Flype is a mere a piece of Styrofoam that spins its way through the air at the tip of your fingers. Launched in 2013, this extra-light, silent and battery-free contraption is a brand new outdoor game concept bound to become the next hit in our schools’ recess yards.
Aeronautics engineer Xavier Sénémaud designed and developed his product on his own. The toy’s innovative edge immediately earned it recognition; its creator was awarded the silver medal at the prestigious Concours Lépine, which for more than a century has rewarded groundbreaking inventions, such as the vacuum cleaner, the ball-point pen and contact lenses. It also won an award at the 2013 Kidexpo game fair and was certified to meet “family-friendly” standards.
The device targets both teenagers, who can pick from a hundred different styles available online to customize their Flype and compete in a video contest rewarding the best Flype moves, and adults, who can, for instance, use the butterfly-shaped gadget as a marketing prop. Besides, Flype is manufactured in France and its production required specific high-tech machinery: the butterfly’s protective shell can regenerate the foam as it wears out. Less than a year after its creation, Flype went global, starting with Germany, where the prestigious daily newspaper Die Welt coined a new verb: “Ca flype!”