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In 2016, it is no longer a taboo: the “imaginary friends” of young children are demonstrably working for them as a protective shield. What happens, though, when those friends are no longer figments of their imagination but actual toys?

The idea was materialised by an advertising company (AM BBDO), which brought together three artists and a photographer to normalise children’s passage from the fantasy world into reality. How exactly did that happen? By creating those “imaginary friends” in flesh and bones!

Last September, as part of a creative workshop, 60 children were asked to describe in detail their “imaginary friends”. The most interesting of them became real-size toys thanks to Tsuneo Goda, Becky & Joe and Aardman studio and they were photographed by Rankin next to their young creators! The result? Simply impressive.