h a l f b a k e r y
Trying to contain nuts.
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Zip ties (or "cable ties" -- those bits of plastic with ratchet-action holes at one end) are the best thing ever. They're everything duct tape is supposed to be but isn't.
There should be a construction toy (like LEGO, Construx, Erector, etc.) that uses zip ties to hold things together. The zip
ties would come in refill packs; the toy itself would just have various blocks and struts and gears and whatnot that happen to have grooves and slots of just the right size for you to use zip ties to bind them together.
For experimentation, you could use the (somewhat more expensive) reversible zip ties that have a "release". Unlike other construction toys, you could easily go into "production mode" by using one-way zip ties and clipping the dangly ends for neatness. Since the pieces themselves would be terribly simple, you could just go get more rather than having to take apart your beautiful construction to build something else.
||Hey! Don't go calling my house a toy!
||The toy set would need a tool to properly clip and "blunt" the cut ends of the tie-wraps, as they are notoriously sharp once snipped.
"Egnorector Sets," or "LashUps."
||I knew someone who, in high school, was idly playing with a zip-tie. He had it around his finger, and tightened it to the point where it started to turn blue, and couldn't get it off, and halfway through a lecture had to jump up, say "excuse me", run to the front and grab a pair of scissors to cut them off with.