LEGO Botanical Collection adds these beautiful immortal Succulents to its catalog!

You know how they say succulents are some of the most resilient plants. Even if you don’t water your succulent for a month, chances are it’ll hold up just fine. LEGO’s succulents, on the other hand, don’t need a single drop of water. Assemble them, arrange them, and admire them – that’s all you need to do!

Designed as an expansion of LEGO’s Botanical Collection, these succulents look adorably lifelike and are made to scale. With a collection spanning 9 succulents that assemble using 771 bricks, this LEGO set lets you control exactly how your final design looks. Arrange the leaves and petals to face whichever way you want, group all 9 succulents together, or have them as separate plants around your house, the choice is really yours!

Designer: LEGO

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LEGO’s Succulent series has to be one of their most adorable builds ever. The 9 plants include an Aloe Vera, a Burro’s tail, a Hawthoria, a red Bromeliad, a Moon Cactus, a beautiful purple Echeveria, and a few others. Each plant comes with its own base which can either be displayed independently, or plugged together to create a succulent bouquet.

These succulents are pretty easy to build. Made with standard LEGO parts that assemble together rather easily, ‘growing’ your own succulent couldn’t be easier! You don’t need a green thumb for this… and most importantly, these cactii don’t come with thorns!!

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Tower Blocks bring a more eco-friendly version of Jenga

One of our favorite games to play during casual dinner parties is Jenga or tower blocks if you want to be generic. It doesn’t take a lot of thinking or physical prowess, although strategy is also important. What if you could have a version of this game that is more eco-friendly and can help reduce plastic waste? Of course, that would be better if you’re conscious of the carbon footprint that you leave behind with your purchases.

Designer: Intops

Korean global manufacturer Intops wanted to lessen its global footprint even as they make products using various materials that, unfortunately, include plastic. So they came up with a “revive project” that will use all of these discarded materials and turn them into something useful. They used materials from discarded, defective items that they manufactured as well as creating composite materials from their production plant, specifically discarded plastic, wood, and leather.

The first creation that they’re currently crowd-funding is a version of Jenga but made from eco-friendly materials simply called Tower Blocks. The composite materials are made up of 540g of discarded plastic and 143g of discarded wood. Compared to making the original game with its regular material, these blocks can reduce CO2 consumption by 81%. They say that a set of these blocks can be compared to recycling 44 disposable coffee cups or 135 disposable spoons.

 

In terms of its design, these Tower Blocks have a leaf pattern for aesthetic purposes embedded on the blocks instead of just the smooth surface on most blocks like these. And instead of just the wooden color that we’re familiar with, the set has off-white (sand), pink (flower), and green (leaf), making it more colorful and pleasant to the eyes. The words “recycled plastic and wood waste” are also etched in each block, lest you forget what it is made from. Even the packaging uses eco-friendly paper made from 100% sugar cane residue with soybean oil link.

The pandemic has reportedly worsened the plastic consumption globally so having projects like these that try to reduce or at least recycle these materials are always welcome. They have already more than met their original funding goal so expect this to become available in the market soon, at least in South Korea.

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This hidden train side table is a design and engineering masterpiece

We’ve seen a few desks and tables with hidden features, but this DIY project takes the cake when it comes to revealing something that you least expect from a side table.

Side tables may have started out as simple, functional pieces of furniture, but they quickly turned into decorative assets in any room. Of course, these smaller tables went through their own minimalism phase before they started to become more multi-functional and expressive. Some side tables still retain their clean forms, using ingenious tricks to hide additional functions until they’re needed. To be fair, this table doesn’t exactly offer any additional useful functionality, but no one will be able to deny how amazing it is to see it transform from useful furniture to intricate movie reference. It’s even more amazing when you find out just how much work was needed to make this seemingly magical dual-purpose table to life.

