Is it a bird? Is it a fish?

The Swedish designer Oskar Paul Heiwe’s line of wooden aeroplanes are high-calibre toys for 6-7 year-olds.

"I've been fascinated by aeroplanes since my early childhood. In particular I found the camouflage patterns used on WW1 aircraft hugely exciting. They were just so cool. When I was 14 years old, I started working in a hobby shop. Here I got my first lesson in how to construct a model aircraft that could actually fly."

"For my graduation project from Design School Kolding I collaborated with the Swedish company Acne Jr., who makes custom-designed wooden toys. They are based on a Scandinavian tradition that I would like to carry on. When industrialisation came to Britain and Germany in the 19th century, they began manufacturing metal toys. But in the Nordic countries we continued to use wood. The collaboration also taught me the importance of framing one’s project so that it is adapted to the company's production methods. I only use materials that are readily available here in Denmark – magnets and beech wood – nothing that needs to be imported from China."

"During my idea development phase, I visited a school in Billund that develops IQ tests for children. I was keen on challenging the transition to logical understanding that occurs in children's brains at the age of 6-7 years. I realised that the tests included many geometric shapes and patterns that, in many ways, reminded me of the camouflage patterns I was so fond of as a child. And that’s how the idea slowly started emerging. Along the way, a little inspiration from the avian world was added, from the birds’ patterns and colours – so well, the pre-research phase was indeed quite expansive."

"The aeroplanes may, in fact, be birds. Or fish. They are constructed as what is called open-ended toys, consisting of a lot of small wooden blocks that can be attached with magnets. That offers a multitude of possible solutions, just like in Lego. The basic concept is that the builders must create a pattern, restructure it into new combinations and ideally transform what they have in their hands. Colours and shapes consciously provide the opportunity to create some ambiguous results that may well be a combat aircraft, but, because one block has an eye, may just as well be a Cedar Waxwing. I hope the aeroplanes will inspire children to play with and explore the many built-in opportunities."