Buildies Cardboard Blocks Are, You Know, For Kids

Urbana-based creator Brian Lilly has designed and built something every kid will enjoy: massive, stackable blocks called Buildies that fold together to make Lego-like shapes and let the wee ones create castles, fortresses, palaces, and abandoned gas stations crawling with the stinky undead.

The system is actually quite complex. The bricks themselves are stackable but you can use pieces of cardboard called “mortar” to stick them together more firmly. There are also upright “wooden” pieces and trusses for roofs and ceilings and additional parts for connecting things together. They’re pretty much like those cardboard bricks we all used to suck on in pre-school but with a bit more of an engineering slant.

Packages start at $25 for a Ramp Kit and you can get a Castle Kit for $450. The aforementioned cardboard blocks are about $40, which might make Buildies a bit of a stretch for parents of picky children but I could definitely see these being a hit in schools. And because they offer a bit more than the standard stack-em-high play design, they’re far more educational. As Lilly writes:

Forts fall down. BUILDIES is a system of interlocking blocks and “mortar” that lets kids build sturdy constructions. Studies show playing with blocks helps kids develop their spatial, mathematical, & problem solving skills. Experience shows kids love playing with cardboard boxes. We think kids should be doing a little less screen-swiping and a lot more building & creative play! With BUILDIES, kids learn about engineering, physics, & architecture while they play.

The team is looking for $30,000 and they have a long way to go but it’s definitely an interesting toy for the kid in all of us, even if he or she has been crushed by time and love and the endless manipulations starkly cast against of the hellscape that is modern existence. After all, who doesn’t love to build a play fort?