Card game helps kids learn about colours and be offline

There is still an ongoing conversation (debate) amongst educators, parents, and psychologists on the amount of screen time that we should allow kids to have. Of course there’s a balance between screens and offline activities although that’s pretty hard to achieve. It’s also hard to wean this generation away from their devices but one way is to provide alternative activities for them at school and especially at home. And maybe, we can even get them to create their own alternatives.

Designer: Pupils from The Piggot School

The winner for this year’s Design Museum’s Design Ventura competition may be a fun alternative for children and adults alike. The Colour Countdown card game created by the pupils at The Piggot School was inspired by classic analog games Uno and I Spy. It can bring out the competitive spirit amongst players but also lets them interact with their surroundings instead of just focusing on various screens. This is an annual competition for students aged 13-16 to create something that will eventually be sold in the Design Museum.

Each card has a coloured cellophane window and can be combined with other cards to create different blends of colours. The players have to find things around their space which will match the card or cards that they’re holding. It can be played in any environment but of course since you’re dealing with colours, it is better played somewhere with a lot of colourful objects around. The cards are also eco-friendly as it uses FSC-certified paper and the cellophane is made from wood pulp.

The next step for the Colour Countdown is that it will be developed by the students with a professional agency. It will eventually be manufactured and then sold at the Design Museum Shop so you actually have the chance to own and play this game. Who says only kids need to be weaned away from their screens?

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Move over LEGO… These human-shaped bricks plug in together to showcase the power of unity

The idea of LEGO sparked from bricks, the concept of Minecraft sparked from pixels – but the Souper Connect has a much stronger metaphorical background. You see, each individual Souper brick is shaped like a human with a hole in them, and a single human brick can’t stand on its own. However, fill that hole with another human brick and the two can stand together. Build on this concept and you create a self-standing self-sustaining community, reflecting the power of human connectivity and the indomitable spirit of a healthy family or society. The cleverly designed bricks aren’t just great to play with, they’re also an overall lesson that we’re stronger together than we are alone. Quite a brilliant metaphor for what’s essentially just a set of building blocks, right?!

Designer: Peter Minsoub Sim

Click Here to Buy Now: $25 $42 (40% off). Hurry, only 8/35 left!

Created by visionary designer Peter Minsoub Sim, Souper Connect brings a new dimension to building blocks. The bricks are both the characters as well as the individual blocks, making them an incredibly creative toy for children as well as for adults. They’re a great way to stay entertained, learn valuable social and moral lessons, and the fact that all the Souper Connects are different colors just teaches an incredibly powerful aspect of human society – that people are different but they can still come together to build and grow.

Let your mind wander

Find focus at work

Have fun with the family

Take it with you wherever you go!

“These blocks offer a minimal and identifiable form that inspires imaginative play, collaboration, and with enough pieces can bring out the building engineer in any of us,” says Sim, who co-founded Souper Studio – the company behind the Souper Connect blocks. Each block is shaped like an abstract human, with two arms, two legs, a slight stub for a head, and a hole running through the chest. Two ‘humans’ can be connected simply by plugging an arm into the chest hole, bringing them closer together, but also giving you the ability to make complex shapes and forms. The overall gist is no different from LEGO, and you can use Souper humans to make a variety of shapes from towers and bridges to crowns. However, there’s also a unique fidget quality to the human bricks too, and they make rather decorative pendants for necklaces or bracelets.

Each Souper Connect is 1.9 inches tall, 2.4 inches wide, and 0.8 inches thick, making them incredibly safe around younger children too. The human bricks are molded from polypropylene plastic, making them incredibly durable and long-lasting, although there’s the ability to get them in aluminum too, sort of as a more premium toy for collectors. The bricks come in either a single unit as a keychain (or double if you choose the aluminum variant), or in playable sets of 12, 36, and 72, featuring an entire colorful bunch of Souper humans that you can bring together to create the utopia of your dreams! The Souper Connect is available at a special early bird discount on Kickstarter using the link below.

Click Here to Buy Now: $25 $42 (40% off). Hurry, only 8/35 left!

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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).