AREAWARE: Fun Creations for All Ages

Cubebot reviews a pair of wooden objects from David Weeks Studio and AREAWARE.

We are big fans of most anything from AREAWARE, which is best known for manufacturing some of the most unique items around. Their full line of products is both playful and thoughtful, with considerable appeal to all ages. Today, we are going to look at the new multi-colored “Cubebot,” as well as “Hanno Jr., the Wooden Gorilla.”

Cubebot 2Although the “Cubebot” itself is not really a new offering from AREAWARE, the multi-color version was recently introduced and is a great addition to the line of available “Cubebots.” Designer David Weeks was influenced to create the “Cubebot” from Shinto Kumi-ki puzzles that originated in Japan. In English, Kumiki means to “join wood together, and Shinto is the indigenous religion of the Japanese people. The result is a wooden puzzle in the shape of a cube (with 2.5 inch sides). If we counted correctly, there are actually 15 wooden parts, each attached to another using carefully hidden, but amazingly strong, elastic bands.

After unfolding the wooden cube parts, a robot suddenly stands before you measuring approximately 6.75 inches tall and having an arm span of 9.25 inches.  The multi-color version features 7 different colors and can be returned to cube shape by refolding the limbs back into place. This is one of those items that is great to touch, to twist, to turn and show to your friends. It even takes a bit of practice to get the “Cubebot” back in its original shape, so there is a bit of a challenge included as well.

Hanno Jr 1“Hanno Jr., the Wooden Gorilla” was also designed by David Weeks. The name “Hanno” comes from the Greek voyager who discovered gorillas 2500 years ago. In this case, the wooden animal arrives ready to maneuver, and stands 8.5 inches high measuring approximately 4.5 inches across the shoulders. It is beautifully constructed and assembled using the same elastic bands as the “Cubebot.” “Hanno Jr.” is extremely flexible and its 11 moving parts can be shaped into an uncountable number of typical gorilla positions. The face, hands and feet have been carefully designed to resemble a real gorilla, and we can also attest to the fact that “Hanno Jr.” is basically indestructible. This is one tough wooden gorilla. He would look great anywhere, including your child’s toy box, plus there is no doubt that “Hanno Jr.” and “Cubebot” will be the most talked about items in your house.

Hanno Jr 2Both the “Cubebot” and “Hanno Jr.” are collectors’ pieces that can actually be used and played with. These are the types of items that will be passed on from generation to generation. The multi-colored “Cubebot” retails for $15.00, while “Hanno Jr., the Wooden Gorilla” comes in at $70.00. Go directly to the AREAWARE website to find these and lots of other non-traditional products. Be sure to look for the larger version of Hanno while there.

–RJ Cullen



Posted in Learning, Novelty