Art & Design

Powered by broomsticks: The new toy car making

At first glance, one is likely to think electricity is the main source of power for these toy cars.

The drinking straw controlling the cars is evocative of the sight of toy cars controlled by wires in years past. But this time around, the straws house broomsticks.

At Ayigya in the Ashanti Region, Paa Willie, Emmanuel and Obed have assembled the raw materials for the production of the newly-found automobile.

They are straws sourced from drinking spots, rubber bands, Kalypo, Hollandia yoghurt and Pippo containers, razor blade, nails and assorted rubber bottle caps.

“As for rubber bands, we buy them sometimes,” Emmanuel said.

The boys get to work by cutting up the containers and inserting the tires which are the bottle caps.

One long broom stick is used to join the car and covered with a straw. This stick will be linked with several sticks to the controllers.

The adjoining broom sticks are reinforced with three or four other sticks to make it two to three feet long.

The ends are strengthened by small pieces of broomsticks and tied by the rubber bands.

The controllers

It is also made from one of the containers which is flattened. Two of the caps which were used for the tires are fitted on the board and two broomsticks are used to pass through the holes.

The broader end of the stick will serve as the joystick and the other joined to the reinforced brooms with the rubber band.

The broom car is ready to hit the road.

Sometimes, the controllers are made shorter to make it run faster.

“With a short controller the back tire is raised and this makes it speedy,” Emmanuel said.

Despite the availability of the materials, it does not come free.

“We charge fifty pesewas if one supplies the raw materials and one cedi is to construct it from scratch,” Paa Willie and friends said.

Indeed, I am yet to fully grasp the physical laws governing the movement of these cars but one thing is for sure, the brooms effortlessly control the cars as electronics would.