April 17, 2007

What Else Could You Build With A Bunch Of Refrigerator Boxes And Mr. McGroovy's Box Rivets?

Mr. McGroovy is dad and an art teacher-turned-entrepreneur, the success of who's main product, Mr. McGroovy's Box Rivets, is almost entirely dependent on getting more parents to make more play-related structures for their kids out of large cardboard boxes.


On his website, he has easy-to-follow plans for building castles, fire engines, princess carriages [...], pirate ships, skyscrapers--you know, the basics.

I wish Mr. McGroovy well with what seems like a truly value-adding endeavor. But how does he reach people--like me, I confess--who don't necessarily want cardboard castles all over their houses and yards, no matter how realistically [sic] painted they are?

Couldn't you deploy those boxes--and Rivets!--to build something more interesting for your kids, something a little offbeat, that looks cool, but that's still fun to play in?


Maybe if they were tagged up a bit with some sweet graffiti, those skyscrapers could work. Or you could recreate your favorite nabe from GTA: San Andreas. Don't have a favorite videogame scene? Get some inspiration from artist Armin Wagner's massive collection of screenshots, Crates In Videogames.

If you were so inclined, you could do up the boxes Elmo-style with fat crayons on a white basecoat.

freitag store zurich via flickr

You could paint some refrigerator boxes up like shipping containers, then turn them into a Freitag store. Or a Lo-Tek concept house. Or get political and build a Gitmo detention center out of shipping containers, like Halliburton did.

This morning, the kid and I made her an ID badge and turned one of her necklaces into a lanyard, so she could be like the folks at mommy's office. Why not turn a bunch of boxes into a cube farm? If you're skeptical, here's the proof-of-concept.

You could have fun and squeeze in a lesson about the fraying social safety net by building a street person house. Add a blue tarp for extra authenticity. Then tell your kid in your sternest voice, "This is not a toy."

You could just do nothing. If you've got eight refrigerator boxes stuck together, what more does a kid need?

Any other ideas? Whatever you can think of, just be sure to help a brother out and buy some rivets.

Mr. McGroovy's Box Rivets [mrmcgroovys.com via boingboing]


speaking of lo-tek... [warning, not daddy related, just freakishly simultaneous postings]

[i know, just saw that. the crazy thing is that shipping container house is like 3-4 years old, but only got picked up on The Blogs last week. -ed.]

Pretty good timing on this one... the chilins'are going to a "Build a McGroovy something or other" birthday party this weekend... ummm can't wait... just imagine the chaos of multiple refrigerator boxes, a box of rivets and a couple of box-cutters. Think I'm bringing some Steri-Strips to the party.

Bucky Dome by Oscar Tuazon (Coming Soon, 2002)

[showoff. -ed.]

Two words: giant papercraft!

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