Walcar – play furniture & wooden push car by Basten Leijh


Tell us about your background. How did you become a designer?

As a child of an architect and an educator/artist, both musically gifted, I was destined for the arts from an early age. But what is a young rebel to do? Study economics, of course. Fortunately I eventually came round and decided on a study course at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. The core mission of my work? Functionality. In the design process, I always examine the user and producer within myself: “What is the essence? Is something really necessary for the solution?”

Why you design products for children?

Getting children and my background as mobility designer and skateboarder forced me to have this brainwave some years ago!

What was your inspiration for the play furniture walcar?

Built on the chassis of a skateboard, this push-car gives small children a great feeling as they zoom about at home or at day care. As real Formula 1 drivers would say: “Keep pushin’.” By moving instinctively your body weight you are steering this car like a skateboard. They are also stackable for staring in daycare facilities or connectable to get a train of walcars.

Do you have children of your own? If so, how do they respond to your product/your products?

I have a son of 5 years old and when he was between 2 and 3 years old he was always playing with plastic walking powered vehicles in his daycare facility and I thought this could be more simple and clean. Now he is 5 years old and is unfortunately a bit too big for this size but he still is very enthusiastic that his dad designed a car especially for him!

Are there other products that you produce specifically for children?

I design ‘modular’ school furniture but this was my first designed toy.

A few personal questions at the end: What toys did you play with as a child?

A lot of mobility stuff like rollerskates, skateboards, bikes and more.

Did you have a favorite toy?

At a very young age I had this wooden ‘rocking’ boat where you could sit and ‘rock’ in. That was fun!

And subsequently: What toy do you think is completely superfluous?

This really crappy Chinese plastic stuff that is badly designed, constructed and even worth for our environment.

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Photo Hedzer Gelijsteen