Jun 21, 2021
Tsumishi, A New Kind of Building Block Toy Made of Laminated Paper Blocks That Can Hold Together by Interlocking the Gaps

With KOKUYO and Kouei Shikou, we jointly created “Tsumishi,” a new kind of toy blocks that comes in various shapes, all made of layered paper. We have started crowdfunding on Kickstarter on Monday, June 21, 2021.


Tsumishi block toy took its inspiration from the novel joining method of “interlocking layers of paper” used in the “FROM TREE TO FOREST” project, the Excellence Award winner at the Kokuyo Design Award 2020. By piling up blocks of various shapes made of laminated paper and/or interlocking the gaps between, it is possible to create strange shapes that you could not otherwise create with conventional building blocks.

We have gone through numerous iterations during the development process to get the final block structure that allows for building shapes previously impossible while providing a satisfying interlocking feel. Because the structure is so complex, it cannot be manufactured by machine, and all the paper blocks are crafted by hand. Our goal was to create something that sparks everyone’s imagination, pleasureable and easy to handle, while creating everything using environmentally friendly material.

Product name:TSUMISHI
Contents: Paper blocks (20 pieces), user’s guide
How to play: You can combine two ways to play Tsumishi:

• Stack: stacking on top of each other, just like regular blocks.
• Interlock: You can interlock the gaps between the overlapping papers to join them.

iF DESIGN AWARD 2022 “Product category” / Prize
DFA Design for Asia Awards 2022 / Bronze

Tuncay Ince
Creative Director
Business Director
Art Director / Designer
Naoki Hiroshima (Kouei Shikou)
Takeshi Fujiki (KOKUYO CO., LTD.)
Yusuke Ota