In an age where home and work spaces double as showcases for favorite figurines, Shinya Fujimoto of Magnote really gets the idea that the visual space around people should be populated by things that are not just cool looking, but also meaningfully made. “In our era surrounded by digital products, we continue to strive to create and curate design-superior unique products that are fun, attractive, and inspire the kid inside of everyone’s heart,” Fujimoto says. “We believe our products add happiness by creating a non-digital experience, which will become more and more relevant in the future.”

The award-winning, Fremont-based Magnote boasts amazingly creative lines of figurines and toys, which are sold as kits meant to empower people with a sense of craft and construction, allowing them to really feel and appreciate the design excellence at work before prominently displaying the creations somewhere in their personal space. In doing so, a meaningful bond emerges, and a subsequent appreciation comes through once customers realize the products are also eco-friendly with reusable packaging that can be used as displays. “And most of our products are made out of just paper and wood and require no tape, glue, or other adhesives to be built,” Fujimoto says.

The product Fujimoto is proudest of is his utterly delightful paper-craft robot kit line called Piperoid. Both in 2007 and 2013, Piperoid won Japan’s Good Toy Award. It was featured by Sustainability Design for a Better World at the NY NOW international gift show and was even featured on the TV show Amazing Race.

Each Piperoid—with a new one released every six months—absolutely teems with life and a fun-forward energy. An example of a favorite Piperoid is Kojiro & Butcher. Kojiro’s beautiful cherry-blossom-colored robot body, combined with amazing little patterns and details throughout the rest of its exterior, make it an aesthetic pleasure to look at. But it’s in its super-sized, absurdly large, and unwieldy sword and its bulldog companion where there’s this clever and playful depth to it all, with their product description reading: “Samurai Warrior Kojiro carries an extra long sword and strolls around with Butcher—a bulldog with sharp teeth that can even crack a rock. They boast to be the strongest in the village, but in reality Kojiro is actually a novice with swords, and Butcher has a timid heart being afraid to fight even toy poodles.”

It’s here where the meaningfulness of Magnote emerges most evidently: a sense of story imbuing even home decorations and desk ornamentations with a life and laughter.

Written by Kevin Biggers of SJMADE
Photography by Aurélia Faudot

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