The Turin-based toy manufacturer Quercetti, famous for its iconic colored pegs, is growing fast thanks to Pixel Art.
Launched a couple of years ago, the series of puzzles reproducing artwork or photographs by means of tiny pegs in colored plastic have become very popular with children and adults alike: sales on the Italian market have grown by 22%, stepping up turnover from €8.8 to €9.3 million and reaching a record number of 1.6 billion pegs produced per annum.
At the same time, the company has not lost its desire to experiment with new challenges and materials, such as wood and cardboard.
The Pixel Art range – photographs that are reproduced by a myriad different pegs in a variety of hues, which can be customized to reproduce the client's own pictures – has become a modular line of toys in various sizes; and is now attracting increasing attention from museums like the Uffizi (Florence) or the Egyptian Museum (Turin) as well as organizations like Bolaffi and Palazzo Pitti (Florence), which have requested specifically designed Pixel Art kits, made to measure for the respective book shops.
Innovation therefore remains a must for the company. Quercetti recently presented its first ever toys made of recyclable and ecological materials (wood and cardboard) rather than plastic: it had never happened in the company's entire 67-year history. The new range consists of three types of games in the Wood line – wooden building blocks with plastic inserts, interlocking shapes and puzzles – and two construction games entirely made of recycled cardboard.
Educational games have always been a top mission for Quercetti; the new frontier is stimulating children's love and curiosity for the soil thanks to ten make-your-own-kitchen-garden kits. To this end, also the classic line of colored pegs that made Quercetti famous has been enriched and enhanced, following the logic of offering on the market three different versions of the games bases on the different needs of as many age brackets.
Quercetti toys, according to the company spokesperson, run on “kid power” while always keeping a strong focus on design and color. So much so that one of Quercetti’s games has been selected by the ADI Committee (Association of Industrial Design) to compete for the next Compasso d'Oro design award. A first for a toy manufacturer.
Magazine: ItalyEurope 24 by Il sole 24 Ore
Date: 9 March 2017