Filippo is a designer and entrepreneur. He is now following a dream inspired by the birth of his son: to make child centred technologies for children that unlock their full potential.
1. How did the idea for Cubetto come about?
In the early days of Primo Toys, Cubetto (the robot) was a little car. During the run-up to our first Kickstarter campaign, we sketched out an idea for a robot with an interchangeable shell, so the robot could become a car, a van, etc.
We quickly learned that manufacturing a car shell out of wood would take us an entire day, while making the box on which the shell sat on would only take us a few minutes. Out of convenience, we decided to stick with a box, and gave it a little personality by stamping a face on it. Cubetto was born, and we’ve not looked back since. We later realised that this coincidental choice led to a product that was more inclusive and gender neutral. We could have a lot more fun with a little robot creature than with a car, so we’re glad for it.
2. Why was Primo Toys founded?
In early 2013, I met up with Matteo to see what he was up to in life. He was already working on toys and games as part of his design studies, and he was also thinking about moving to London. Shortly after, I found out I was going to be a dad, and decided that working with Matteo on building smart toys is what I wanted to do. I’m a designer by trade, and I love gaming. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Matteo is a brilliant designer, and I really wanted to make toys for my son.
More importantly, we both agreed that programming, computing, and “tech-toys” for children at large, was, and still is, an industry on the rise. 70% of coding toys on the market have come about in the last 2 years. That tells you something. Primo Toys was a way to do something we both loved, and an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the world we lived in.
3. What is your role in the Primo Toys team?
Everything… I was even the office plumber once!
4. What are your ambitions for the future?
We’ve developed real expertise around blending connected technology with hands-on, Montessori inspired learning. We have a ton of products and ideas that we know can make a huge difference in early learning, and we have the right team and infrastructure to do that now.
Companies have been putting “tech” inside toys for a long time, but real “tech-toys” that actually help children learn about technology instead of just consuming it, are relatively new. We’re at a pivotal point in time. As a company, we have the tools, ambition and ability to make a difference in education. 10 years from now, I want to look back on a portfolio of exceptional products that are used and loved worldwide.