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The platform toy: whatever you want it to be

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It starts with a small astronaut figurine, but it can end up as hilltribe girl, a martial arts legend, a Star Wars character – just about whatever you want it to be. 

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Today's Life section of the Bangkok Post has an interview with Napat Phromphuruk whose company has a very popular product. You can find out what it from the excerpts below. You can read the whole, much longer, story here:

Click button to listen to Platform toy and rightclick to download

The platform toy: whatever you want it to be

It starts with a small astronaut figurine, but it can end up as hilltribe girl, a martial arts legend, a Star Wars character – just about whatever you want it to be.

It is the so-called "platform toy" that designers can turn into totally new and unique creations.

Interestingly, if you Google "platform toy", more than half of the top 10 results involve the CE (pronounced "zee") platform toy project created by Thai company Expertise Partner International (EPI).

CE, which stands for creative enhancement, is becoming the world's fastest-selling platform toy.

The one you are most likely to see is the Buddy CE, an 8.9cm plastic figure which is available for sale in Thailand and internationally. You may also see the 25cm-tall Backpack CE resin figure and the 180cm Big Boy CE fiberglass figure, which is used for show only.

Napat Phromphuruk is the EPI business development director and owner of the brand Mafia Factory, which creates CE. He spent eight years studying platform toys and his team at Mafia Factory made their first platform toy in the shape of a monkey – derived from Monkey magazine, which they were working on at the time.

Napat Phromphuruk and Big Boy

However, the market didn't go for animal-shaped platform toys, and the team decided they had to come up with something totally different.

After a year, the concept had become an astronaut, a figure distinctive enough to be appealing in itself and yet blank enough to be transformed once placed in creative hands.

CE was first introduced to the market in 2010 through platform toy events, in Thailand and internationally, in the form of DIY (Do it yourself) workshops, contests and exhibitions.

Napat believes CE can be a model project that shows how a Thai product can achieve global success.

''Thai creations are not second to others,'' he said. ''It's not just CE, but CE will hopefully encourage more Thai-licensed characters.''
Adapted from a story in today’s Life section by Sasiwimon Boonruang.

This Thai-language TV interview with Khun Napat will give you a good idea of what platform toys are like, even if you don’t know the language.

excerpt – a part of a longer story, speech, song, text, etc. บทคัดย่อ
platform toy – a basic toy form or structure that can be changed and adapted to look like something different
astronaut – a person whose job involves travelling and working in a spacecraft  มนุษย์อวกาศ
figurine – a small statue or model of a person or an animal รูปแกะสลักเล็ก ๆ , รูปประดับเล็ก ๆ
martial arts – any of the fighting sports that include judo and karate ศิลปะการป้องกันตัว (เช่น ยูโด, คาราเต้)
legend – a very famous person, especially in a particular field, who is admired by other people บุคคลที่มีชื่อเสียง
unique – being the only one of its kind  ซึ่งเป็นหนึ่งเดียว
creation – the act of making something new การสร้าง
creative – involving a lot of imagination and new ideas ซึ่งมีความคิดริเริ่ม, ซึ่งมีความคิดสร้างสรรค์
enhancement – a further improvement in the good quality, value or status of somebody/something  การปรับปรุงให้ดีขึ้น, การทำให้ดีขึ้น
resin – a sticky substance produced by some plants and trees, often used for making paints, glue and plastic เรซิน, สารที่มีลักษณะเป็นยางเหนียว
figure – a shape, especially of a person รูปร่าง, รูปทรง
fiberglass – strong light material made from glass fibres and plastic, used for making boats, etc  ฉนวนใยแก้ว,  แผ่นกันความร้อนใยแก้ว
brand – a type of product made by a particular company ตรา, ยี่ห้อ
derive from – to get something from something else ได้มาจาก
concept – an idea of something that exists; an idea for something new ความคิด, กรอบความคิด
distinctive – easy to recognize because it is different from other things พิเศษ, มีลักษณะเฉพาะ
appealing – attractive or interesting ที่ดึงดูดความสนใจ
blank – empty and contains no writing or other marks ว่าง, เปล่า
transform – to change from one form into another  เปลี่ยนไปสู่อีกสิ่งหนึ่ง
exhibition – a public show where art or other interesting things are put so that people can go and look at them นิทรรศการ งานแสดง
achieve – to succeed in doing something very good or difficult บรรลุผลสำเร็จ
global – throughout the world ทั่วโลก
encourage – to cause someone to want to do something กระตุ้น ให้การสนับสนุน
licensed – having an official document that gives someone permission to do or use something มีใบอนุญาต

Related search: CE platform toys, Napat Phromphuruk

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