TOCA INK

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Toca Boca’s Temporary Tattoos

The app design studio introduces self-expression through play

 

We were asked by Toca Boca, the Swedish children’s app design studio, if we’d like to try Toca Ink – a range of temporary tattoos based on characters from Toca Boca’s apps. We weren’t sure how we felt at first about temporary tattoos on children, but thought we’d see what the Fussy Fledglings thought before passing judgement. ‘Ooh, cool!’ said LP’s four-year-old son. Good start. So try them we did, as we’re quite enjoying the brand’s rereshing, contemporary philosophy behind digital play – an area easily targeted by the Guilt Gurus for any mother who dares to place her child in front of a screen.

Toca Boca is a play studio that creates apps such as Toca Nature and Toca Hair Salon (LP’s son picked Toca Life City himself from the App Store weeks before this review, as he liked the graphics), all designed to stimulate children’s imagination, but without any in-app purchases or advertising. It has a positive view on the digital world (something our kids will inescapably be a part of), believing technology should be embraced. ‘Far too often, digital products are used as pacifiers for kids. We believe there is a place for digital products that allow kids and their parents to play together,’ say the creators. Sounds good to us.

So why the temporary tattoos? ‘We are always exploring new ways of delivering fun play experiences that celebrate creativity and spark the imagination, even beyond the digital screen,’ says Play Designer Jens Peter de Pedro. Toca Ink is the first product in the Artist Play Series, where they’ve asked contemporary artists to create tools for play that encourage imagination and self-expression. The tattoos were created in collaboration with tattoo artist Virginia Elwood, inspired by the graphics from Toca Kitchen Monster and Toca House.

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‘As a tattoo artist, I regularly see how tattoos spark kids’ curiosity,’ said Virginia Elwood. ‘Kids always want to touch a tattoo, ask questions about them and even have one drawn on them.’ Well we know how art can inspire questions, creativity and play, but what did our mini reviewers think?

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Reuben (LP’s four-year-old son): ‘I want the robot one! Can I have it looking at me? On my arm?’

He loved it. He thought it made him a superhero, and couldn’t wait to show his friends at the party we went to later that day. In fact, it made a great talking point, as he was quite shy when we first got there and he suddenly got all talkative telling everyone about it. They make a great party accessory and he felt super-cool wearing it.

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Henry (LP’s seven-year-old nephew) wore his tattoo on his cast, as he’d just broken his arm – right at the beginning of the summer holidays – and was feeling a bit sorry for himself. The smily Toca Boca logo looked great against the green of the cast and really perked him up.

The tattoos last for days if you want them to, but come off easily with a gently scrub with warm soapy water and a flannel. We reckon they make a great accessory for a party or relaxed occasion, and provide lots of fun (and distraction) for the summer holidays. It’s always good to have a few extra tools in your parental armoury on quiet days, especially when those tools give you Cool Mummy points.

Priced from £6.20 for a pack of eight from the Toca Boca online shop.

Thanks to Toca Boca for the temporary tattoos. All opinions within this review are our own.


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