When, on the occasion of Charles Eames' 100th birthday last year, Vitra launched an edition of the Plywood Elephant limited to 2000 copies, it caused quite a sensation. The cute creatures, designed in 1945 but never before mass-produced, sold out in a jiffy despite their comparatively high price due to significant manufacturing costs. Most buyers clearly won't use the Plywood Elephant as a toy but want it as a collector's item. That makes good sense for such a handsome piece and in view of its limited edition, but it was rather a shame because Eames had originally designed the elephant for children (the fact that this didn't happen was due mainly to the high costs of production and a lack of marketing opportunities).
In view of this Vitra decided to develop a synthetic version of the Elephant whose price would also make it suitable for children. This change of material not only meets the designers' original intentions but also the motto underlying many of their designs: "The most of the best to the greatest number of people for the least". It should be pointed out in this connection that in 1950 Charles and Ray Eames - the first designers ever to do this - introduced synthetic materials that were as yet unknown to the furniture industry in their development of anatomically-designed seat shells which could be produced comparatively inexpensively.
And just like the Eames' synthetic seats of today, the Plastic Elephant will also be manufactured from polypropylene. Available in five colours (red, ice-grey, white, dark lime and bright pink), it will soon be making many a child's or parent's heart beat just that bit faster - whether used as a toy or as an item for the nursery.
It goes without saying that the Eames Plastic Elephant possesses the GS and CE safety certificates required for toys.