Hero image for Snap & Roll



Design a push / pull toy for toddler and pre-schooler.


A toy system that children can enjoy play during several phases of learning growth.

Judge Recommendation Prize

I particularly liked this idea for kids toys. Simple, adaptable, fixable with different aspects to keep small kids absorbed, the connect-ability, the movement and the play. I also like that it isn't so much about design as it is about the interactive nature of how kids will enjoy the toy. There are not many toys available with this sophisticated mix of features, and the resulting toys have a modest charm which also appeals.

– Jasper Morrison (MUJI AWARD 04 Jury)

Snap and Roll Toy Series was awarded as Judge Recommendation in MUJI AWARD 04. Theme for 2013 was “Long Lasting Design for Living”

There has been 4,824 applications from 49 countries. 2 Gold Prize, 5 Bronze Prize, and 10 Judge Recommendation Prize was chosen.

Design Criteria From Research Findings


    Toy that you can add / subtract features to fit age needs


    Can be also seen as simple sculpture, so adults will keep them


    Toddler wows to effect, and pre-schooler understands the cause later on


    Made of simple parts and assembly, so parents can fix (or upgrade) toys easily

  • 3 year old pulled the string on push-pull toy, but 5 years old was more into role play using same toy.

    Different age, attracted to different feature.

  • Pre-schooler ask for new toys, but toddler are not as opinionated. Parents care about how it looks.

    Be appealing to adults as well as pre-schooler.

  • In same toy, toddler gets excited to motion and sound, where pre-schooler picks it up and see how it works.

    Let children discover what is going on.

  • When something is not going right, child goes “Daddy, fix it” It really upsets them when it cannot be fixed.

    Fixable, than unbreakable.

Primary Research: Observation

20 months old boy

  • Gets bored of playing with toys very fast
  • See how adults react while playing
  • Gets distracted easily
  • Use one word phase

5 year old girl

  • Does not want to share toys
  • Role play involved
  • Interest in how toys work
  • Likes playing game on iPhone

2 year old boy

  • Likes to go far away
  • Finds his own ways of playing, but gets bored soon
  • Plays alone
  • Through and tosses everything

4 year old girl

  • Original role play (farmer) continues for more than 30 min
  • Play with group

Initial Idea Sketches From Insights

Brand Form Analysis

I chose MUJI as my target brand. Its form and styles of current toys were analyzed.

Concept Development

Three directions were chosen for further ideation.

Study models to validate function.

Material ball concept gave interesting motion.

Final Design

To make it a series, three types of kit was designed.

Shop Process

Final model was hand made in model shop. No CNC. Here is the plan I made prior to making the model.

Model Making

Very Special Thanks to:

  • Claire
  • Gigi
  • Jasper
  • Journey
  • Townes
  • Alex C.
  • Joshua N.
  • Christopher W.
  • Yuko S.

for Interviews, Advice, and Support.