Paint & Play Toys


For Smarts & Crafts at Walmart

The Paint & Play series for Smarts & Crafts advocates for an ambient, hands-on crafting experience. Each wooden figurine invites the crafter to personalize their new favorite toy – with angles and mechanisms to investigate. Each kit also includes 12 basic and specialty paints as well as two paint brushes. The paints are curated to remain gender neutral and to challenge the ordinary.

My responsibilities were designing the wooden toys from sketch to finish, specifying guidelines and swatches for manufacturing, and developing the packaging.

Press
Toy Insider

Alien Explorer



Process


Alien and Spaceship

The Alien Explorer was the first of the Paint and Plays and is the most dear to me. I was inspired by retro Japanese toys, the alien toys from Toy Story, and random sci-fi motifs I encountered in my life.

I had the following design criteria in mind:
  • Open-ended form for the crafter to define
  • Moving limbs for narrative opportunity
  • A tailored Spaceship that accompanies the Alien and invites for more storytelling
  • Elevating from art project into a living toy

3D Printing and paper folding were utilized to gain a sense of scale.

Color

For the Alien Explorer, I wanted an ensemble of neon out-of-this-world colors, earthy tones, and galactical shades.

Packaging
I wanted the packaging to be stackable while challenging the typical 6-face box form. I figured, something as grand as your next favorite toy should have a stage! Thus I developed the octagonal form featuring beautiful artwork by Valerie Nelson. To stay environmental conscious, the packaging utilizes only paper and jute cording.


Unicorn



Process

Unicorn
The Unicorn was one of the first Paint and Plays along with the Alien Explorer. Originally, it featured no moving pieces with a valiant stance.

In 2022, there was a demand for articulated limbs as it would elevate the Unicorn from an art project into a living toy with narrative opportunity. 
Color

For the Unicorn, I wanted an equal mix of soft pastels to bold, graphic and sparkly colors. Unicorns, afterall, stampede on rainbows!
Packaging

For the earliest version of the Unicorn, my packaging motivations were similar to the Alien and Explorer.

In 2022, I had to revise the design criteria for the packaging to accomodate for more Paint and Play designs on the shelves. The newest packaging maintains the artwork that contextualizes the Unicorn on a traditional 6-face box shape. A vignette unique to the Unicorn calls back to the theatrical spirit of the original Paint and Play octagonal packaging.

Dragon









Process


Dragon
Succeeding the 2022 redesign of the Unicorn, the Dragon was designed with the following criteria:
  • A basic form free of embellishment
  • Sized within 5″× 5″× 4″
  • An articulated moment for playability
  • Be incredibly delightful
Color


For the Dragon, I was inspired by all of the gems and trinkets that often represent dragon troves.
Packaging
The packaging is wrapped in artwork contextualizing the Dragon on a traditional 6-face box shape. The vignette – the entrance to a cave – is unique to the Dragon.

Turtle






Process


Turtle

Similar to the Dragon, the Turtle was designed with the following criteria:
  • A basic form free of embellishment
  • Sized within 5″× 5″× 4″
  • An articulated moment for playability
  • Be incredibly delightful

Color


For the Turtle, I was inspired by tones found in riverbanks and striking colors found in existing turtle species.
Packaging
Designed similar to the Dragon’s packaging, the Turtle’s features artwork that contextualizes. The vignette is reflects ripples in water.