How Stuffed Animals Spark a Conversation about Organ Donation

While Japan has a world-class healthcare system, the country struggles with the topic of organ donation. Though it is a worldwide problem, the numbers of Japan are shocking to say the least. With only 2% of those in need of a transplant actually getting one, it is obvious that this is a problem worth tackling.

When creative directors Akira Suzuki and Toga Kida tried to get to the bottom of the problem, they found out that the people of Japan didn’t like talking about the topic very much. Because of associations with death, the barrier was simply too high to overcome. They had to make the topic more approachable.

Stuffed Animals in Need of a Transplant


As a result Second Life Toys was created. Mimicking the circular loop of people in need, compassion and gratitude, this project is the perfect metaphor for real life organ donation.

The idea is quite simple. People can either send toys in need of a transplant or ‘donor’ toys. The, loved but not used, donor toys are able to cure the ‘sick’ toys by giving a leg, ear or tail. This results in adorable creations with a strong message like a whale with dragon wing or an elephant with a squirrel tail.

When the cured toys are back home, the happy owner sends a thank you letter to the ‘family’ of the owner. This system expands the notion of organ donation according to Japanese doctors by changing the tone of the topic thus sparking a necessary conversation.

Mature Content

If the project has any results on the current situation of organ donation remains to be seen but it seems to fit the trend of brands pushing boundaries. Not shying away from mature content captures the attention of people who are bored quite easily nowadays. By also adding the creative metaphor, I personally think Second Life Toys will do great.

No matter the results, I will definitely be sending my stuffed animal (a white tiger). If you want to join the conversation as well, just follow these easy steps.


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