Caleb Quinones and Reagan Tayler started their company Sherwood Play because they were weary of seeing all the children around them constantly glued to their phones, and having very few options except toys made out of plastic, mostly ones that made terrible digital sounds! They wanted to find a way to recapture that sense of wonder and adventure that they had felt when they were kids, leading pretend armies, running through the jungles of their imagination.
Reagan and Caleb clearly grew up to be creative and inspired individuals because Sherwood Play isn’t just hand carved wooden toys that inspire open-ended play and imaginative world building, they come with a unique and ever expanding lore of their own; The Saga of The Realm of Light, a land divided into four kingdoms each defined by a relic that is imbued with the power to transform the world.
In 2022 I was commissioned to create illustrations for the Saga Cards that were to be bundled with the wooden toys. It was a pretty tight deadline and I was grateful for the very detailed brief I was provided with. It was clear that a lot of thought had gone into each card and that the entire project was a genuine labour of love.
It’s refreshing and exciting to be part of a project like this! It was a journey of discovery for me to be aquainted with the lands, their inhabitants and the adventures they experienced. Reagan who is the lead designer was an excellent art director and I enjoyed the whole process very much.
The first five sets, mainly centered around the Blue Kingdom, were made available for pre-order on the 17 January 2023 from the Sherwood website. These hand carved toys are made from responsibly sourced acacia and mango wood with paints and lacquers that are child safe and CSPC-certified. To learn more about the saga of The Realm of Light visit Finn’s Den – here.