Traditional Colombian Ring Toss Game

Personal Project   /   Project developed with Mauricio Issa

Latin America is full of traditional games with a vast and unexplored cultural richness that has had little or none design intervention. Some say that there is no way to industrially produce or propose artisan ideas. The project intended to explore a new design approach for the most renowned Ring toss game in Colombia, South America. This game is also played in some European countries such as Spain and France.

Commonly played in rural areas as a way for entertainment, there are no rules other than toss the rings and get the maximum points possible. The current setup needed to play is huge and aesthetically doesn’t derive from any culture. As designers, we saw in this a big opportunity for improvement/redesign and a better user driven re-interpretation of this traditional game.


The design was based on the legend behind the traditional game which says…: "A legend tells that toads were worshiped for their magical powers. During holidays natives gathered to throw gold artifacts into the lakes, with the hope that a toad would jump and eat it and turned into gold. Legend says that when this happened, the thrower was conceived a wish"


La Rana (Sapo) is a precision and accuracy game played with metallic rings. The traditional game is practiced in different countries around the world, including France, Spain and some areas in Latin America. This project is based on the reinterpretation of this traditional game, generating symbols that reflect (manifest) a sense of identity and memory.

The essence of the “Toad Game” is kept in most of the areas in countries such Perú, Spain and Colombia. The use of materials such as wood and metal is a common element, as well as the rules.

First round of sketches

First round of sketches

First round of digital sketches. Idea of cork monolith with metal structure

The main challenge was to take the essence of the traditional Colombian ring toss game and extract its essential elements to implement them in the proposed design. We started with the actual game and began to ask ourselves what was really needed to play and how we could be take advantage of its historic richness and the story behind the game.

Digital Sketches.  Color options

Digital Sketches. Color options

The Research and Concept Development phase took about 1.5 months. In these stages, the existing game was analyzed and broken down into is main elements and interactions. After several brainstorming and sketching sessions, we managed to get the right aesthetics, and also perfected the manufacturing processes to encourage efficiency.

Search for simplification

Second Round of Digital Sketches. Simplifying forms and Designing for Manufacture.

Pull Angle

Pull Angle

The project features a constant search for simplification. We wanted to maintain the essence of the game, but at the same time the use the minimum parts as possible. We also wanted it to be easy to manufacture. Initially the design was made with different materials, expensive and complex processes like CNC. At the end...a simpler object made in the lathe.

The punctuation system resulted from the constant search of simplification. We wanted simple points, same as those used on dice. Commonly the score in the traditional game start from 10 and ends in the thousands. The goal is that even a child can play and enjoy “Rana”.

Pictures taken during the opening show at WantedDesign Pavillion in May 2015 in New York City

Numerous different ideas and mock-ups were explored to create the simplest and most efficient design. We made flowcharts and resolved the processes that were going to be involved in each part. This design has been reduced to 8 processes, from the cork for the body, the silicone molds for the legs and the machining and chrome plating of the frogs.