Designer: Peter Waldraff

We’ve seen our fair share of DIY projects utilizing wood, electronics, or artistic skills, but very few actually required intensive applications of all those. In some cases, much of the work is done by a 3D printer, sometimes even outsourced to a 3D printing service, and some of the woodwork involved in other projects were pretty minimal. In contrast, you can’t help but be awestruck by this particular maker’s persistence and skill in shoving a miniature movie set into a deceptively simple wooden table.

The creator, for example, had to cut no less than 16 wooden rings that were glued together to create the hidden compartment for the model train set. A system of hidden pulleys had to be designed to raise and lower the platform, transforming the table into a moving diorama. Pieces of foam had to be cut, assembled, and painted to create the mountain centerpiece that would serve as the backdrop of the set. That’s also not mentioning yet the tricky wiring and electronics involved, especially to make the moving train trigger railroad bells as if by magic.

The mini train set tries to recreate an iconic scene from the film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” and it ingeniously uses the underside of the table’s elevated wooden top to play the role of a UFO. LED lights not only give it an otherworldly appearance, it also illuminates the train to make it look more visible. The effect is best observed at night, of course, but the mini train table is mesmerizing any time of the day.

This project won’t win any sustainability awards due to its use of foam and some chemicals, but it would have admittedly been harder to pull off without those. This isn’t the first time this engineer slash electrician slash woodworker has dabbled in hiding model railroads inside tables, but this might be the most enchanting one yet. Watching a seemingly innocuous wooden round table split apart and reveal a mini-train system and alien spacecraft makes for an experience that is truly out of this world.

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This ASMR fidget toy will delight your senses to give you a bit of peace

Volcanoes are one of the most unstoppable forces on the Earth, but they can also give birth to something that demonstrates the calming power of nature.

ASMR, the less daunting term for “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response,” has become such a fad that it has been taken to ridiculous levels by people on social media, particularly YouTube. That’s not to say that the science behind it is as weird as the things people do, and there are definitely psychological benefits to the proper use of this physiological phenomenon. You don’t need to listen to or watch those videos, of course. All you need is the right object to induce a peaceful ASMR experience, like this rather unconventional ball that is born from one of the least peaceful manifestations of nature’s power.

Designer: ZENLET

Click Here to Buy Now: $89.10 $99 (10% off).

Volcanic eruptions are devastating, perhaps more than any other natural disaster. Its effects can even spread around the globe as a blanket of dark clouds and ash. But just like almost everything in nature, volcanoes can produce something beautiful as well in the form of volcanic rocks, sometimes called lava stones. It’s from this unique material that a new kind of fidget toy and meditation device is formed, embodying both sides of nature.

Comes in Moon Black or Mars Red.

Each ball is unique that it is one of nature’s masterpieces.

The Lava Ball is really only half made of volcanic rock, but it is the most prominent and the most important part of the sphere. The way volcanic rock is naturally formed results in random pores and holes that make each rock unique. Once polished and cleaned to remove dirt and bacteria, you have half a sphere that’s just as unique as you are. There will be nothing like it in terms of appearance.

Listening|Embrace the rhythm of the Earth and relieve your stress.

Together with the matte aluminum alloy that forms the bottom half of the ball, this beautiful blend of earth and metal, natural and artificial, creates an almost complete ASMR experience. Run your thumb or finger over the rough surface of the lava rock to activate your sense of touch. Put a drop or two of your favorite essential oil and smell the familiar scent absorbed by the pores of the stone. Tip the ball on a flat surface and listen to it rock back and forth like a metronome. Spin the ball on its magnetic base and lose minutes gazing at the sphere.

Gazing|Focus on the present state to get to the next level of meditation. Awaiting the moments of inspiration to come.

Smelling|Perceive and immerse yourself with the familiar scent to wake up the pleasant memory.

Touching|Experience the unique rock texture to ease the anxiety.

Thanks to the magnet holder, it will always stay on the desktop and come in handy just to inspire you.

