A preview of Simbrix - Interconnecting bricks for creative sculpturesHello everyone,
This week I took a trip to Nottingham to check out the Gamecity event and the happenings at the National video games arcade. While there I made an amazing discovery, there was a stall showcasing Simbrix a toy/ creative tool currently raising money through Kickstarter.
Here is a couple of the sculptures which had already been make out of the Simbrix, a whole load of the bricks and the custom cloth bags that come with each kit to keep them all in.
The Kickstarter is only active until the 11th of November so if you want to take advantage of the offers to Kickstarter Backers better hop over there fast: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/simbrix/simbrix-art-and-craft-bricks-for-makers-creators-a?ref=hero_thanks
I spoke to Assim the inventor of this neat little toy and let me know that in fact the design has had 400 prototypes before coming up with the perfect one! When I mentioned the similarity in practical application between this and Hama/Perlier beads he mentioned that the idea was inspired by his children playing with their favorite bead sculpture kits and working out ways to improve them.
It's true that when not ironed normal peg bead sculptures can fall apart which does cause frustration for my younger nieces. More than once a pegboard has gotten jogged causing the beads to go flying which generally causes someone to fall out with someone else. (and good ol' Auntie Gemma picking them all up) So I am very much looking forward to grabbing a bag of these and see how they like these beads. They are bigger than a standard Hama/Perlier beads so bear in mind all sculptures will be bigger and bead for bead slightly more expensive.
However the joy I found in these is that they are reusable when not ironed. It is easy to slide the beads apart again to create and re-create until you are totally happy. An unironed sculpture looks to be sturdy enough to place on a shelf or pop on display in an area it won't be heavily handled.
It is possible to iron the beads to make a solid plastic stricture. With our regular beads we would use the ironed piece for drinks coasters or to string up for Christmas decoration and it is easy to see that Simbrix can be used for similar functions.
For a little comparison heres a picture of some of the many, many sculptures displayed in the Toast Bar at the National Videogames Arcade. You can easily see here that the Simbrix are larger
Made of Simbrix in the picture is the Sword, minion and blonde girl. (or is this a game character I don't know? Let me know in the comments) The Professor Layton is made with more traditional beads.
Another comparison shot, The Pokeball here is made of Simbrix. I couldn't help think that White Mage is super adorable though.
Finding designs to use with this set could not be simpler. Many of the example pieces I saw were made using pixel art from retro games which I know a lot of people use for existing bead kits. Simple pixel art pictures can also be used along with existing designs made for Minecraft pixel sculptures due to the blocky nature of the Minecraft bricks.
While at the moment the colour range isn't as large as the Hama range which is currently at 50+ colours. The Simbrix starter pack will contain 16 colours, incorporating dark and light versions of colours to allow for some simple shading.
I even had a go at turning one of my own cross stitch designs into a piece of beaded art and as you can see by the start I made it they do translate really well from a cross stitch design with whole stitches only. I just didn't finish the design because a very polite little boy wanted to use the blue for a Pac man Ghost and well.. how could I say no?
Heres a link to the design in full: http://buzybobbins.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/cute-bird-in-bushes-cross-stitch-design.html
I have ordered a really big bag of the beads to play with. Once the Kickstarter project is finished and bags are being sent out I'm definitely going to try out making some designs with Simbrix in mind, taking into account the colour selection and size of the bricks. So please pop back for them, I'll post them up here once I'm done.
OOH look at all those colours!
Now don't be fooled by the fact that these bricks are referred to as a toy. While checking out the stall at the Arcade there were children and adults alike playing with the bricks and creating all of their own sculptures!
You don't just have to take my word for it though, My good friend Jason Silverain of the Sword and Torch inn has also written up a post about these lovely bricks. You can find the post here: http://swordandtorchinn.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/simbrix-curious-hybrid-of-lego-jigsaws.html
Important links: Go on pop on over you know you want to...Simbrix Offical website: http://www.simbrix.com/
Simbrix Kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/simbrix/simbrix-art-and-craft-bricks-for-makers-creators-a?ref=hero_thanks
National Videogames Arcade website: http://gamecity.org/visit/
For the Buzy Bobbins Index page Click here.