Nov 5, 2021

On-pack games set to inspire creative play

London-based design agency Echo has developed a a range of 'Topper toys' for the SMARTIES brand made from paper and wood.
Elisabeth Skoda

This is in line with Nestlé’s commitment that all packaging will be recyclable or reusable by 2025. Earlier this year, Smarties packaging transitioned to 100% recyclable paper

The Toppers toys offer travel sized games for families to play with whilst on holiday. SMARTIES plastic free commitments "helped broaden Echo’s creative process to think outside the box whilst maintaining the playfulness of the brand and a learning experience for kids." The final toys offer two sets of card games and wooden story dice which tap into the thinker, dreamer, creator archetypes. The products launch alongside a number of downloadable learning resources developed to offer children an interactive personalised brand experience and the opportunity to learn through play.

Pete Cowie, Account Director at Echo, commented: “Following the launch of SMARTIES music creator in 2020 - a physical and digitally interactive toy that enables children to create their own tunes - Smarties came to us with the ambition to extend and relaunch their range of toppers for children with their Plastics Free Commitments front of mind.”

As part of the work, Echo reviewed the multi-dimensional concept of SMARTIES’ Learn Through Play range, which sees physical brand packaging converge with online play. The range was then extended to create products that encourage developmental and constructive play, incorporating positive reward systems that resolve the tensions between ‘learning’ and ‘treating’. Echo worked with child development expert, Sian Williams, to create the toys.  

Susie Whittaker, Senior Designer at Echo, commented: “Our three types of play (thinker, creator and dreamer) are really engaging and fun ways for children to learn, so we wanted to ensure they remained at the heart of the new toys we created. We also wanted to use this opportunity to introduce new characters to the SMARTIES worlds, and in doing so have produced four new exciting worlds for children to explore. in a uniquely SMARTIES way.”

Each topper is designed in the SMARTIES colour palette. Through focusing on printed materials for this generation of Toppers, we have further opened up the Learn Through Play opportunities. Printed instructions and game boards have been removed in a move that the company says further boosts sustainability credentials.

Elisabeth Skoda

Editor of Touchpoints magazine, writer for Packaging Europe magazine and design enthusiast!
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