Friday, April 11, 2008

Legs McAwesomeBot.

yesterday, for our team offsite, after spending some time getting to understand each other's work styles a bit better (Birkman, interesting & insightful), we headed to the ToyLab, a local venture [started by an ex-agency guy who wanted to do something more positive and meaningful for the community...inspiring].

THE GIST: they take old toy parts (action figure, dolls, etc), and kids + their parents come + create their own superhero. you hand your 7 carefully picked parts to the ToyLab engineers, and with drills, saws, wax glue guns, and plastic rods, for you they assemble your very own superhero, who is then given a name and granted his superpowers (which you get to pick, of course). along the way, the staff of ToyLab entertain you w/ a number of hijinks (a banana phone...really?)
our entire team did this, basing their [our] alter-egos + powers on actual [desired] behaviors, mine?

Legs McAwesomebot.

kicks ass and transforms things into pure awesomeness.
it's not too hard of a concept to follow, really.

oh ego, how could i survive without you (chances are i would be crushed and let down by the seemingly endless desolation and misery that is this life*)?

haha. just kidding. what a downer! anywho, KUDOS to the dudes at ToyLab for bringing a great, constructive, and creative idea to life in a meaningful way. it's always inspiring to see this sort pseudo-DIY thing take form in our society and communities, whether in real life or in the digital world (so inspiring that i am considering volunteering there on my soon-to-be open weekends).

SOME OTHER INSPIRING EXAMPLES: - while a cool and original concept, this one is actually getting pretty tired (i don't find the designs NEARLY as fun + interesting anymore). i mean, you know it's a gone way to mainstream when you see bootleg shirts in Thailand. but if you haven't heard my raves (and rants) about threadless for the past 3 years - consumers submit t-shirt designs. consumers vote on t-shirt designs. threadless makes a [semi-] limited print run of designs. it was (and still is) a novel concept, but now everyone and their mother is wearing these tees (and threadless is creating reprints of far too many designs, but who can blame them for selling out, they're trying to make a buck of their creative vision) + citing this as an example of the future of commerce. oh wait, i just did that. dammit. - ok. let's make this the hip + cool future, since there's NO way it can get too mass (but i have no doubt that i will be surprised). some artists decided they wanted some stuff (watch, coffee, wii, bufallo wings, sneakers), so they painted it, and sold the painting for the EXACT price of said item. both people walk away from the transaction getting what they want: random pop art, random consumer goods. - alright. i had to give this one a plug, since it's a local passion of mine (thursdays nights are once again my favorite part of the week. well, a close tie w/ no alarm clock saturday mornings). basically a group of friends get together every week at a different bar in town, all bring news stories, talk about them + draw them (on an 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper, not a big poster, contrary to popular belief), as precisely, abstractly, or sarcastically as possible. we then scan the pics and they are posted online w/ drawings from other regions (LA, Brussels, Cincinnati, and alas, for a brief moment in time, even Singapore). we even got featured on NPR! it's always interesting to go online + see what made the cut around the world. i've had tons of visiting friends see this and say "oh i've got to start one of these in ________ [insert bigger city name here]", but it never happens. the story: some girl in LA started doing it, then her friend in Brussels started it. my roommate Jason moved to Brussels, and brought it back in his post-living-abroad withdrawel, starting it up w/ me + some other close friends. we've been doing it for a year now (and are having our 1-year week-in-review-seray on April 25th). book it!

anyhow, i digress. so what do all of these things have in common - creative DIY is at the core. and that's what McAwesomeBot, Legs McAwesomeBot is all about.

*(the earlier pessimistic statement was brought to you by a very special guest appearance by Emo-flashback Raman, marking off calenders in Mobile dorm-rooms since 1996!)

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