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Tipu’s Toys

About Tipu’s Toys

The Varnam Toy Family

For over two years now, Varnam has been reinterpreting the 200 year old toy craft of Channapatna in the home and lifestyle space. The result has been a series of designs in home décor and the ‘Inbam (joy)’ range of handcrafted jewelry. With its new range, Varnam is now heading back to basics, Channapatna’s speciality, toys. The Varnam toy family however carries forward its quirky style and the attempt remains to present the toys in the current context.

The wood used, wrightia tinctoria, is completely safe and known for its medicinal values. The colours used remain the traditionally used non-toxic and natural colours. The first few designs in this series include a series of push and pull toys that hope to take us back to our childhood. Days of idyllic fun and creating a fantasy fun world around our toy-friends. The Varnam toy family includes Arfee the Girraffe, Miss Moo the Cow and the Oinkstons family (pull-toy). These toys are perfects for kids above 24 months when they start to understand their little world a little better and are keen to create their own world of fun and fantasy.

The toys are price between Rs 500 to 1000 and can be purchased online from www.varnam.co.in

All of Varnam’s products are certified by CRAFTMARK which is the highest seal of approval for an authentic, genuine handmade product that is created the ethical way.

The Founder

Karthik Vaidyanathan, hails from the Chettinad region of South India. Born and brought up in Mumbai he currently resides in Bangalore. An Engineer-MBA by qualification, Karthik has worked for over 15 years in the media industry – music, radio and cable television. This includes companies like Sony Music, Worldspace Satellite Radio & Radio City among others.

Varnam was born in late 2011 during a trip to Mysore enroute Channapatna. The colourful toys of Channapatna left him fascinated and created an urge to know more about the craft. Being in a full-time job, he would travel to Channapatna over weekends and holidays. A few visits later, the first few designs of Varnam saw the light of day. Varnam has, thankfully, not looked back since. Varnam has been providing sustainable livelihoods on a consistent basis to (primarily women) artisan groups and also training them regularly.


  • Winner of two Blue Elephants at Kyoorius-D&AD Design awards 2013 in two categories – packaging & design craft.
  • Winner of CII-NID Design Excellence Award 2013 – ‘Industrial design-home products’ category for the ‘Oinkston tableware’ series.