Having an imaginary friend is one of the best parts of childhood. Kids’ fictitious companions help them cultivate their imagination and creativity. Yet, it’s always disappointing when you grow up and soon realize that this type of friend isn’t actually real. To help alleviate the transition between fantasy and reality, ad agency AMV BBDO collaborated with artist Tsuneo Goda (who’s behind pop icon Domo Kun), Becky and Joe (creators of the internet hit Don't Hug Me I’m Scared), Aardman studio (who designed Wallace and Gromit), and photographer Rankin to transform kids’ imaginary friends into real-life toys.
Back in September, over 60 children were asked to attend a workshop, during which they described their imaginary friend in detail. The most intriguing characters then came alive as figurines and toys, thanks to all of the talented creatives involved. There’s an 8-foot dinosaur, a girl with three eyes and a pet cloud, and even a monster who loves bananas, all of which were photographed beside their human friends by Rankin.
The final products are as personally unique as they are relateably comforting, prompting us all to wonder: What would our past imaginary friends look like in the human world?
“Swerl the Lion” and Eva Wood
“Chloe the Girl” and Mable Brim
“Nessi the Dinosaur” and Julio Sanz:
“Lilly the Cat” and Ruth Fekade:
“Monster” and Leo Georgiou:
“Jamie the Fox” for Lily Whitby: