There's an old adage for anyone who has kids (and/or cats). You spend all the money on a new toy or technology, but what does the gift recipient end up playing with most? The box.
But never fear. Tube Toys, designed by London designer Oscar Diaz for NPW, makes the packaging a part of the toy. From a car to a tractor to a fire truck, the toys are simple vehicles with all the parts inside for assembly, including the wheels, axles and stickers for labels. The tube part comes in when you start putting the toy together by using the tube for the vehicle's body.
The only wasted parts? The label wrapping, which doubles as instructions, and the sticker paper, after the stickers are removed. That's part of the value statement of Tube Toys, which emphasizes the green part of its toys, noting that the packages reduces "considerably the amount of material discarded after purchase, and the added cost that traditional packaging involves." What's more, Diaz notes that the materials themselves are made of "recycled and/or recyclable" materials.
As a designed object, Tube Toys represent a creative way to incorporate the packaging. I got a chance to play with the train and it was easy enough to assemble the pieces and then disassemble them at the end of the toys. The tubes could easily be stacked end to end in a special box, making storage at the end of the day a cinch as well. It will be interesting to see if Diaz can expand his concept further, with other toys that incorporate the packaging.