Second Life Toys, a Japanese project that fixes broken toys with new limbs

Toys donating limbs to other toys to raise awareness about child organ transplants. This is the Japanese project Second Life Toys, and here are their creations. So kawaii (cute)!

Second Life Toys aims to raise awareness on an infrequently mentioned issue, that of child organ transplants – breaking it down (and sewing it back together again). The Japanese organisation came up with a smart, friendly way of explaining the problem in a simple manner using what children love the most: toys. By taking broken toys and fixing them using parts of other unused yet intact ones to recreate a healthy play-pal, Second Life Toys hopes to spread the word on this important issue.

The challenges of (real) organ transplants

Organ transplants aren’t only a technically challenging operation for surgeons, they involve a complicated process of finding volunteers willing to donate part of themselves in order to save someone else. This is especially true in Japan, where out of the 14,000 patients on waiting lists, only 300 a year will receive life-saving donations.

bear second life toys
© Second Life Toys

The issue facing children

An even more delicate subject matter, rarely discussed, is that of child organ transplants. It isn’t always possible to use a fully-grown adult’s organs in a developing body, thus the only other option is finding children (and supporting families) willing to help the afflicted child.

This is even harder than finding adult donors as the parents or guardians of a healthy child might not be willing to let their little one’s organs be taken out from his or her growing body. In addition to this, the healthy child might not even understand what would be asked of them, further complicating an already dire situation.

Second Life Toys

Aside from the problem of finding suitable organs for transplantation, one of the main dilemmas faced by children in need of healthy organs is that of understanding. The good news is Second Life Toys is trying to change this. Anyone can participate in their colourful campaign by donating not organs, but old stuffed toys.

There are two ways of getting involved: either by sending a donor toy or one in need of fixing. A picture of the toy must be supplied to the organisation first in order for them to check its condition. This will then help Second Life Toys find a suitable match and avoid the possibility of the broken toy rejecting the new body part. Once everything has been confirmed the toy can be sent to a designated address in Japan, where it will be fixed or used to fix a fellow plushy, and finally sent back to its original home with a thank you letter from the now cured fun-buddy.

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