She's called Zuzanna Bukala, remember her name, you'll be hearing it a lot. This talented young Polish designer is about to graduate from Dundee University and has designed and produced a wonderful Baika Dolls toy for her Honours Degree Project. Baika is a phonetic spelling of the Polish word ‘bajka’ which means ‘story’. Zuzanna is interested in fairytales, in their universal and individual nature, and the customary act of family storytelling.
Her Baika Dolls set consists of a series of handpainted pine-wood dolls embodying the popular characters from the traditional tales, the classical landscape elements of the fairytale world and a board providing a platform for play. Bright, colourful and simply-designed, Baika Dolls was inspired by the folk stylistic of Zusanna's homeland. It's a beautiful and decorative toy for creative play that I'm sure children will love.
However, there's more to this set than meets the eye. Baika Dolls is a sound toy. When the fairytale characters come in contact with the board they emit a sound. Children can upload their own custom sounds for each element allowing them to invent countless storytelling scenarios.
If you're interested in finding out more about Zuzanna's work and the entire Baika Doll design / production process have a look at her blog. She has also produced a short video about the toy, which you can watch here.