The Flying Martha Ornithopter is a mechanical toy that when wound, flaps its wings through the air just like a real bird. The simple invention is built entirely from bamboo and Mulberry paper, and released just like a paper airplane. The ornithopter was built by Haptic Lab to honor the very last passenger pigeon, Martha, who died while in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914.
Haptic Lab believes the invention is symbolic of humanity’s role in a rapidly changing world. “Like our other projects at Haptic Lab, the Flying Martha ornithopter aims to connect people to their physical environment, to one another, and to the planet as a whole,” says the design studio. “The Flying Martha celebrates the spirit of invention and discovery essential to humanity’s survival and to the survival of our planet.”
Each ornithopter is built to reflect the true size of the extinct bird, with a wingspan of 16 inches. The handmade nature of the toy bird allows its user to customize its flight, solving problems to discover the invention’s best flight path. By a slight twist of the tail to the left or right, its flight course is altered, giving the owner full control of how the bird flies.
Author, illustrator, photographer, and LEGO aficionado Chris McVeigh (previously) has added new retro technology kits to his cache of minimalist models, sets which include several decade-specific desktop set-ups and a boombox with multiple lego tapes. McVeigh even attempts to make each desk’s contents comply with the decade of its corresponding computer, like the version above which includes floppy disks which can be inserted into the computer, and a stack of computer manuals. You can view more of McVeigh’s lego kits (which also include different foods, bonsai trees, and video games) on his Facebook and Instagram.
As a follow-up to his wildly popular 1,000 Color Puzzle, artist Clemens Habicht scaled-up his deviously complicated jigsaw by a factor of five with the new 5,000 Colors Puzzle. The vibrantly monstrous puzzle is comprised of 5,000 differently colored pieces that form a 6.5 x 2.5 foot CMYK color gamut. For hyper-dedicated puzzlers only. Now available in the Colossal Shop.
Argentina-based toy designer Mat Random has designed a new geometric wood figure as a follow-up to his previous piece The Feline, another posable toy that he has named The Simian. Due to similarly placed joints for the animals’ legs and head, parts can be swapped between the two breeds to create an entirely new hybridized creature. Each low poly work can also be posed on two or four legs by maneuvering the object’s nine components, adding a puzzle-like quality to the wooden toys. You can see more of Random’s designs on his website and Behance.
South American artist Luciano Polverigiani creates ceramic objects that lay at the intersection of fine art sculptures and toys, figures that are designed with both a playful and thoughtfully considered eye. Each work is produced from various clays and mud, and then fired with eucalyptus wood in a gas kiln at the ideal temperature for vitrification. Although much of Polverigiani’s work is about experimentation with enamel and color glazes, the artist limits himself to materials that were readily available to ancient civilizations. You can view more of his ceramic figures on his Behance.
We all know that the world can’t get enough LEGO, but if this handy LEGO tape is any indicator, soon we won’t be able to find enough places to put it. Created by Cape Town-based designers Anine Kirsten and Max Basler, Nimuno Loops are a reusable adhesive tape that turns any surface into a base for LEGO projects. Think: walls, glass windows, ceilings, or irregularly shaped objects can all suddenly become a starting point for building with LEGOs. You can also build around corners, or even slap additional components onto the sides of existing LEGO creations. Nimuno Loops are currently funding on Indiegogo and they’ve raised almost $700,000 as of this writing, handily surpassing their goal by 8,575%. (via Designboom, Creators Project, and basically the rest of the entire internet)