A Cute Toy For Kids, Where The Packaging Becomes The Parts

Oscar Diaz’s Tube Toys generate little waste and leave much room for imagination.

It’s an all-too-familiar holiday scene: You spend gobs of money on the latest It toy, only to watch your kid get more delight out of the box it came in. (The same goes for cats, by the way.) Well, now you can embrace the irony with a toy that is the box (or rather, a critical piece of it). The London-based designer Oscar Diaz has created a collection of vehicles–a car, fire engine, train, and tractor–that you put together from a kit of parts, including its packaging.


Each Tube Toy comes with stickers and rubber wheels inside a cardboard container, which becomes the body of the car with pre-cut slots for easy assembly. The only thing that’s discarded is the paper wrapper. The end result is certainly rudimentary-looking compared to the tricked-out, sound-effect-laden plastic toys that we assume are the only things that will shake our kids out of their videogame-induced stupors. “When you observe children’s playing you quickly realize that any gap between what something it is, and what they want it to be, is immediately fulfilled by imagination,” Diaz tells Co.Design. “A toy is just a bit of structure for them to support their narrative. The Tube Toys intend to create just that structure.” And when the physical structure gives out, it can be quickly disassembled and recycled.

Tube Toys will be available in about two weeks from NPW.

About the author

Belinda Lanks is the editorial director of Co.Design. Before joining, she was the managing editor of Metropolis.