The big business of play

| By Dorrit Bøilerehauge | Notify the newsdesk of a story

Playsam gives your imagination a kick

Toys are for boys. If not, toys for big boys are associated with big in size, wallet and public social status. So the stereotypes say. Playsam’s executive wooden toys prove something different. Swedish Playsam is sold in more than 50 countries and the company’s list of collaborations includes brands such as Starbucks and Saab Automobile. So far.

But how is it possible to appeal to adults with design for play? Carl Zedig, design manager, CEO and founder of Playsam, explains: “The strongest Playsam appeal is our clean, archetypal design. We use the highest possible glossy paint on wood, and we produce the utmost quality. Adults want toys because in our inner soul, we are all a little childish, and when you see something which gives your imagination a kick, you feel happy.”

Reaching out
Behind a track record of worldwide sales, museum exhibitions and design prices there is still a small beginning, and for Playsam it started 30 years ago in a small town in Sweden. Today the Playsam design objects continue to take in new international markets. Carl Zedig shares a couple of international steps way back: “We started at Nuremberg Toy fair. We were different and all the big players came to our stand. Many of them loved what they saw. Conrans shop GB, Arcitectura Spain, De Padova Italy, Macys, Blomingdales, Nieman Marcus, MoMa in New York and more from the US. But our international success has also been geared by our online presence. Very early, we made a website where people could download images. We became popular among design students, and we have had many, many events with design schools. You can see some of them on our site.”

A first class ride – really first class
The clean Playsam graphic profile and popularity paved the way for portrayal of the Streamliner on Swedish stamps in 2015. However, design and business skills have taken the playful products to yet another level. Carl Zedig reveals the latest news: “We are just going to market a cooperation with Volvo Car. They phoned me a couple of years ago, and told me that Volvo would become a luxury car and a design brand. They have selected a few Swedish companies to cooperate with, and Playsam is one of them. Besides, our next international steps are also very interesting, as we have been contacted by Aston Martin who have seen the Saab Roadster car. They are interested in talking about something for Aston Martin.”

Playsam says that superior design can transcend age, gender and culture. It seems that they have proved their point. They have also proved a point of scaling business by reaching the inner child. One could quite easily imaging private collections of their products out-numbering private collections of shoes. Just saying.

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