Excerpt from original idea (link below): "A TakeEm Apart radio would use the old transistor model and be built to make it especially easy to take apart and put together, but essentially works and functions as a simple radio. If a machine is too complicated to begin with, the TakeEm Apart version
can be simplied, but should not sacrifice any essential component. The toy package comes with a solution to the problem, including a step-by-step guide to taking apart and rebuilding the device, as well as an explanation of how, and why, it works. But first, the child is encouraged to fiddle with it and make the discoveries by herself."
bristolz' comment on the original idea suggested that they be made so kids can still play with them when taken apart, which spurred this idea...
The toys could be made in the style of Transformers so they transform into some robot-looking character, then when in their "camouflage" version, are working little gadgets.
This is totally do-able - I imagine digital camera, radio, MP3 player, cell phone - when taken apart the inside mechanisms are exposed to be discovered, but the item is now also usable as an action-figure.
So, you have a normal-looking MP3 player, which disassembled and reassembles into a cool looking Transformer, then for the kid to listen to MP3s again, he/she has to reconfigure the parts back the original way.
I'm female, but I inherited toys from my mom's boss' boys when I was young, and spend many an hour playing with the original Optimus Prime tractor-trailer (see link).
Time to update to appeal to modern kids!
I hear another Transformers movie is coming out - anyone want to pitch this to Paramount? :)