Growing up, I was frightened by balloon animals. I didn’t like the squeaky racket produced when they were being created. I was also afraid that they’d explode mid-assembly. Or maybe I was just frightened by the people — clowns and creepy strangers — who typically made balloon animals.

Anyway, here’s an interesting, soon-to-be-released product from the cheeky designers at SUCK UK: Combine the art of balloon animal-making with Kid Robot with a basic green habit and what do you get? Character Bags, reusable nylon shopping bags that can be manipulated into dozens of different animal shapes.

I’m not sure exactly how they work but supposedly with nimble fingers and imagination, an empty Character Bag can yield anything from “butterflies to elephants to aliens.”  When you’re not using the bag for its main purpose or fashioning it into a kangaroo or a Teletubby or what have you, it folds up neatly and can be attached to a key ring so that you’ll never leave home without it.

I don't think Character Bags are for me — they resurrect too many traumatic balloon animal-related memories — but I think they’d be a great instructional tool for parents trying to teach their brood to stay away from disposable plastic shopping bags. Look, Junior, that boring plastic grocery bag can’t do this can it? They’re also an excellent way to entertain yourself and/or make new friends while on the bus en route to the supermarket. Or not.  

Photos: SUCK UK

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Papa's got a brand new animal bag
Work on your nylon origami skills in between shopping trips with SUCK UK's fun, useful Character Bags.