Drop one of your favorite essential oil scents and gently turn the ball to spread scents to the air for immediate diffusion.

If you ever needed something to take your mind briefly off things, simply pick up the ball and run your finger over it like a fidget toy. If you really want to relax, drop those scents again and give the ball a twirl to spread the calming aroma farther. Whichever way you use it, each part of this simple yet beautiful ball is designed to lead your mind towards a more relaxed and meditative state without feeling awkward or silly for listening to ASMR clips.

The volcanic and metal halves of the ball are joined together by magnets, making it trivial to mix and match different colors, not to mention making it easier to repair and replace broken parts. The magnetic holder employs nano-suction technology to make it stick to flat non-porous surfaces without using adhesives. A stylish ornament that is probably a better fit on your desk, this palm-sized ball is a reminder that, just like volcanoes, there is always something beautiful that can come out of the most troubling circumstances.

Click Here to Buy Now: $89.10 $99 (10% off).

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Buff Baby Punching Bag and Dumbbell Rattle: For Tiny TKOs

Designed and manufactured by Fred, the BUFF BABY line of products appear to be exercise equipment designed for newborns. Of course, they only look like that, with the Speed Punching Bag (affiliate link) actually being a crinkle-filled cradle toy, and the dumbbell a toy rattle. Great, I wish I’d read that before buying them, now how am I supposed to train my baby for the ultra-featherweight title?

The Speed Punching Bag clips to the handle of a baby carrier so your child can attempt to punch it, building their much-needed hand-eye coordination. Of course, the way the loop connects so loosely, it looks like it’s going to spend most of its time fallen to the side of the handle while your baby screams because their punching bag just disappeared.

Even if the BUFF BABY line isn’t actual exercise equipment, it doesn’t mean they won’t help your child pursue bodybuilding or boxing by planting the seed in their impressionable little minds. Take me for instance: my parents showered me with all sorts of outer space toys when I was a kid, and I grew up to be an astronaut. And by astronaut, I mean huge Star Trek fan. Close enough.

[via DudeIWantThat]

Plezmo is an Award-winning Modular IoT toy that introduces kids to the fundamentals of coding

Ask a kid to attend a coding class and they’ll make faces, teach them how to build an Iron Man hand repulsor and they’ll probably take a better liking to the subject.

The latter is precisely what Plezmo was designed to do. A modular ecosystem of servo motors, sensors, and other interconnected tech, Plezmo lets you plug blocks together to make complex toys that rely on blocks of code, but in a simple way that kids can learn from. A recipient of the 2022 iF Design Award, Plezmo gamifies learning by providing a visually simple way to understand how blocks of code work. The Plezmo modules are, to that very end, block-shaped, and encourage kids to experiment simply by plugging blocks together to create devices that achieve different objectives.

Designer: Elephant for Plezmo

Plezmo’s ecosystem is equipped with blocks that fulfill most input and output requirements. The blocks have different input sensors for sound, color, motion, and distance, while output blocks include motors, speakers, lights, and displays. Pair them together and you can make pretty much any sort of I/O device (Plezmo’s YouTube channel is filled with examples and tutorials). Moreover, while the blocks present a simple plug-and-play approach to block coding, as kids get more and more adept and advanced at using the Plezmo blocks, a coding software allows them to unlock Plezmo’s true potential, by actually writing lines of code within Plezmo’s own app to build more advanced gadgets and experiences.

To transcend the appearance of a block-ish product, Plezmo comes with ‘Story Kits’ that also include cardboard cutouts, comparable to Nintendo’s Labo kits. However, children aren’t limited to just the story kit’s cardboard bodies. Each Plezmo ships with accessories that allow you to attach LEGO bricks and elements to expand on the IoT toy’s capabilities. For more seasoned youngsters, the Plezmo app lets you dive deep into the toy’s workings, understanding how the device works in the first place and in turn, getting an early grasp on visual coding.

Plezmo is a winner of the iF Design Award for the year 2022.

