Zoofufu ABC Blocks (Animals Edition)

We just let them jump out of 'blocks'!

What better way is there for your favorite little ones to learn their ABCs than by matching animals with their oft-associated alphabets? Your little ones will spell out words and learn about these beautiful creatures even before they learn how to walk! Oh wouldn't that be something? : )

We grew up with animals all around us on a daily basis: dogs, bunnies, cats, owls, turtles, snails, frogs, etc so we've long been fascinated with the adorable nature of animals: it’s quite wondrous how different they are, compared to us humans, in every way imaginable. It’s quite natural for us to develop an animal-themed project that's not only educational but also super fun!  

Learn ABCs with our beautifully-illustrated and oh-so-cute-n-colorful characters which would be a lovely addition in any room: Turn a room into a Zoofufu! 

How We Started

Much like our own personalities and creative processes, we dig designs that are 'interesting' and unique, even a bit quirky. Other than collecting toys made of various materials, be it wood, sofubi vinyl or die-cast, we also love to browse antique stores and flea markets to look for vintage toys/parts that could foster inspiration or be of actual usage for repairing or building something new out of old parts. Maibelle has thus accumulated a good size collection of early vintage wooden ABC blocks.

One sunny Sunday afternoon, a thought came to Maibelle: why are all ABC blocks, whether made of wood or fabric, JUST cubic blocks with ABC, 123 and images printed or carved onto them? Couldn't there be something MORE that can make these simple, basic blocks more interesting? Of course it's great that they are easily stackable and storage friendly, yet it just seems like there's something missing... We thought: what if we can think outside of the 'cube' and come up with ABC blocks that are more imaginative and fun to play with?

With this thought in mind, Maibelle started penciling out a few rough ideas, then began exploring this concept with Wayne, who then proceeded to sketch out the first versions of the full spectrum of A~Z animals (what with both of us being huge animal lovers...of course!), which soon led to the dawn of our brand new Tofufu ABC blocks characters, the Zoofufu series! 

New Characters That Won't Quit!

Once we started our ABC Blocks characters, the engines kept running and we pumped out the final versions of all 26 alphabet animals, from A for Ape to Z for Zebra. We engaged in some passionate discussions regarding which animals to include and which to exclude... S for Sheep, Seal or Sea Lion? We also learned a couple of new words in the process of working on this series: the seldom used letters Q and X, for which we came up with Quoll and Xysticus — bet ya didn't know these two!

With the passage of time and increasing custom requests, we've expanded our Zoofufu Family with more animal and non-animal characters. Soon our merchandise expanded from Art Prints and Wall Cards to Bamboo Wall Art, etc., allowing these adorable characters to become colorful home decor in nurseries, playrooms and kids' rooms where young children (and even adults) can enjoy their presence and learn a thing or two about animals and spelling.

In 'traditional' ABC posters, the alphabets and their corresponding animals are SEPARATE. In Zoofufu, text and imagery are one. We're one. Our idea is to combine both elements as a whole, to create Tofufu's own unique ABC creatures. In other words, Zoofufu is an interesting and engaging illustrated methodology for learning words through fun and whimsical illustrations.

By incorporating the colorful shapes of animals into blocks and linking the respective alphabets into their names, it's easier for children to associate images and words on multiple levels, thus encouraging their creative thinking, increasing their chance of learning and remembering the alphabets and animals, and inspiring interesting stories that parents may tell their children as they show them the ABC Zoofufu animals. 

During a group calendar project between SFetsy Team, the San Francisco Zoo and Weave, we created several ABC block creatures based on animals that live inside the San Francisco Zoo and added S for California Sea Lion, O for Northern Saw-whet Owl, F for Chilean Flamingo, and of course, Z for Zookeeper.

What’s Next?

Currently, we're working on an illustrated children's book for the Zoofufu ABC Blocks; hopefully, by the end of this year or the next, we will be able to share the stories of these adorable creatures with you. Per popular requests, Tofufu may add other types of merchandize in the future, such as onesies. Please feel free to contact us with your thoughts, suggestions or ideas.

We'd love to hear from ya!