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Hippo Mat™
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The Hippo Mat™ story really begins 2019, at the time as a driving school operating in and around Brighton & Hove as U-DRIVE which had an amazing reputation for quality service, attention-to-detail, and professionalism in the world of driving instructor-ing.
A Brighton-themed Car Play Mat was the result of a nostalgic conversation whilst on a driving lesson. It was concluded that “everyone had one of those play mats” as a child, however the question was asked of “why isn’t there a Brighton version?”. The Brighton version would improve road safety as road signs could be included, improve knowledge of the local area, and simply be the coolest toy EVER, because it’s where we lived! So, the seed was planted.
The first Hippo Mat™ was developed and released – the Brighton Hippo Mat™ (just called the Brighton Car Play Mat at the time) in 2020.
"I've always thought it makes sense for a driving school to provide quality driving products just as good as the tuition. If the same attention-to-detail, professionalism, and care which produced such rave reviews for driving lessons could be applied elsewhere, why couldn't U-DRIVE transition from a driving school company, to a company which creates quality driving-related products? Admittedly, this first item is a little different to your typical driving gadget, but that's why it's perfect."
Marcos Millet
U-DRIVE Owner
The intention of the mat was not only to satisfy the child within us all, but also serve as a real road safety and local area educational tool, with the latter being part of the KS1 Curriculum.
It’s safe to say it was a hit!

🤔

Naturally, the question was asked whether other places in the UK could have their own beautiful rendition of the popular children’s toy, and help spread the joy and benefits to places further than Brighton across the country.
However, “U-DRIVE” felt a bit out of place… A hippo seemed better.
2021 sees 11 more locations each with their own original Hippo Mat™!
Reg and his Hippo Mat™ are committed to sharing the love of loving your local area. As such, worthy organisations are given one free Hippo Mat™. This includes schools, nurseries, pre-schools, hospitals, and more – places which may have limited resources and are doing the best they can with what they’ve got.

Hippo Mat™ is
local educational original retro

Our Values

The Japanese define quality in two ways – atarimae hinshitsu and miryokuteki hinshitsu. The first term atarimae hinshitsu, refers to the expectation that the item works the way it was intended. Miryokuteki hinshitsu means “bewitching” or “enchanting quality” and refers to the desirability or aesthetic appeal of the product. In essence, by focusing on both, you ensure your product works the way a customer wants and is also desirable to have (it has soul). Hippo Mat™ operates in the UK, and sources materials locally when possible, however this Japanese ideology of quality is interesting, we strive to achieve Miryokuteki hinshitsu levels of quality in all products and services with a Hippo Mat™ label on them.

The Japanese define quality in two ways – atarimae hinshitsu and miryokuteki hinshitsu. The first term atarimae hinshitsu, refers to the expectation that the item works the way it was intended. Miryokuteki hinshitsu means “bewitching” or “enchanting quality” and refers to the desirability or aesthetic appeal of the product. In essence, by focusing on both, you ensure your product works the way a customer wants and is also desirable to have (it has soul). Hippo Mat™ operates in the UK, and sources materials locally when possible, however this Japanese ideology of quality is interesting, we strive to achieve Miryokuteki hinshitsu levels of quality in all products and services with a Hippo Mat™ label on them.

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