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LEGO launches its botanical collection to merge building blocks with gardening

LEGO’s Botanical Collection marks the toy company’s latest effort in merging the joyful pastime of building blocks with the meditative work of gardening.

Two of the more popular pastimes to have gained traction during the pandemic have been gardening and building with LEGOs. It seems everyone is filling their homes with flower bouquets and greenery. While there’s no replacement for growing our own gardens, LEGO recently launched a collection of blocks that allow people to build their own bouquets and greenery with LEGO blocks. Dubbed the Botanical Collection, users will be able to replicate flowers like Birds of Paradise and orchids with corresponding LEGO blocks.

Designer: LEGO

Designed to provide users with a means for rest and relaxation, the Botanical Collection is like a sort of three-dimensional puzzle that merges the childhood joy of LEGO building blocks with the patient game of jigsaw puzzles. While children and adults enjoy collecting LEGO blocks and building microscopic cityscapes from that collection, the Botanical Collection marks a clear effort from the toy block’s company to ‘adultify’ their collection of LEGOs.

The Bird of Paradise collection features over 1,000 building blocks so users can take their time constructing artful three-dimensional replicas of bouquets and plant life. In addition to the Bird of Paradise option, the Botanical Collection includes pieces to build orchids, succulents, full bouquets, bonsai trees, and whatever else your imagination concocts.

On rainy days, when gardening isn’t an option, LEGO’s new Botanical Collection offers a moment of indoor respite for those of us with green-thumbed tendencies. Of the succulent collection, the designers at LEGO encourage adults to, “Discover the deeper virtues of our resilient friends. Venture into the plant kingdom and let your green fingers do what they do best, with this creative and relaxing build.”

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This STEM toy cipher takes inspiration from one of the world’s oldest cryptography devices

I’ll admit, that we as a species do take encryption for granted. In the digital age, every aspect of our online activity is expected to be encrypted, so much so that we don’t quite understand how it even works. Whether it’s sending an emoji from one phone to another, or making a purchase on the blockchain – encryption protects us, our data, and our belongings… and even though it’s become incredibly nuanced and complicated in today’s day and age, its basic principle remains the same – hiding information so that only specific people can see it.

The earliest instances of encryption date back millennia, to the times of Caesar, who would often send coded messages that required a key to be decrypted. The technique further evolved into actual physical products like the Crpytex or the Jefferson Disc – a cylindrical cipher machine invented by none other than Thomas Jefferson in 1795. The GeheimMachine Cipher Toy bases itself on that device, with a DIY laser-cut design that actually allows you to build the cipher toy from scratch, thereby understanding the fundamentals of encryption!

Designer: GeheimMachine

Designed to be simple, both to build and to understand, the GeheimMachine Cipher Toy comes with 5 discs with two columns of characters each. Jefferson’s original cipher had as many as 36 discs, to make it even harder to crack. The GeheimMachine Cypher Toy, on the other hand, uses just 5 discs that you put together yourself, allowing you to understand how the device physically works. The entire cipher toy is made from wood and ships with instructions that are about as easy to put together as a LEGO build. Once you’re ready, you can send encrypted messages by setting codes that people have to figure out. Once the code is cracked, the letters on the GeheimMachine read out the encrypted message!

Although it’s a purely analog device, the GeheimMachine is a brilliant STEM toy that helps kids understand the basic tenets of encryption, decryption, and coded messages. Perfect as a toy (for both kids or adults), the GeheimMachine is a great way to brush up your critical thinking skills, and also makes for a uniquely fun messaging tool, whether you’re sharing passwords with your friends, or even as a part of an escape room!

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Someone used LEGO bricks to build out this stunning functional animation playing device

In yet another demonstration of the sheer power of LEGO bricks, a LEGO Masterbuilder by the name of ‘kongjirra’ has created a rudimentary animation device that actually plays a looped image sequence over and over again. Kongjirra’s submission to the LEGO Ideas forum has over 2000 votes from the community and is on its way to becoming a real buyable LEGO unit!

