There's a longstanding joke that kids would rather play with the cardboard box than the toy inside, but that's especially true with these wonderful Kinetic Creatures toys. Made entirely from pre-cut cardboard, clever mechanisms inside Elly the elephant, Geno the giraffe, and Rory the rhino allow them to walk around when you crank a simple wire handle.
Assembly looks a little complicated for younger kids, but that just means it's a project you can build with them. And since they're all made from plain cardboard, you can leave the decorating and skinning of the animals up to your kids once they're assembled. The kits run $US40 for the elephant and rhino, and $US50 for the giraffe. There's also an optional $US25 motor that lets the creatures run around by themselves, but they're also cleverly engineered to work with Lego motors if you already have those on hand. [Kinetic Creatures]