Thinking Inside The Box

For Maria and Joe Artho of NZ IN A BOX®, creating memory card games of New Zealand was an easy decision. Both have travelled to far corners of the world, but to them, Aotearoa – New Zealand will be their forever home. In fact, they say it's hard to get them to travel anywhere nowadays! Home and office are situated in the Matakana hills, in a unique bush clad setting, they affectionately call '#paradise', the perfect inspiration for creating beautiful photographic series of card games.

They are passionate about New Zealand and showcasing the diverse places and unique wildlife. NZ IN A BOX® was designed to be an easy-to-carry, light to post souvenir for tourism retail both nationally and internationally. A souvenir to remember a New Zealand holiday, or spread the love to others overseas. An age-old game, now with Kiwi themed imagery - you put the cards face down, take turns flipping them over and try to remember where the cards are for matching pairs. Encouraging family engagement through gameplay was a particular motivator in the game development. Their slogan... ‘A game for all to play’ was coined by a friend, means anyone from five years to 100+ can play this game of memory cards.

Following the success of the first edition games NZ IN A BOX® and ZOO IN A BOX® they have recently embarked on a redesign and rebrand. The first of the newly designed games NZ IN A BOX Te reo Māori will be launched around August 2019. Te reo Māori is undergoing a resurgence with record numbers of people learning the language. They plan to introduce the new game as a fun educational aid in schools and other institutions, as well as souvenir outlets. Bringing basic pronunciation tips plus Te Reo Māori for key concepts, greetings, colours and numbers. Research and development is Maria's department under the guidance of Kotihi Reo Consultants in Rotorua, who have provided valuable editing and advice. 

The new series of games will each be labelled with the NZ IN A BOX® brand and simply called ‘Te Reo Māori’, ‘The Original’ and ‘Animals’. Maria has been working closely with a well-established game manufacturer towards achieving their ultimate goal of having the games made in Auckland. 

Maria and Joe have other sidelines to their business; Maria has written and published her first children's picture book ‘Jin's Great Escape – the true story of Auckland Zoo's famous runaway otter’. The picture book is based on the actual facts of Jin's escape as she was spotted in the suburbs, on beaches, and islands in the Hauraki Gulf. The mischievous little otter made world news and captured the hearts of a nation. Maria has another book in the pipeline – when she finds time to knuckle down and burn the midnight oil once again! 

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