Toca Boca

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Toca Boca
IndustryVideo Games
FounderBjörn Jeffery,[1] Emil Ovemar[2]
Area served
160 countries
Key people
Caroline Ingeborn, President and COO Emil Ovemar, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer
digital toys
OwnerSpin Master
Number of employees

Toca Boca is a Canadian-owned Swedish game development studio focused on child-friendly applications for tablets and smartphones. According to the company's website, "We make digital toys and games that help stimulate the imagination."[3] The company is owned by Spin Master (since April 21, 2016) and based in Stockholm, Sweden.[4][5] As of January 1, 2014, there are 29 employees. Its CEO is currently Björn Jeffery.[3]

Originally an art collective, Toca Boca was founded from Bonnier's Research and Development unit.[2][6] The studio began in September 2010, and its first application was released in March 2011.[3] The majority of Toca Boca applications are digital toys.[7] The name Toca Boca translates from Spanish to "touch the mouth." It was chosen because of its simplicity and play on words.[8]


Screenshot of Toca Kitchen

Toca Boca has released 40 digital toys that have been downloaded more than 200 million times around the world, making it the No.1 mobile-first kids brand in the App Store.[9][10] Various applications developed include:

Helicopter Taxi[edit]

Helicopter Taxi, the first application released by Toca Boca, was a digital toy that integrates augmented reality effects.[11] Using a device's camera, the player designates six horizontal surfaces in reality as "The Beach," "The Tall Building," "The Factory," "The Hospital," and "The Hangar." The physical locations do not need to match the landing description, however, and the surfaces for landing do not need to be exact or consistent.[12] The toy's characters consist of two pilots and five passengers, and the objective is to pick up as well as bring the passengers to their destination by moving about with the device to simulate the helicopter flying. This game was later discontinued.

Toca Tea Party[edit]

The second application released by Toca Boca, Toca Tea Party, imitates a tea party in the form of roleplaying. The player is able to design their table by selecting the tablecloth, dishes, music, and drinks.[13] Interactions such as "eating," "drinking," "spilling," and "cleaning up" exist. Party guests may consist of toys and/or people with the touch screen support for multiple users simultaneously.[14][15]

Toca Kitchen[edit]

Toca Kitchen allows the player to interact by choosing how to prepare a food (slice, boil, blend, etc.) in order to feed one of the four characters.[16] Each character has his or her own preferences of ingredient and style, evident through the character's reactions and willingness to eat a product. Food can be obtained infinitely many times and there are few limits to the number of times a food can be processed.[16]

Toca Life Series[edit]

Toca Life is a series of games that involve the player imagining stories for characters in the game. The player can drag the character around the screen with their finger and make him/her eat, sit, etc. In the series there are different locations the character could go to based on the game's theme. (Town, Farm, Office, etc.) There are characters such as Girls, Elders, Boys, Babies and Creatures. The player can add more than one character to a scene. The player can get the characters from a big bar on the bottom of the screen, where there are six sections: Elders, Adults, Boys, Girls, Babies, Creatures, and all characters (sorted by most used). Dressing up the characters was introduced in Toca Life: City.

Toca Life: World[edit]

Toca Life: World might look like a regular game in the Toca Life series, but it is not. The game is free for one, (also like Toca City now) and the game connects all the Toca Life (see above) games. If you don't have any of the games, you start of with Toca Life: City being the only place you will be able to play. Then you would either have to buy the other games from your phone's digital app store and add it to the game, or buy the app from the in-game store. If you have any of the Toca Life games (or perhaps all of them) already downloaded in your phone, then the games will be added to the game as their own "world" in the game, where the player can cross the charactors from their own game to a new one, creating lots of fun in game. A new mountian lodge has been added to the game that you can buy too.

