Le jeu de l'oie vintage géant

Support an artistic & ethical new toy: the “Game of the Goose” giant board

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Le jeu de l'oie vintage géant

Aren’t you exhausted of gendered toys, manufactured far away in other countries? Would you like to support a new crafted and artistic toy brand: Zaïchik?!

This 100% natural materials board game “Game of the Goose” will be the very first toy made in a small series of my new brand. Until now, I have been designing and crafting toys for my own children. With your support, other kids will be able to take advantage of them too. Let’s encourage the ethical game!

My name is Helena, I am a plastics artist and work for craft press magazines in France. I am very inspired by my own childhood, fairy tales and children books.

This board game is full of tiny details hand-engraved and painted with watercolor. It is ecofriendly of course. In order to be very practical, the play board will be printed on an oeko tex large piece of fabric. Kids will be able to play with all their friends and cousins, on the floor for hours, it shall be THE genuine family game. Pawns and dice are in wood as I wanted the game to be 100% plastic free. I specifically chose a timeless design so that this board game will never go out of fashion. It is not another new disposable toy; it is made to last. 

As, just in France, 40 million toys are thrown away every year, you can imagine the waste around the world! The Zaïchik brand will only promote non disposable toys and timeless games.


Want to get to know me?

A graduate of HEC Business School of Managment and of the Art history School of the Louvre museum, I have been into toys and games for a long time now.

As a plastics artist, I am deeply involved in the Makers movement around kids and playing matters.

I have been crafting my own kids’ toys for almost 10 years. I share all my crafts and tutorials on my Instagram account under Helena_Zaichik. You can discover my work there.

I am an artist with many lifes. Besides my work as a sculptor that you can explore on my website, during those lockdown months I opened a curated eshop gathering the most beautiful brands and crafted toys : Les plus Beaux jouets du Monde.

My dream has always been to launch my own timeless styled toy brand as an artist. 


More about my project

During all those weeks at home with kids, I became aware that my girls preferred their mum crafted toys rather than the manufactured ones. Because they were more open-ended and stirred their own imagination and creativity. When I came across this Declic Call for Makers project, I immediately felt that the time had come to make my dream come true and launch my own toys, beginning with this goose game.

The logo is a glimpse of my former life in Russia. Moï Zaïchik, is the cute nickname Russian people give to kids meaning my little bunny.  Regarding the matriochka itself, I think this is my favorite play item ever.


The prototype

I have been crafting many toys through all these years, but to begin with I choose the easiest to print. Moreover, this game is easy to play for kids as soon as they know how to count to six, so it has a wide band in terms of age appropriateness.

This goose prototype game was a very special gift for my second daughter Alba for her 6th birthday. I wanted to make a huge Where is Wally like game, with many drawings to look at. It clearly has an influence of Beatrix Potter drawings which I used to stare at when I was a kid myself on my plates and dishes.

I chose travel as the main theme because I wanted each and every square to be the support of a value or a discovery for kids.

The prototype has been pyroengraved and watercolored on a wood board of 1 square meter.

My girls play this game on a regular basis and I like the fact that even now they still talk and ask about the scenes and we can discuss about the life time events through the adventures of our little geese.


More about the making process

My prototype is ok, but now I need your help to create this game in several copies. I decided to print it on fabric because, as a parent myself, I know how painful it can be to make the kids tidy up their room, so the easiest to pack and unpack, the better it is.


An amazing graphic designer helped me to numerate my drawing.

The game will be printed on an oeko tex 70 x 70 cm fabric. 4 pawns will be laser engraved on wood and I have chosen king size dice so that it is easy to handle them. It shall be stored in a little screen-printed bio totebag.

But mainly, I need your support because as it is a toy, this game of the goose has to face very strict legal tests to obtain the CE certification for kids’ safety. Those tests are my main cost and make this crowdfunding step necessary.

The 100 first boards, will cost me 50 euros each. If your support allows me to reach 3500 euros, I will invest 2000 euros myself to be able to produce just on time for Christmas 2020.

The printing and testing process will take 3 months, I promise I will do my very best so that this game can join your Christmas tree!

Here are some other play items and toys I already made so that you can discover a little bit more my universe.  I have a passion for wooden toys, textile imitative play games, pretend food and costumes.


Last words

Playing hard and playing well are fundamental values of childhood to my mind. With my new brand Zaichik, I would like to stir up a community of parents who care and share those meaningful values.

I will send and share some prototypes with mums interested in those matters on Instagram. Thank you all for your support.


Did you know ?

Did you know that the Game of the Goose is an XVI century game? But even earlier you could find some early spiraled games in Ancient Egypt (the very first one being a frog shaped board exhibited at the Louvre Museum). Metaphor for fate and lifetime experiences, those games were already played with dice.

Geese are a reference to the mythical episode of the Capitole tale written by Tite-Live.  When those wise animals prevented the Romans to be assaulted by the Gallic savages.

Many artists created their own version of this game, choosing themes like historical events, political ones or even technical. More than 2500 play boards used to be exhibited in the Game of the goose museum in Rambouillet.

So, I am not the very first to join those geese lovers, and if you pre-order my game you will join this great family of geese lovers too! Thanks again for your support. And do not hesitate to share!

Waar dient de collecte voor

Why do I need your support ? 

This Game of the Goose board game has to undertake CE norms conformity. I have to work with laboratories to go through mandatory testing process to protect our children. Those tests have a cost they actually are my main charge.


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