Six-year-old boy’s picture of smiling sun to become Ikea toy

A six-year-old Ottawa boy is spreading a bit of sunshine after winning an international toy design contest with Ikea.

Leonard Belanger beat out nearly 52,000 entries from across the globe to win Ikea’s soft toy design contest.

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A drawing he made of a sunny “bonhomme” will be transformed into a plush toy and sold in Ikea stores internationally later this year.

“It was quite a surprise in December when we got the call to say it was in the top 20 in Canada and his drawing was going to Sweden,” Leonard’s father, Francois Belanger, told CTV Ottawa.

Leonard found out just last week that his creation is one of 10 designs that will be transformed into plush toys.

“He is quite happy about it,” Leonard said.

Leonard, who does not speak English, explained the design process through his father. “He said that he invented a person, actually a sun, and he did a yellow circle, the hands, the feet, and then he did the orange rays,” Francois said.

The toys are part of the Swedish retailer’s Good Cause Campaign. Between Nov. 20 and Dec. 24, the Ikea Foundation will donate $1 to a children’s charity for each of Leonard’s toys sold.

As part of his prize, Leonard will be one of the first kids to hold his sunny masterpiece. His father says they’ll likely buy a few more to share with family and friends.

This is the second time Ikea has offered children the opportunity to design their own limited-edition toy.

With files from CTV Ottawa



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