List of Toca Life Games (in order):

  • Toca Life: Town
  • Toca Life: City
  • Toca Life: School
  • Toca Life: Vacation
  • Toca Life: Farm
  • Toca Life: Stable
  • Toca Life: Hospital
  • Toca Life: Office
  • Toca Life: Pets
  • Toca Life: After School
  • Toca Life: Neighborhood
  • Toca Life: World

List of applications developed[edit]

A list of applications released to the market is as follows:[17][18]

  • Toca Kitchen Sushi, December 2018
  • Toca Life: World, November 2018
  • Toca Life: Neighborhood, October 2018
  • Toca Mystery House, June 2018
  • Toca Life: After School, March 2018
  • Toca Life: Pets:, December 2017
  • Toca Life: Office, September 2017
  • Toca Lab: Plants, June 2017
  • Toca Life: Hospital, April 2017
  • Toca Hair Salon 3, December 2016
  • Toca Life: Stables, November 2016
  • Toca Life: Farm, October 2016
  • Toca Life: Vacation, June 2016
  • Toca Dance Free, March 2016
  • Toca Dance, February 2016
  • Toca Blocks, December 2015
  • Toca Life: School, October 2015
  • Toca Life: City, June 2015
  • Toca Kitchen 2, December 2014
  • Toca Nature, November 2014
  • Toca Boo, October 2014
  • Toca Life: Town, May 2014
  • Toca Pet Doctor, February 2014
  • Toca Lab, December 2013
  • Toca Hair Salon Me, November 2013
  • Toca Mini, October 2013
  • Toca Cars, September 2013
  • Toca Builders, June 2013
  • Toca Hair Salon 2, December 2012
  • Toca Tailor Fairy Tales, November 2012
  • Toca Tailor, October 2012
  • Toca Band, September 2012
  • Toca Train, June 2012
  • Toca Kitchen Monsters, March 2012
  • Toca House, February 2012
  • Toca Kitchen, December 2011
  • Toca Hair Salon - Christmas Gift, November 2011
  • Toca Birthday Party, October 2011
  • Toca Store, October 2011
  • Toca Robot Lab, July 2011
  • Toca Hair Salon, June 2011
  • Paint My Wings, May 2011
  • Toca Doctor, April 2011
  • Toca Tea Party, March 2011
  • Helicopter Taxi, March 2011

Digital toys[edit]

The term digital toy is sometimes used to differentiate certain apps from more typical virtual games.[19] While most aspects between the two are the same, Toca Boca distinguishes digital toys as more "open ended" with fewer rules.[7][20] However, neither are thought nor proven to have a more or less harmful or beneficial impact on players. While these "digital toys" are aimed towards children, it does not mean they are just for children.


Toca Boca has won:


  • Webby Award Finalist in the Mobile Sites & Apps category for Toca Nature[21]
  • 2015 BolognaRagazzi Digital Award Mention for Toca Nature[22]
  • iKids Award 2015: Best Learning App - Tablet for Toca Lab[23]


  • Cinekid App of the Year for Toca Pet Doctor[24]
  • The National Parenting Publications Award (NAPPA) for Toca Town (Silver)[25]
  • The Lovie Award Silver Winner in the Mobile & Applications category for Toca Lab[26]
  • Junior Design Awards 2014, Shortlisted for Best Children's App[27]
  • App Store Best iPhone Apps of 2014 for Toca Lab[28]
  • App Store Best iPad Apps of 2014 for Toca Nature[28]


  • The KAPI Award for Most Pioneering Team in Children's Technology[29]
  • Best Innovative Apps & Games for Kids 2013 for Toca Tailor and Toca Hair Salon Me[30]
  • TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) Kids Audience Choice Favourite digiPlaySpace App Award for Toca Kitchen[31]
  • iKids Award 2013: Best Game App - 6 and Up for Toca Tailor[32]
  • Parents Choice Award for Toca Tailor (Gold),[33] Toca Hair Salon 2 (Silver),[34] Toca Band (Gold),[35] Toca Builders (Gold),[36] Toca Train (Silver)[37]


  • The US Moms' Choice Awards (MCA) for Toca Band (gold) and Toca Tailor (gold) in Apps & Software[38]
  • The Lovie Awards for Toca Kitchen (bronze) and Toca Hair Salon (shortlist entertainment)[39]
  • The National Parenting Publications Award (NAPPA) in the Virtual category for Toca Kitchen (gold) and Toca Train (honors)[40]
  • The Parents' Choice Awards for Toca Tea Party (gold), Toca Kitchen (gold), Toca Robot Lab (gold), and Toca Hair Salon (silver).[41] Toca Boca was the only development studio in the mobile category to win three gold awards.


