Written by Mark Chapman, the Sales Manager for UK based custom and bespoke packaging specialists, Project Packaging.
With Christmas just around the corner, toy makers are pulling out all the stops to ensure their toys are at the top of every child’s Christmas list.
So how are manufactures making their toys stand out on the shelves? One technique is packaging – and they’re making the exterior just as exciting as the contents.
Here are ten of the best toy packaging designs we’ve seen this year.
1. Lego – augmented reality box
Lego have created an augmented reality kiosk which can display to children what their chosen toy will look like once they’ve finished building it.
Customers can scan a QR code on the packaging and a 3D image of the finished Lego model appears on the screen like magic.
2. Table Top Ping Pong Set – Ridley’s House of Novelties
Ridley’s House of Novelties has gone slightly retro with their toy packaging, appealing to the parents by revitalising a range of toys they would remember from their childhood. Whilst this might score big with the older generation, retro design is certainly making a comeback, so this packaging style would not disappoint the kids.
3. Hen and Hammock – Mr McGregor’s Garden Set
What more could tempt Peter Rabbit than a fresh patch of vegetables grown from this beautifully designed Mr McGregor mini gardening kit?
Hen and Hammock have designed this gift for budding child gardeners containing everything they would need: – Carrot, lettuce, radish and parsley seed tape, 4 plant labels and two 2 rabbit soaps to ensure they don’t bring the dirt indoors.
Packaged in a brown, sustainably sourced cardboard box, the contents, as well as the exterior, have been packaged in neutral colours with brown paper and string, adding a touch of traditional gift wrap.
4. Wooden Lego Man – Thibaut Malet
The yellow Lego man is an iconic toy for many children, and French designer Thibaut Malet has put a creative spin on the traditional yellow variety with this wooden Lego man.
The toy is packaged in a brown box complete with wood shavings to line the product. I particularly like the packaging for this as it’s a creative play on the original Lego man, but also works as a collective piece of memorabilia for Lego lovers.
5. EBK Robots
Every child loves robots and these EBK robots would certainly be no exception. Each robot is made from brightly coloured material making them bold and fun and each stuffed robot comes packaged in a brown box made from renewable plant based materials which can also be carried as a bag, with a section for the child to write their name on the front.
6. Imajen Exploration Tools
Imajen Exploration Tools have created these wooden ‘tools’ for children. As most children’s toys are made from cheap plastics and eventually find their way into landfills, Imajen Exploration Tools wanted to create something made from one material, using renewable resources, promoting extended life usage. The toys are packaged within what looks like a delicate wooden frame, but don’t be fooled; these tools are hardwearing and durable, promising many years of good use.
7. Oscar Diaz Tube Toys
The tube packaging for these toy cars can be transformed into part of the toy itself. London designer, Oscar Diaz, created the toys with each tube becoming the body of the vehicle with the stickers and wheels housed inside the container. The body of each vehicle has pre-cut slots for the wheels and articulated parts.
8. TAIT Design Co. + Pilot & Captain Special Edition Turbo Flyer
Inspired by early mid-century aesthetics this limited edition collaboration, between Turbo Flyer and Pilot & Captain, is another addition to the established line of handmade and collectible toys.
The plane can be popped out of a flat, perforated cardboard sheet and assembled to form the famous turbo flying machine.
Whilst the concept of the toy remains the same, one thing that has changed this year is the pooping green and metallic body paint, resembling graphics from civilian and military aircraft from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s — Japanese Zeros to the beautiful Cessna 140s.
For toy manufacturers, creating bespoke packaging that’s unique and unusual is just as important as advertising when it comes to getting your product noticed. In the run up to Christmas, packaging your product in a quirky way could make the difference between manic Christmas shoppers overlooking your item or picking it up and buying it.