade cabinet on the hovercraft to reduce unnecessary duplication of parts, even if it’s merely decorative.

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The Chess board get a portable and inclusive redesign with this paper-based game redesign!

Go Chess or ‘Weiqi’ is a strategic board game that is immensely popular in many East Asian countries, especially China. It’s an intriguing two-player game, wherein both the players attempt to capture and surround more territory than their opponent. However, the traditional game set is often ergonomically difficult to handle. The playing pieces or ‘stones’ are heavy and quite tough to carry and also tend to shift around during the game. Not to mention, it isn’t the easiest game for a blind person to play! Taking all these strenuous factors into consideration, designers Cheng Ka Wing Kavieng, Wei Ruo, Mak Ming Huen, and Wong Cheuk Laam created ‘Poppu’.

Poppu is a portable and tactile Go game that’s set on paper! Inspired by the Kirigami carvings, which is a variation of Origami that includes paper-cutting, Poppu replaces the traditional board and stones duo with a foldable piece of paper! This makes it extremely light, and easy to carry around. The paper is embedded with patterns created by die-cutting and letterpress printing. If you press the pattern downwards and pop it – it is considered as a black stone. If you press and pop it upwards – it becomes a white stone! A flat surface indicates empty or captured stones. The clever pattern system completely eliminates the need for heavy stones. The tactile nature of Poppu makes it super friendly for blind players as well!

Poppu is a light, portable and economical alternative to the traditional Go sets. Not to mention, it’s also inclusive and vision-loss friendly. Plus the fact that it’s crafted from paper also makes it sustainable and recyclable. Products like Poppu could be the future of board games. We can finally cut down on the conventional and expensive game sets that have been around for ages galore, and instead, opt for simpler and pocket-friendly options like Poppu!

Designer: Cheng Ka Wing Kavieng, Wei Ruo, Mak Ming Huen, and Wong Cheuk Laam


The swappable directional pads of this gaming controller are designed to give you tactical gameplay advantage!

A gaming controller for your PC, consoles, or smartphones is one accessory every gamer should have handy. A versatile gaming controller is a quintessential piece of equipment in any setup these days. Sure options like the Xbox Controller or the PlayStation DualSense bring precise in-game controls to gain a tactical advantage. But how about a more flexible control input that is tailormade for a better user experience?

Industrial designer Dingyu Xiao of Suosi Design decided to do away with conventions and came up with the MOZER Gamepad. The controller resonated instantly with me since it solves a fundamental issue – having a single joystick layout for a varied set of games. For example, you’d need precise and fast input sticks for an FPS game, a D-Pad for sports titles such as FIFA, or a spring-loaded sling joystick for a tactile feel of shooting a stack of balls in Pool. The MOZER Gamepad makes all of this and more possible. And to top it all off, it’s wireless.

The concept is quite interesting as the user can swap the control modules instantly and it’s all plug and play. The directional pad of the controller is the one that has this modular function which Dingyu quite smartly does, I have to say. Even better, the grip of the controller hides two of the three directional pad control inputs when not in use. I’m sure gamers will be dying to get such a well-designed wireless gamepad in their hands to have a strategic advantage over their mates or online hotshots.

Designer: Dingyu Xiao of Suosi Design



This chess board uses visual projectors to help you learn the game and learn creating strategies!

Like many, chess was one of the hobbies I took up mid-pandemic. Half the battle of chess is learning and remembering the directions and formations each piece is allowed to move, once that’s squared away, strategy can be weaved into your game. I never got that far, but the new chess set Illuminis designed by Bülent Ünal might do the trick. It’s a chess set that enacts visual pointers on the actual board for kids new to the game who want to learn the rules, but it’s tailored for anyone who’s taking up the new hobby.

Familiarly decorated almost like miniature orange and black minions, the chess pieces look inviting for kids, with a gleaming outer coat and round bodies and heads. Setting his chessboard apart from the rest, Ünal’s chess pieces’ faces have been replaced with protruding circular projectors that look similar to antique scuba diving helmets. The minuscule projectors work by illuminating the squares on the chessboard where each piece is allowed to move, allowing kids and learners of chess alike to understand the rules of chess accurately and quickly. The visual indicators that come equipped with Ünal’s pieces merge technology with the antique chess board to give the game a modern edge, fit for today’s younger, more technologically perceptive generations. The bottom of each chess piece also comes outfitted with battery slots for fast and accessible charging and longer game time.

Chess is a game of skill, memory, and discipline. While it takes determination and patience to develop your own strategy, Ünal’s Illuminis chessboard might help streamline the beginner’s learning process and harness the memory and skill it takes to become tactical at the game of chess.

Designer: Bülent Ünal

Dressed in gleaming orange and black outer coats, the chess pieces have an undeniable personality that will speak to kids and beginners alike.

The pieces’ projectors indicate the different squares on the board each piece is allowed to move.

Underneath each chess piece, batteries can be inserted into slots for quick and easy charging.

Each chess piece has its own distinct personality to hone in on the character’s elements (i.e.; knight, queen, king, rook, and bishop).

This Rubik’s Cube with displays in each square may be the most innovative gaming experience of 2021

Right off the bat, the idea of a dynamic Rubik’s Cube with displays instead of colors sounds like a weirdly awesome idea. It’s fun, tactile, and has a little for people of all ages and walks of life… but most importantly, it’s unabashedly innovative. The Wowcube, as this little gizmo is called, is the brain-child of a 13-year-old YouTuber by the name of Savva Osipov. “What if to place characters and gameplay on Rubik’s Cube surface and control the game by twisting tilting and shaking,” he thought. His father, inventor, and entrepreneur, Ilya Osipov, was instantly captivated by the idea – which sort of explains exactly why the Wowcube has such an ageless appeal. Together, the father-son duo decided to put the wheels in motion and the Wowcube was born.

Designed on the framework of a 2×2 Rubik’s Cube, the Wowcube comes with tiny, high-resolution microdisplays built into each of the cube’s 24 square-shaped segments instead of your conventional colored stickers. These displays go above and beyond when it comes to gaming with the Wowcube, as you’ve also got to factor in the fact that the cube looks and functions exactly like a Rubik’s Cube would, allowing you to flip, turn, and rotate elements. This very interaction forms the framework of the Wowcube’s gaming interface, allowing you to play not by mashing buttons or pulling triggers, but by rotating parts of the cube – or as an 8-year old called it, “video Lego.”

The Wowcube comes with 8 processors on the inside (housed within the cube’s 8 individual mini-cubelets. It also runs on an open-source API that doesn’t just come with its own slew of games, but also allows people to develop their own games to run on the Wowcube. The hope is to enable practically anyone to design their own games/puzzles/learning-exercises for the Wowcube, a feature that should only help expand its appeal further! At its heart, though, the Wowcube is a brilliant fusion of traditional and modern… with a cube that’s wonderfully tactile in the way it satisfyingly clicks when you rotate it, and multiple displays that should keep you engaged for hours. Oh, and when you’re done with the Wowcube, you can just pop it onto its charging base and the cube’s individual screens become functional widgets, displaying things like the date, time, weather, notifications, and a lot more! The Nintendo Switch wishes it were this clever and innovative!

Designers: Savva & Ilya Osipov

‘Road 96’ is the first game supported by HP’s new ‘Omen Presents’ label

HP has launched a new initiative called “Omen Presents” that will see it collaborate with developers to create “innovative PC gaming experiences.” It kicked that venture off at The Game Awards by unveiling Road 96, a procedurally-generated 3D game cr...