  • The Telenor Digital Prize[42]
  • The National Parenting Publications Award (NAPPA) for Toca Hair Salon (gold) in Children's Media / Virtual Category[43]


  1. ^ "Bonnier: Toca Boca a Hit at the App Store". Bonnier News Press. December 4, 2012. Archived from the original on 31 January 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Toca Boca Crunchbase Profile". Retrieved Jan 2, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Toca Boca Website: About Page". Retrieved Jan 1, 2012.
  4. ^ "Bonnier Website: List of Brands and Companies".
  5. ^ Corp., Spin Master. "Spin Master announces the purchase of Toca Boca and Sago Mini, leading global kids mobile digital app brands". Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  6. ^ Perez, Sarah (Dec 14, 2012). "Kids App Maker Toca Boca Pass 22 Million Downloads..." Tech Crunch. Retrieved Jan 2, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Toca Boca Support FAQ: "What's the Difference Between a Digital Toy and a Game?"". Toca Boca Studio Official Website. Retrieved Jan 1, 2013.
  8. ^ Ostroff, Joshua (September 28, 2012). "The Triumph of Toca Boca". Retrieved Jan 2, 2013.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Toca Boca Website: Helicopter-Taxi (Game)". Toca Boca Studio. Retrieved Jan 1, 2013.
  12. ^ Sterling, Bruce. "Wired- Beyond The Beyond: "Augmented Reality: Toca Boca Helicopter Taxi"". Retrieved Jan 1, 2013.
  13. ^ "Toca Boca Website: Toca Tea Party". Toca Boca Studio. Retrieved Jan 1, 2013.
  14. ^ JEFFERY, BJÖRN. "Toca Boca Blog: "Introducing Toca Tea Party"". Toca Boca Studio. Retrieved Jan 1, 2013.
  15. ^ Lindgren, Chris. "Toca Boca: For Parents Toca Tea Party ("Letter From the Play Designer")". Toca Boca Studio. Retrieved Jan 2, 2012.
  16. ^ a b "Toca Boca: Toca Kitchen". Toca Boca Studio. Retrieved Jan 1, 2013.
  17. ^ "Toca Boca Official Blog". Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  18. ^ "Apple iTunes Store: Toca Boca". Apple Inc. Retrieved Jan 2, 2013.
  19. ^ Fletcher-Watson, Ben (2013). "From stage to screen: adapting a children's theatre production into a digital toy", The Scottish Journal of Performance 1(2), p.42.
  20. ^ Johnson, Bobbie (Feb 2, 2012). "Toca Boca Heads for America". Retrieved Jan 2, 2013.
  21. ^ "Webby Awards". WebbyAwards.
  22. ^ "Children's Tech". Children's Tech Review.
  23. ^ "iKids Award". Kidscreen.
  24. ^ "Cinekid". Cinekid.
  25. ^ "NAPPA". NAPPA Awards.
  26. ^ "The Lovie Awards". Lovie Awards.
  27. ^ "Junior Design Awards". Junior Magazine.
  28. ^ a b Spencer, Graham. "Macstories". Mac Stories. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  29. ^ "Children's Tech". Children's Technology Review. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  30. ^ "Bestekinderapps". Best Kinder Apps. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  31. ^ "Toronto 4 Kids". Toronto 4 Kids. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  32. ^ "Kidscreen". Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  33. ^ "Parents Choice". Parents' Choice. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  34. ^ "Parents Choice". Parents' Choice. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  35. ^ "Parents Choice". Parents' Choice. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  36. ^ "Parents Choice". Parents' Choice. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  37. ^ "Parents Choice". Parents' Choice. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  38. ^ "Moms' Choice Awards Website". Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  39. ^ "Toca Boca Website: Press: Awards Page". Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  40. ^ "NAPPA Website". Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  41. ^ "Parents' Choice Award: Toca Boca Page". Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  42. ^ "Telenor Awards Press Release". Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  43. ^ "Business Wire: Toca Hair Salon Named 2011..." Retrieved Oct 25, 2011.

External links[edit]