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Ikea Lets Kids Design Its New Toys, And They're Delightful

For kids, by kids.

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Children have amazingly active imaginations, and tend to come up with things that even the most creative adults would never think of. Now, Ikea is smartly tapping into this wellspring of ideas for a line of stuffed toys, dubbed Sagoskatt—Swedish for "mythical treasure"—which hits shelves on November 20 and will be available until December 24.

To come up with the toy concepts, Ikea invited kids all over the world to submit illustrations of whimsical creatures. From the pool of 52,000 drawings that came in, Ikea then picked 10 to turn into plush toys that are dead ringers for the kids' drawings. The toys retail from $1 to $8, and a portion of the sales will be donated to kids' charities through the Ikea Foundation. Last year, Ikea raised more than $11 million for charity through its inaugural soft toys campaign.

"All the drawings are fantastically creative," Carin Wengelin, information manager of children's Ikea, says. "The main criteria for choosing the drawings is uniqueness and the ability to produce them at a reasonable cost."

Some examples? A "bacteria that feeds on sugar and carbohydrates on our teeth" submitted by a five-year-old from Thailand, a horse-dinosaur hybrid from a nine-year-old in Indonesia who nicknamed her creature a "horsasaurus," a lion from a five-year-old in Turkey, and an imaginary dog with spots from a Finnish seven-year-old. Lukas, a six-year-old from the Czech Republic, sketched a two-headed bird and said, "I wanted to draw a rocket, but before the workshop I changed my mind and started to draw a twinbird. It was suddenly an idea." Kids say the darndest things.

See the full collection in the slide show above.

[Photos: courtesy Ikea]

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