Universal design

A Gift For the Ages

A Gift For the Ages

A Gift For the Ages

By Assaf

Why Clixo is the perfect present this holiday season????.
– A #SmallBusinessSaturday special blog post –


We can all agree that 2020 has been an unusual year. It would be nice to believe that such unprecedented times won’t impact the holidays, but of course they will. Everything about 2020 — including Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years — is radically different.

So, what should we do when the world changes shape?

We should change shape with it.

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a whole lot of trickle-down innovation into the toy industry (or the marketing of toys) this year.

Today I want to write a short post, sharing three reasons why Clixo is a gift well-suited for such crazy times. …


Reason #1: the all-in-one minimalist gift.


In Rosseau’s Second Treatise, he makes the argument that our ability to adapt is what sets us apart as a species. We don’t passively navigate the world — we actively move through it, constantly making connections and micro adjustments to our behavior to better suit the environment. It is in our nature to metaphorically change shape.



And yet, so much of what we engage with as an extension of ourselves — from toys to tools to technologies — doesn’t accurately reflect that characteristic. We create things that are static, immovable, and single-purpose because they are easier. They’re easier to create, and they’re easier to make redundant, therefore perpetuating a cycle of consumerism.



Our lives and homes become cluttered with discarded, poorly made toys in our quest for creativity.



No sooner has a child received a toy than they have outgrown it. Why?



Because the toy doesn’t adapt. It doesn’t change shape as the child grows and explores new realms of their imagination. It also doesn’t adapt to different environments — whether it’s the back seat of a car, the waiting room at the dentist, or the grocery cart.

I built Clixo to be a natural, rather than artificial, tool for play.

Its shape was inspired by the human hand, with its infinite ways of bending, connecting, and holding. Everything about it, from the durability yet flexibility of the plastic to the strength of the magnets and the color combinations was created with an eye towards encouraging play any where, any time, for any one. Most importantly, it makes this kind of play easy, by requiring only a single stack of lightweight, easy-to-pack pieces.


Underlying these design principles is a social and moral philosophy: at Toyish, we don’t believe in consumerism for the sake of consumerism. We also don’t believe that toys have to clash with an otherwise ‘adult’ space.

Why not bring the design thinking that informs highly functional, beautiful, minimalist design into the toy world?

Why not create a single toy that integrates seamlessly with any space, making both parent and child happy?

Human creativity is a highly dynamic, flexible, and adaptable quality. Don’t buy into the marketing that claims your child needs 101 toys to ‘hone their creativity skills.’ It’s simply not true.

Reason #2: Creativity extends beyond the shapes.


As we buckle down through a second wave of COVID cases, parents and children alike are understandably pretty stir crazy. There’s only so many times you can redo a puzzle before all excitement wears off.

From the very beginning of Clixo (even before we knew a global pandemic was on the way), we’ve been committed to not only building a toy, but building a community of creativity. This plays out in a number of ways.

First off, we hold regular virtual playdates, in which I lead whoever wants to tune in over zoom through challenges with Clixo. These events provide a nice structure and break from the routine of lockdown, and allow community members to connect through play.


Second, if you are based in NYC, we encourage you to come check out our learning lab in Clinton Hill. An airy, COVID-safe space, it has been providing families with an outing that brings some much needed playfulness back into their days.

We are constantly coming up with new, innovative ways to engage, challenge, and continue lighting the spark of creativity in our community. If you buy Clixo, you aren’t buying a static, finished product. You are entering into a whole world of constantly evolving ideas and opportunities. You’re joining a community of creativity.


Reason #3: It’s sustainable.



This reason is short and sweet.

We know climate change is a problem. We know consumerism is a big part of that, and that the holiday season accounts for an enormous percentage of annual consumerism in the United States.

Clixo is a truly modern toy because it genuinely reflects our modern reality. Made from a proprietary blend of plastics that are durable and recyclable, and delivered in packaging made from recycled paper, Clixo’s design is inherently eco-friendly.



Even more important than the materials that go into Clixo’s material shape is the minimalist ethos behind Clixo, discussed above. Clixo isn’t made to be redundant, or to require infinite future purchases. Yes, we will continue to build out new shapes and accessories, but not because the original set doesn’t contain enough possibilities as is. We continue to evolve and grow the Clixo shapes based on feedback and creative ideas from members of our community, but it is never our intention to pressure (through marketing or design) our customers to buy more.



It may sound strange to hear a CEO disincentivizing his customers from buying more of his product, but it has truly never been our goal to flood people’s lives with an over-abundance of Clixo. That would just be replicating the thoughtless, unsustainable methods of the mainstream toy industry.

We built Clixo to offer infinite possibilities. We truly hope that the Clixo family makes their purchases with intentionality, and the confidence that a single Clixo set is more than enough to keep kids (and kids at heart) fully submerged in the magic of play.

Happy holidays, and happy playing!

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