Strawbees is a small plastic connector that turns drinking straws and cardboard boxes into fantastical creatures and wearable castles, providing endless fun for all ages – from those who are still growing to those who have grown up.

“When I designed the first version it was a lucky shot and all of sudden I was standing there with a small pacifier-looking thingy, and didn’t know what to call it. About half a year later I was showing a preview version at New York Maker Faire and asked people what to call it and this young guy just said ‘Strawbees’ and there it was,” explains the inventor of Strawbees and co-founder of the Gothenburg-based creative network Creatables, Erik Thorstensson.

Basically the unit, or “thingy” as Thorstensson calls it, acts as a pivot point enabling you to connect straws, or other material like cardboard, to one another. This simple system can be used to construct any length of material to create any scale of structure, which is only limited by your imagination.

“It is an incredible experience to see a child 'out invent' you in ways of using the Strawbees. You’re standing there with a perfect mathematical structure, and next to you a child has built a huge colourful flower, bending straws and combining things in a beautiful and uncompromising way, completely different but fantastic,” comments Thorstensson.

Although a toy, Strawbees is also educational as it allows children to explore mathematics, engineering and architecture in a fun way. However, it also has the potential to be used in university engineering studies to explore statics and dynamics or by designers and engineers as a prototyping tool.

Creatables were so excited by the potential of this kit that they launched a Kickstarter campaign, due to end on 20 February, to take it into production. The toy has obviously resonated with backers as it’s achieved over $60,000 of its $20,000 goal.

“For us it has been an amazing ride to see how many people enjoy a project as simple as this and want to support us in getting it out into the world. We are so happy people seem to have understood what we wanted to do with the Strawbees,” says Thorstensson.

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