Crawley toy maker’s design captivates children


A Crawley woman has designed a toy that puts ‘no limits’ on children’s imagination.

Charlotte Colman, 21, hopes her creation will help her break into the educational toy market.

Charlotte, of Maidenbower, who went to Oriel High School, designed XIRO for her final-year degree project at Brunel University London.

She said parents had to drag their children away from playing with prototypes of her toy. She said adults wanted to keep the toy on their work desks.

Her design features different lengths of flexible wires and rigid rods which attach with magnets.

She said: “It’s unique selling point is that it’s flexible where as everything else in the market is rigid.

“It doesn’t limit the mind.”

The colour-coded magnetic construction toy is targeted at children aged six to ten.

The XIRO wires can be connected in infinite ways to create action, animal or architectural shapes.

Charlotte said: “The toy mimics activities encountered in the world of design and engineering, allowing for a fun and engaging introduction to science and engineering for children.”

Charlotte worked with the 200-year-old Ormiston Wire company to produce her prototype.

It was selected for the prestigious Made in Brunel Fresh Perspectives Exhibition at the South Bank in London which ran from Jun 18 to 21.

Charlotte explained XIRO was made up of letters from the words flexible, wire and Ormiston.

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