BEHIND THE SCENES

The incredible, adorable sloth bat

Tap to read how one of Toca Life: Pets’ cutest creatures came to life.

Toca Life: Pets

Meet friends with paws & claws

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Kids have the best ideas. Don’t believe us? Ask Toca Boca.

When the developer was building Toca Life: Pets in October, the team wondered which animals fans would love to see most in this virtual playset. So they posed the question to their Instagram community.

On World Animal Day (October 4), Toca Boca asked its Instagram followers which creatures should come to the Toca Life series. The response was huge.

“We have so many amazing fans, who make requests every day. This time, we wanted to involve them in the creative process,” says Rebecca Tell, senior artist on the Toca Life series. Nearly 1,000 Instagram comments came in, suggesting everything from a dolphin to a flying squirrel.

The team’s plan included imaginary pets as well as real ones. So when they saw Marybeth Patrick’s photo of her 2-year-old son, Izah, cuddling his precious pet rock, it was an instant favourite. “That picture is so cute. It hit us right in the heart,” says Tell.

Marybeth Patrick thought her son’s pet rock was perfect for Toca Life. The makers of Toca Life: Pets agreed.

Ten-year-old Marisa Ortiz’s suggestion of a Sloth Bat won them over too. “It had the right feeling of quirky and cool,” Tell says—and it fitted one of the series’ running jokes perfectly. Sloths and other sloth hybrids have popped up in Toca Life: Hospital, Toca Life: City and other titles.

The Toca Life: Pets team turned Marisa Ortiz’s Sloth Bat illustration (middle) into a cuddly creature.

Both the Pet Rock and the Sloth Bat are now permanent residents of the adorable world of Toca Life: Pets. Like the other 120-odd pets in the app, you tap to interact with them. You’ll see them sleep, eat, wear funny hats and smile when you lay them in the arms of human characters.

You’ll find the Sloth Bat at the pet hotel. To get the Pet Rock, pull the fish skeleton dangling from a tree in the park—he’s one of the hidden animals that pops out.

This was the Toca Life team’s first time requesting character suggestions, but Tell doubts it’ll be the last. “As creators, we got so much energy from this and the kids loved it too.”

    Toca Life: Pets

    Meet friends with paws & claws

    VIEW