tobeus or not tobeus: a matter of toys


TobeUS or not TobeUs,  that is the question.

A poignant project for the time of year and, indeed, our times, TobeUs: a matter of toys observes obsolescence in children’s toys. Matteo Ragni, the designer and curator behind TobeUs wants to give children the possibility to love an object (rather than using it for a few hours, destroying it, or stop playing with it).

So are cedar wood toy cars the answer?

Matteo Ragni has gathered the projects of the great masters of Italian design (Mario Bellini, Andrea Branzi, Odoardo Fioravanti, Alessandro Guerriero, Giulio Iacchetti, Italo Lupi, Alessandro Mendini) and then, with the support of Alessi, brings us “100% TobeUs: 100 designers for 100 new toy cars”: a project and  exhibition in the Science and Technology Museum in Milan, running from 5th December to 13th January, and hopes to show the value of a different future.


We look forward to visiting the exhibition over the festive season.

Sometimes I wonder why we actually make anything for children when they are happiest with almost nothing at all…

Children make things all the time, mainly stories, involving zero equipment. Generally children enjoy toys and play with them for longer if they have a story which, in turn, becomes deeply attached to their everyday experiences. TobeUs is an imaginative and inviting concept but still begs the question to whether we need cedar wood toy transport over plastic dolls. This might be taking the project out of context, since there is a clear effort to show the value of materials and imposed project limits, but if children (and parents) get making, understanding, and thinking together – this is the best gift of love in a material world.


La Romantica, by Matteo Ragni.

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