The Rocking Zebra is a conscious re-imagining of an iconic heirloom toy.
We wanted to create a fun product, but also one that will be a real eye-catcher in any modern home.
The rocking toy range needed to be modular, meaning we can offer different character types for regional preferences, and also flat-pack with weight less than 10kg, allowing for efficient international courier delivery. One aspiration was crucial; production had to be completely UK-based.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Using innovative surfacing materials & advanced production techniques, the flat-pack construction is specifically designed to meet the challenge of internet sales channels. A modular parts system allows for character extensions reflecting global market trends and preferences.
Advanced, custom print laminate surfaces are totally scratch-resistant, whilst automated production allows us to return manufacturing back to the UK.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The construction is modular. Character extensions have already been developed (Panda/Gorilla/Tiger...), all using 80% identical parts.
Further product ranges, such as wheeled ride-ons, use a similar constructional layout and identical manufacturing techniques.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project started in September 2008 in Chiang mai, Northern Thailand and finished in May 2012 in Totnes, UK, and the prototype was exhibited at the London Design Festival 2011.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Toy, Games and Hobby Products Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
Materials: Solid birch timber / birch plywood (both FSC certified & EU sourced) / Custom-print HPL surfacing.
Production technology: CNC (no post-cut finishing necessary). All wood surfaces are left untreated to highlight their natural qualities. No paints are used as these are often associated with increased safety concerns.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Product dimensions: L90 x H52 x W30cm. Weight 7.5kg
Packaging: L96 x H9 x W52cm. Weight 9.5kg
CE certification: EN 71-1/EN 71-2/EN 71-3/EN 71-9
Rocking, Toy, Horse, Zebra, Child, Contemporary, Modern, Wood
Research was carried out regarding global/regional aesthetics, materials (esp. surface pattern possibilities), production techniques, and present/future sales channels (global and regional internet sales).
The research objectives were to balance aesthetics, automatized production & innovative/sustainable materials use into a scalable product range optimized for direct B2C sales and wholesale shipping efficiency.
Starting point for this project was the classic rocking horse. It was imperative to retain the underlying character of such an iconic product, whilst optimizing production, construction and materials use to create the basis for an entire range of new characters. Reducing manufacturing steps in order to ensure UK production whilst satisfying costing realities was a major challenge.
TEAM MEMBERS (1) :