100 Wooden Toy Cars By 100 Different Designers: 100% TobeUs

100% TobeUs wooden cars

Matteo Ragni has gathered together 100 masters of design from all over the world including Karim Rashid, Marcel Wanders, Barber Ogersby, Fernando and Humberto Campana, Jaime Hayon, Fabio Novembre and Setsu & Shinobu Ito to name but a few. With these globally renowned designers and the support of Alessi, Ragni created “100% TobeUs: 100 designers for 100 new toy cars.”

100 Wooden Toy Cars By 100 Designers

100 wooden toy cars by 100 designers Tomoki Azumi'
One of the more unusual toy cars, Tomoki Azumi’s ‘Would You Like A Slice Of Toast?’

TobeUs was born as a result of a designer who had become a father and couldn’t stand watching his own children captivated by toys just for a few hours and then destroying or growing bored of them. According to Matteo Ragni the easiest solution to this is to give children the possibility to ‘love’ an object.

To accomplish this, Ragni felt the right choice of material with a recognizable smell, an unquestioned resistance to impact and texting, and, ultimately, a dignified end: recycling or re-utilization was the way to go.

This is how the idea of TobeUs was born: toy cars made of cedar wood, strong and sweet-scented, beautifully and cleverly planned by skillful and passionate designers.

100 Wooden Toy Cars
above, clockwise from top left: Fabio Novembre, Paolo Lomazzi, Setsu & Shinobu Ito and Donato Durbino

Some resemble architecture, others dinosaurs. Some are incredibly aerodynamic, while others have multiple angular components. And still some are inspired by present automobiles and others double as everything from pencil holders to puzzles.

Here are some of the more unusual examples from the collection of 100:

Karim Rashid – Tobek:
Karim Rashid - Tobek wooden car

Fernando and Humberto Campana – Untitled:
Fernando and Humberto Campana wooden car

Marcel Wanders – Journey Of A Cedar:
marcel wanders wooden car

Matteo Bazzicalupo – Fakir:
Matteo Bazzicalupo - Fakir wooden car

Barber Osgerby – Three, Two, One:
100 Wooden Toy cars

Miriam Mirri – Bed and Breakfast:
miriam mirri 100 Wooden Toy cars

Alberto Meda – Solar Car:
alberta meda 100 Wooden Toy cars

Duilo Forte – 3CV:
Duilo Forti 100 Wooden Toy cars

Paolo Orlandini – Archicar:
Paolo Orandini toy car

Kazuyo Komoda – Doll Dining Car:
Kazuyo Komoda wooden toy car

Mario Trimarchi – H-Onda:
Mario Trimarchi - H-Onda

Spalvieri Del Ciotto – City Car:
Spalvieri Del Ciotto - City Car

Marco Dessi – La Transportamatite:
Marco Dessi - La Transportamatite:

Raffaella Mangiarotti – Superfast Sketch Holder:
Raffaella Mangiarotti - Superfast Sketch Holder

Since its inception, designers who wanted to draw their own TobeUs have multiplied. It seems that everyone has an idea for a wooden toy car. But the project has caveats – TobeUs is made by two cuts in a wooden stump that always have the same size, so it’s a project and design exercise that imposes clear limits.

You can even try your own hand at it with a downloadable template:

See all 100 designs here.
100% Tobeus

The cars were exhibited at the Museum of Science and Technology in Milan (Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia di Milano).