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Cardkits Imagine A World of Paper Toys

by Shawn Binder on 10/07/2019 | 2 Minute Read

Look out, Legos, a formidable newcomer is vying to be the coolest toy around. 

Launched on Kickstarter this past September and with a show at the World's Fair Gallery in Providence, RI, Cardkits are the awesome older brother of paper-dolls and trading cards. 

Beautiful, build-it-yourself paper toys that go together to form an interactive miniature cityscape, Cardkits are rewarding to assemble and engaging to play with. By combining the hands-on appeal of traditional DIY toys with the allure of creative world-building, Cardkits invite children (and adults) to flex the limits of their mind and invent narratives around the finished product. 

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Plus, we’re a big fan cut-outs and dielines, so, yeah, this is right up our alley.

The kits come from the mind of Anther Kiley and found inspiration in the toys he created when he was a child. From a family of nine, there weren’t many commercial toys available when he was young, so he used various items around the house to build his own miniature universe. Now a graphic designer as well as a design educator at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Anther created the kits to showcase how toys can encourage engagement around the world. 

Cardkits Car Assembly from Anther Kiley on Vimeo.

Each kit comes pre-cut out using recycled cardstock and is beautifully designed with an Ikea-esque appearance built into the packaging. The company is committed to producing locally, in RI and NH, and will use sustainably sourced paper to craft their products. The illustrated worlds are detail-oriented, with flourishes such as bricks or tree leaves, plus the kits are easy to assemble since they require no cutting or scrolling, although they do require glue for assembly—so prepare yourself for some sticky fingers. 

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The goal of the beautiful toys is to craft systems and relationships through imaginative play that challenges the user to craft immersive storytelling. Each kit comes with a car and a fish avatar to invite users to not only experience with their universe but to explore how the real world can be an extension of the kits. 

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Imagination is king with Cardkits, and with a toy as easy-to-assemble that is recyclable, I’m ready to start building out my own Cardkit cities. 

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