I rescue stuffed animals before they end up in the landfill and augment them with e-waste and fluffy parts from other stuffed animals. I make them better… stronger… faster… and hopefully happier! Think of the animal version of Frankenstein’s monster crossed with Star Trek’s Borg, but hopefully not bent on human assimilation. I call them Cybernetimals!
Two of my sons and I manned a table at the Waterloo Mini Maker Faire (June 15, 2013) with needles and thread on hand, some e-waste parts and a collection of “stuffies” for budding monster builders to try their hand at making their own creations. We introduced kids of all ages to the concepts of recycling, upcycling, and modding what you own to make it your own.
More than 50 people walked home with a creature of their own making; some cute, some scary, and all awesome. I was amazed at the level of talent and interest. There were even a brother and sister pair aged 3 and 5 that took needle and thread in hand to stitch some parts together.
For the 2016 Maker Expo, we ran a similar event, without the electronics parts. This was also a big hit. That year, we renamed the creatures “Stuffanoms“.