“Desi Toys”- A timeless collection of authentic Indian toys by Swapna Wagh is taking people back to the beautiful childhood memories

Mad4India By Navya Gupta | 3 min read

Desi Toys By Swapna Wagh

The brainchild of Swapna Wagh, Desi Toys was started in 2012 with the passion to expose today’s kids to traditional Indian toys. Today, you can see that even a 5-year-old kid knows how to operate mobile phones and laptops. The kids today are not indulged in the gadgets and are not exposed to the fun of playing outdoors and are not interested in playing with toys.

If you are a millennial, then you must remember playing games such as Lagori or Gili danda or kitchen toy set. Those were not just games but are the most precious childhood memories which today’s kids are deprived of.

The generation from the 80s and 90s, or today called millennial. Whenever we think about our childhood, we all have beautiful memories of playing outdoors with so many friends, if we think about those toys that we used to play with when we were kids. They seem to have faded out with the evolution. Many people from that generation must be parents by now and today every parent complains about their kids being glued to the digital screens.

The kids nowadays don’t play much outdoors which leads to health problems at an early age but also kids are now very antisocial and do not have many friends. Even the toys that today’s kids play with, they play alone and they don’t have a huge collection of toys.

Gili Danda
Source- Desi Toys

“Desi toys” is a brand that has a collection of authentic and classical Indian toys which are inspired by India and made for India. The intention behind the brand is so people can relive their childhood memories with these Indian toys.

desi toy childhood memories
Source- Desi Toys

The conception of Desi Toys

After completing her MBA and Executive Retail course at IIM Calcutta, Swapna worked for some years for big retail chains. This got her in touch with the local artisans and their arts. After realizing the idea for Desi Toys, she did market research for 3 years where she travelled across India to find local artisans. On building a team of local artisans, the products that were built went through a concept test to check whether the demand and sales will meet in the market or not.

Source- Desi Toys

The research concluded with the result that people in metro cities who are in search of good quality products want such toys and games, but they are available remotely and of deprived quality. Even the toys available in cities are made of plastic which consists of lots of toxic chemicals which are harmful to kids to play with.

Brass Kitchen Set
Source- Desi Toys

Desi toys brought quality to these concept toys by designing them in wood or brass and making them safe for kids by using organic colours only.

Wooden Kitchen Set
Source- Desi Toys

Importance of Desi Toys

Toys are very important in every kid’s life. Playing with toys foster growth and learning and it works as an aid in building social and interactive skills. Today’s tech-savvy kids are either shifted to online video games or playing with toys that have western cultural influence. Every toy in the collection of Desi Toys has some skill attached to it. For example, even if you are playing with a simple Lattu, a certain skill is required to play with this toy which helps kids in their cognitive skills.

Lattu(Spinning Top)
Source- Desi Toys

The Desi Toys urges the kid to bring their imagination alive. A game of chess or snake & ladder requires more than one person which will eventually make kids socialize if they are exposed to these games and toys.

Decrease screen time and increase playtime with Desi toys!

Designing of a Desi Toy

Desi toys are about reviving traditional toys and games. All the toys which are designed are culture-specific in nature. Every toy revived or newly built has its design revolving around an Indian theme.

The traditional parallels of Contemporary toys that are trending among kids are identified and they get rebuilt with the Indian theme.

Source- Desi Toys

The idea was to enable people to pass on Indian traditions to their kids. This idea came into action by certain techniques:

Mythological board game

The snake & ladder or what we used to call Saanp Seedhi, are designed in a mythological theme. Every board game will be made in such a way that it will tell a mythological story with a moral supporting it at the end. In this way, not only the kids will learn values while playing but this will also bring them closer to their own culture.

Ramayana Chauka Bara
Source- Desi Toys

Revival of Indian Arts

Every state has a unique traditional art such as Warli in Maharashtra or Kalamkari in Andhra Pradesh.

The local artisans are identified by integrating their art into the games. For example- the board game will be designed on a cloth which will have Warli or Kalamkari painting painted on it.

Future of Desi Toys

Desi Toys is a specialised retail chain that offers authentic Indian Toys and Games. These toys will help your kid in making the best memories as well as take you back to the good old days.

The market for Desi toys are not just kids but are also people of the old generation be it an Indian or an NRI that gets nostalgic with the sight of these games. They are also popular among foreigners who have an eye for quality handcrafted pieces.

They have standalone stores in India and also have a presence in Domestic and International Airports in India. They are also selling in popular chains of Hamleys, The Bombay Store, etc. They even have an online presence with their own estore and on all popular marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, Firstcry, etc.

The way Desi Toys integrates good memories from our past into our present will savvily pave their way into our future also.

If you loved this story, read a story about What is Jugaad Factory: Where Waste Materials are converted into New Artistic Home Decors

To know more about Swapna Wagh, please check- LinkedIn and Facebook.

To know more about Desi Toys, please check- WebsiteLinkedInInstagram, and Facebook.

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