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TobeUs was born as a simple project between friends, but it soon began to involve many of the great masters of Italian and international design.
It all began in 2007, when the father of the little Tobia, Matteo Ragni, realized he could no longer bear all those useless plastic toys that, inevitably, his son destroyed after a few hours.
Matteo Ragni is not only a father, but he is also a designer who loves everything that concerns form and usefulness of objects. Moreover, he cares about the sustainability of a production that mainly uses high-quality materials.
From the everyday life of his family, the designer took inspiration to launch the "TobeUs" project, a name that recalls that of his son Tobias and also summarizes the philosophy that lies behind this company: To Be Used - Toys made to be used.
All the items by this brand are meant to last over the years and do not disintegrate under the dynamic and curious little hands of our children.
Matteo Ragni's intent is to give all children the opportunity to become attached to an object or a toy; every parent knows well, especially in the first years of life of our children, how much we spend to buy playful objects (often made of plastic) that break almost immediately. The child is initially excited about the news, passes a few hours of fun with his new toy, and then he reappears with the object broken in pieces. And then the toy is forgotten or thrown away.
Matteo Ragni launches his appeal to other colleagues from a trade magazine, with the intention to create a collection based on the conscious use of objects and toys: very important elements for the development of the imagination and creativity of our children, but based on values that revolve around the concept of Aware Consumption.
Many exchanges of ideas, a few phone calls and the production chain of cedar wood toy cars starts working; a project that involved, not only professionally but also emotionally, at least a hundred of the best names of international design.
TobeUs believes that the toys are important, so important that it's best if they contain ideas, values and hopes that are useful to imagine a future where mass consumption becomes the result thought and choice.
This is the origin of the collection of a hundred wooden toy cars, all designed with imagination and simplicity. They are made of Lebanese cedar wood, because of its warm colour, durability (it is potentially indestructible), but also for the pleasant and familiar aroma that this natural element emanates, a very important factor to stimulate the senses of children. Lebanese cedar wood also has an innate anti-moth power, a key component to ensure the durability of the product over the years, even when our children grow up and we put their toys in drawers, waiting for any grandchildren.
TobeUs also gives us the opportunity to pass down the toys from generation to generation: a quality that enhances the affective relationship that we develop with a small and simple accessory.
Design masters such as Alessandro Mendini, Mario Botta and Andrea Branzi have collaborated on the TobeUs project by sending Matteo Ragni their toy cars models.
At first, it was a collection consisting of only five cars created in 2008 by the designers Giulio Iacchetti, Odoardo Fioravanti, and of course, Matteo Ragni.
The project was so successful that today, after a short time, it includes a hundred different models, each one signed by a famous Italian or international designer.
This is how the 100% TobeUs brand was born, with its collection that is so innovative in its desire to remain true to tradition that it is exhibited also at the National Science Museum in Milan.
Toy cars ready to give a burst of life to the dexterity and creativity of children and adults. In fact, you can customize each model of TobeUs line by painting it with your favorite colours, and if the final result is not what you expected, or if you simply want to change the look of your toy, you just need to clean them with a piece of sandpaper.
Creating toys that are durable in time, but above sending parents and children a message on eco-sustainability hoping to shape their thinking to a conscious use of their objects to create together a more sustainable future.
It's interesting to know TobeUs's unique process for manufacturing toy cars. Basically, the creation originates from a Lebanese cedar block on which, with a pencil, a longitudinal and a cross line are traced. After this first step, the block passes under the skilled artisan hands of the carpenter who carves the wood following the lines and prepare the spaces for the wheels.
As they say at TobeUs: "It is so easy that even a child could do it." Robust toys, ecological, aromatic and almost indestructible, in different shapes that will please the imagination of children and grownups.
TobeUs has created the Pick-up version, a model that reproduces a typical off-road car, a designer toy that allows children to load small items and carry them around the house.
The Fiorino model was inspired by the humility of itinerant jobs; and for those who cannot give up the charm of the uniform, there is also appear the fire truck. A revival of the 50s dedicated to the famous Mille Miglia race, takes shape in the futuristic and aerodynamic Nuvolari model, the perfect toy car for children at full speed.
Matteo Ragni's idea is welcomed by many fellow designers and it becomes a kind of manifesto-revolution against the consumption of trivial objects and easily damaged objects. Teaching our children the importance of preserve over time even a simple toy, to be handed down from father to son maybe, might help us create a future of more conscious consumption.
A small project that, on a large scale, could really change the vision of our future.
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