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Reusable Toy Packaging Boosts the Fun Factor
Educational Insights makes it easy for kids to play with the box their toy comes in. Click "View Gallery" below right of this image to see other photos.

Reusable Toy Packaging Boosts the Fun Factor

Educational Insights, a leading provider of educational toys in Gardena, CA, is taking sustainable packaging in a new direction with reusable boxes for its Design & Drill Bolt Buddies product line. Each box transforms into a play set thematically linked to the toy that came in the box.

Design & Drill Bolt Buddies products include a rocket, a truck, and a race car, each with a kid-safe drill included. The packaging design for each product adds to the child’s play experience by creating a physical setting that can be used over and over. The child simply unfolds the box to turn it into a graphically engaging 3D play set.

Three Educational Insights team members fielded questions from Packaging Digest about the Design & Drill Bolt Buddiespackaging: Sahad Rivera, senior designer;Joey Lopez, senior graphic designer;and Lori Mannion, senior marketing director. Rivera and Lopez designed the package structure and graphics.

Is this packaging a redesign, or is Design & Drill Bolt Buddies a new product line?

Mannion: Design & Drill Bolt Buddies is a new product line from Educational Insights that combines the basics of simple construction and engineering — by having kids use a real, working, kid-safe drill — with a world of imaginative play, including rockets, race cars, and recycling trucks.

When did the packaging launch?

Rivera: The line launched in January of this year.

How did Educational Insights come up with the idea for the packaging?

Lopez: We want to be a responsible company that brings smiles to kids faces as well as their parents, and something we noticed this last holiday was a lot of negative attention to the leftover packaging waste left behind. So, what are we doing about it? What could be both fun and a good way to be responsible?

For many of us, it’s just a box. But to a child’s imagination, it could be a pirate ship or a building or a rocket launch tower. By looking at existing fold-up packaging and attempting to create fun structures that kids can use with the main toy, we folded up dozens of shapes over several brainstorm sessions.

Our goal was to make something the child would actually want to keep, extending the life of the packaging. For the rocket’s packaging, the play set follows a rocket launch story line — starting with the control center, then progressing to the launch tower, and finally landing on the moon! For the control center, we wanted our illustrations to inspire kids with possible future science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers in disciplines like astronomy and chemistry.

The rocket launch features an elevator for your Bolt Buddies to embark on their adventure. The moon-landing scene is filled with planets, moons, satellites, and shooting stars, complete with bolt-hexagon-shaped craters. There are also a few of Toy Designer Sahad’s feline friends hidden in the toy and play set.

What play sets can kids create with the boxes for the other products in this product line?

Mannion: Design & Drill Bolt Buddies Pick-It-Up Truck’s packaging becomes a recycling-center play set, and the race car box becomes a race track, complete with spectators!

Are the boxes made of paperboard or corrugated board?

Rivera: The boxes are made out of corrugated board.

Are there any packaging components inside the box to protect the product during distribution?

Rivera: There are a few corrugated inserts that are included for stability and protection of the product, as well as a poly bag to keep loose parts together and prevent them from getting lost or scratching other components.

When the box’s life is finally at an end, after many play sessions, can consumers recycle it?

Rivera: Yes, there is a “Please Recycle” callout on the box, as well as on the guide to encourage consumers to do so.

How is the box printed?

Lopez: Four-color (4/4) offset-lithographic printing on white-coated E-flute, plus ultraviolet (UV) gloss.

How have consumers reacted to the Design & Drill Bolt Buddies reusable packaging?

Mannion: Reviews indicate that parents love that it adds to the imaginative play and fun for their child. They also appreciate our company’s thoughtful effort to be environmentally conscious.

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