The video above comes from a Kickstarter campaign that’s already exceeded its funding goal more than six times over. It’s easy to see why. The intricately detailed working models UGEARS is producing are just amazing, and they look like a tremendous amount of fun to build and, well, play with.
The star attraction of the video is a picture-perfect locomotive capable of riding five meters of rail. What makes this and other UGEARS products so cool is that there’s no metal whatsoever involved. Each model is primarily wood, with an engine powered by rubber bands.
UGEARS started designing mechanical modules back in 2014, inventing a mix of original and historical mechanisms that include fanciful objects like the Mechanical Box, an over-the-top business-card dispenser, a functional Tractor and Combine—great for your tiny farm—and Tram, which the company bills as its most “romantic” model. There are 10+ models in production, and UGEARS has more than 100 devices in mind for the future.
In addition to its mad design talents, UGEARS uses laser-cutting that allows it to fashion a model’s plywood pieces precisely, and it takes full advantage of this to design objects with a mind-boggling amount of detail. Clearly, assembling each one requires some work—the pieces fit together so well that no glue is needed—but the result would make anyone proud. When you’re done choo-chooing, for example, the locomotive makes a unique collectible, made with your own hands.
UGEARS expects to begin shipping these uniquely cool models in April 2016.