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Hippo Mat™

Hippo Mat™ was founded in 2021, however our story really begins in 2019, at the time as a driving school operating in and around Brighton & Hove called U-DRIVE.

During a random nostalgic conversation whilst on a driving lesson, it was concluded that “everyone had one of those  car play mats” as a child. We nodded in firm agreement and continued to drive, with mirror checks and everything.

Once the roads were clear, one of us said “why isn’t there a Brighton version?”. It was concluded that 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!

"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

… and out of it grew the
Brighton Hippo Mat™ (just called the Brighton Car Play Mat at the time). 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!

The only problem was that “U-DRIVE” felt a bit out of place… We needed a hero, somebody to personify what this cool item was all about. That’s where Reg came in to save the day.

Reg’s main goal is to help share the love of loving your local area whilst celebrating originality, creativity, and fun.

How does one share the love of loving your local area? One answer to this is Reg’s Pledge: where organisations who need it most can receive a 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.

Today, Hippo continues to grow. We’ve vowed to maintain up-to-date design and improve them further over time, and as long as people are still requesting a Hippo Mat themed to where THEY live, we’ll keep making ’em!

Coming Soon

Reg the Hippo was born to help get the children (and parents!) across the country engaged with their new toy and loving their local area in a fun and engaging way. As our play mat hippo-verse grows, so does the temptation to want to bring it to life in other ways…

Above: a concept logo for an animation series. Please get in touch if you want to get involved!

Hippo Mat™ is
local educational original wholesome retro creative authentic inclusive

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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