SUPERSPACE: A magnetic modular play space builder for kids. Life-size magnetic panels allow children to create almost any structure they can dream up and play in their own creation.
The product uses high strength magnets which are securely molded inside plastic connectors. Magnets are free to rotate, allowing them to self-align and to ensure each panel easily and instantly snaps together in endless configurations. There is no wrong way for a child to connect panels which makes it extremely fast and fun to create structures and to kids it really feels like magic.
The recycled PET felt, bamboo rods and patent-pending magnetic locking system makes this product unique. Combinations are endless - one minute it's a fort, an art exhibition, an office, and the next minute it's a spaceship. It's all about helping kids learn through play, having a space of their own and letting their imaginations run wild!
Inspired by watching our children trying to create their own play spaces in the living room so they could have their own space yet still be near to us. The unsuccessful use of cardboard boxes, sheets and cushions (collapsing and taking over the room) led to the idea of 'Superspace'.
The challenge was to create panels that were lightweight and simple enough for kids to use so they would be inspired to build and rebuild their own life-sized structures. They had to be easy and fun to use or they would get ignored. After many iterations we came up with three things that allowed us to hit these goals: Creating a magnetic system using diametrically opposed strong magnets, creating a frame that would house the magnets while allowing the panels to be lightweight and strong enough to handle the knocks from kids and the use of PET felt for durability and lightness. The design of Superspace empowers creativity to harness children's' imaginations. The endless configurations are limited only by the children's' imagination. Many other products on the market, like foam panels, are bulky, non-recyclable, limited in configurations and are destined for landfill. Because the magnets aren't visible, kids find novel ways to snap panels together, no matter the angle or direction. It really feels like magic. The 24-panel set is made up of 10 squares, 2 windows, 6 triangles and 6 trapezoids. Careful consideration and multiple prototypes determined the perfect panel shapes and quantities, maximum fun through unlimited combinations.
Superspace encourages open-ended play to help build childrens' creativity and imagination. There are no rules, and no right or wrong way to use it. Kids learn through experimenting, building, and can create new structures each and every time. It stimulates their mind and allows them to dream of things they would otherwise might not have thought of.
Like other construction toys, Superspace offers tangible benefits to the growing mind as it empowers children to use their creative, critical thinking and problem-solving skills to create whatever they can dream up.
Superspace also encourages cooperative play, the large scale of the sets creates environments that kids can engage with together, and children can also work together to build grander creations encouraging collaboration and teamwork. The collaborative nature of Superspace also makes it perfect for schools and daycares, where multiple sets can be combined to create epic constructions for larger groups of kids.
Superspace is also designed to pack down into a small footprint, whilst still being able to expand into big spaces. The modular design makes it perfect for any home, big or small. This is great for families that live in smaller homes and apartments giving kids the opportunity to play big without taking up too much room when it comes time to pack up.
In a world increasingly dominated by screens, toys that encourage creativity and imaginative play are of increasing value. The motivating factor that inspired the creation of Superspace was to create a toy that would get kids to put down their screens and engage with the physical world without the limited possibilities of traditional toys. Superspace also encourages cooperative play, the large scale of the sets creates environments that kids can engage with together, and children can also work together to build grander creations encouraging collaboration and teamwork. The collaborative nature of Superspace also makes it perfect for schools and daycares, where multiple sets can be combined to create epic constructions for larger groups of kids.
After exploring other kids play sets, such as foam panels, it was clear Superspace needed to focus on an environmentally friendly solution. That's why PET felt was chosen. Not only for its physical properties, but its environment credentials. Each panel is made from recycled plastic bottles. It's made from compressing fibres together delivering great sound absorption properties and durability. It's chemically inert, and uses very low energy during the manufacturing process.
Each 24-panel set contains approximately 150 recycled plastic bottles. Recycle-grade Polycarbonate was used to house the magnets and locked together using 100% natural bamboo with the Forest Stewardship Certification (FSC) tick.
Superspace was designed with soft and approachable materials that are sympathetic to the environment. Exhaustive research into the materials' pros and cons along with product and user testing helped define the design, materials and colours.
The shape of the corners and cylindrical bamboo not only create a soft and child centric look, but they are also critical to the functionality of the product. Each panel can freely rotate 360 degrees around another. This is the secret behind the unlimited structure combinations.
Bamboo was chosen for the frame structure for two reasons. First, its environmental characteristics, and secondly, its strength and flexibility. Each rod can bend almost 90 degrees without breaking. If the panels are stood on, they'll bend, and spring back to their flat position rather than breaking. This is an extremely important characteristic, considering the large structure achievable, and the rough and tumble nature of children playing.
The recycled PET felt was chosen for its lightweight and flexible properties. It's also very durable, hypoallergenic, easily cleaned and contrasts perfectly against the colored webbing that locks each panel together.
A lot of time went into developing a range of colours. Superspace was designed to look good and blend tastefully with home furnishings. Often other kid's toys lack the look and feel of something parents want to see all the time in their home. With soft recycled PET felt, stitched edging and a choice of 5 different colours, the design of Superspace is something that can fit seamlessly into any home.
From a business perspective, the design has been a huge success with our customers who are mostly parents and early childhood centres. They love how easy it is for children to create structures and appreciate seeing them using their problem solving skills and imaginations at work as they play. It's also a great way for parents and children to connect through play as they collaborate on new builds. We have had a large number of parents tell us that they simply have never seen anything like this on the market before and that's all down to the simplicity and innovation of the design. This product really is the first and only of its kind. The way the panels simply click together in place almost feels like magic. We spent a lot of time getting the feeling of the panels clicking together just right. We achieved this by using diametrically opposed magnets that rotate freely in the specially designed clips so that they will always attract and never repel. We designed the frame of the panels so that each part is integral to the whole and stripped it back to be as simple as possible.
The simplicity of the product really makes it stand out and makes customers understand its purpose instantly, which we believe is why we've had very good sales with very little marketing spend as our customers spread the word for us.