Meet Sandwich Friends, one of Ikea’s new soft toys based on kids’ drawings

When selecting the winners, Henaine says they consider a lot of criteria, for instance, whether it’s feasible to manufacture the design for mass production, if it passes certain safety requirements, as well as how “unique, colourful and expressive” the drawing is.
The winners of the seventh annual Sagoskatt competition have been revealed by Ikea, with five young designers chosen from a whopping 66,000 entries to have their drawings made into real soft toys to be sold at the store. Joining an elite group of eccentric characters is Sandwich Friends, designed by Audrey, aged nine from Canada; Cat, designed by Liepa, aged eight from Lithuania; Fried Egg, designed by Zosia, aged seven from Poland; Mermaid Dog, designed by Savva, aged nine from Russia; and Bird, designed by Nick, aged 10 from the US.
“I feel very lucky and grateful to be part of the team involved in the Sagoskatt project. The whole concept of ‘for children by children to help children’ is something that makes me extremely proud,” says Jorge Omar Santoyo Henaine, product design developer for Children’s Ikea at Ikea of Sweden. “The endless creativity in kids is amazing. Each year we are impressed by the amount of unique, cool and fun creations we receive. We wish we could make all of them!”
Every year, Ikea invites children all over the world to submit their drawings imagining “the soft toys of their dreams”. The most original drawings were selected by a jury at Ikea of Sweden to be produced in cuddly 3D form, and sold internationally by the retailer. All profits from the collection support initiatives and charities that “promote children’s right to play”.
Previous years have seen the introduction of Gurki, the cucumber superhero; Little Monster, a smiley creature designed to give children hugs; and Eggplant Car, an aubergine vehicle for scaring away enemies.
This year’s crop will be on sale at Ikea later this year.

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