All motion pictures are nothing but your mind’s ability to string together multiple still photos to form a moving image. Dubbed the ‘persistence of vision’, it’s how objects in GIFs, flipbooks, and movies look like they’re actually moving. While that concept isn’t new to animation and cartoons itself (the idea’s literally existed for centuries), it’s perhaps for the first time been put to the test using just LEGO bricks. Designed and built by kongjirra, this LEGO build, called ‘The Motograph’ features a slotted screen that sits in front of an otherwise garbled-looking image. However, move the screen from right to left and the image suddenly makes sense, but more interestingly, it looks like it’s moving!

Designer: kongjirra

The phenomenon kongjirra’s creation relies on is referred to as ‘scanimation’. The slotted screen basically ‘decodes’ the garbled image by blocking out what isn’t necessary. You now see just a relevant portion of the image, and your mind pieces it all together. Move the screen sideways and your mind fills in the blanks, creating a stunning optical illusion!

The one thing a good scanimation relies on is precision – something that comes naturally to LEGO bricks. With scanimations, the vertical slots on the moving screen need to align perfectly with the image behind it, or things don’t look right. Thanks to the standardized shapes and dimensions of LEGO bricks, this becomes pretty easy for kongjirra’s Motograph.

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IMPATIA Derby Canvas brings foosball gaming to new heights

Derby Foosball Luxury Game Design

If you love football but don’t have the physical ability and endurance to play, you can just opt for a foosball table. Okay, so it’s not real football but imagine the thrill of scoring a field goal.

A foosball table gives a different kind of excitement. It also helps improve your hand-eye coordination. It’s the perfect way to keep our joints from being static. If you’re the type who plays casual foosball whenever you’re bored or have guests over, you may want to look into the Derby collection from IMPATIA.

Designer: Gregg Brodarick and Lucia Guazzi

IMPATIA Derby Foosball Design

IMPATIA is an Italian brand that comes up with luxury versions of gaming tables such as billiards, table tennis, poker, and table football. It has released the Derby collection, which showcases luxury foosball gaming. Of course, there is no such thing, but this foosball table is all about luxury–starting with the glass top. The Derby Canvas by Impatia is a modern version of the game table, showing the world that Italian craftsmanship remains elegant and imposing. It can fit a contemporary home interior while offering a fun gaming experience.

Release Derby Foosball Luxury Game

The Derby Canvas is a modern foosball table made with premium material and top-notch craftsmanship. The term canvas tells us this is something you can personalize with different finishes and colors a bit different from the Derby Wood version. It features a lacquered wood structure, low-iron glass playing field, anodized aluminum players, chrome finished metal rods, solid lacquered wood handles, and leather goal.

IMPATIA Derby Foosball Canvas

Derby Foosball Luxury Game Table

The materials are customizable but the basic features remain, like the crystalline glass and the solid lacquered wood structure. You can select the color depending on how you want it to match your interior. The contemporary foosball also has exciting design touches like metal details and geometric handles. The complete package elevates the foosball to a different level–showing the world that Italian craftsmanship still exists.

Derby Foosball Table

Derby Foosball Luxury Game Canvas

Derby Foosball Luxury Game Table Design

The Derby Wood version also boasts premium materials, including crystalline glass and refined solid wood. The structure is the same as the Derby Canvas, and the only difference is the wood. On the base, we can also see the refined chrome finished metal detailing that adds to the simple elegance of the game table.

The Derby foosball table is made by Italian artisans. Tabletop games are usually ignored in the design world but not by IMPATIA. The company has focused on this category, and we can expect related products will be introduced. Each Derby Canvas is made to order, so expect a uniquely yours table.

IMPATIA Derby Canvas Modern Foosball

Derby Foosball Luxury Game

Derby Foosball Luxury Game Images

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