Cardboard Buzz Lightyear Jet Pack With Retractable Wings in 30 Minutes.

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Introduction: Cardboard Buzz Lightyear Jet Pack With Retractable Wings in 30 Minutes.

My 3 year old is a big Toy story fan. He has recently begun running around and acting like buzz lightyear. I thought it would be fun to make a quick cardboard cutout in the shape of buzz's wings. I got a little carried away. Overall, the project still only required a little string(or wire) a cardboard box, and a lot of duct tape.

Step 1: Obtain Cardboard for the Pieces.

I took one box and cut 3 pieces to form the main body and wings.

I had intended just to do a simple cutout, but then I decided to do retractable wings.

Lay out the pieces and cut them into the following pattern. Make sure the wings are going to fit inside the folded piece.

Step 2: Reinforce Areas With Duct Tape and Add Hinges

There are a few areas that will be weak points. Reinforce these with duct tape.

To make the hinges, put the wings in place (make sure they work first) and simply poke some scissors through. I made two holes in the main body and one in the wing. I threaded it through like the picture below.

Step 3: Add Stuff to Make It Look Cooler

I didn't feel like spending much more time on it, so I just taped a piece of cardboard to it to build up some body. I covered the whole surface in duct tape and drew some stuff on it. You could go crazy and make it look super cool.

Step 4: Convince the Child That This Actually Cool.

My 3 year old, who is a fan of buzz lightyear refused to wear it. My 18 month old is modeling it here.

--update october 2 2007. Same younger brother still playing with it months later.



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    So how does the kid retract the wings? How do they stay up?

    Great build, all together!

    i was just wondering how did you make the rucksack type straps?

    I just made these last weekend for Halloween. Overall they made a great impression.

    some thoughts:
    I made mine flip out using a rubber band assembly underneath the wings. It worked surprisingly well for a while but eventually the cardboard and rubber band lost strength so I taped them up/down depending on the situation.

    Walking through doors/crowds of people is a huge pain, so making sure you can put the wings down is a must.

    The wings will bend and take quite a bit of abuse, so I cut and attached wire from some old coathangers to the wings using duct tape in a "batwing" type of design. this was probably one of the best augmentations for aesthetics, durability and functionality.

    I put glowsticks on the wingtips and jetpack to achieve a better effect at night.

    When it is all said and done, these wings weigh about 3 pounds. That doesn't sound like much but to a little kid it might get tiring. Also, your back cant breathe at all through the duct tape so you sweat profusely.

    Use duct tape to color them, since paint will chip off the cardboard easily. You can find most colors at target for 3 bucks a roll.

    Also I got a cheap laser from a pet store in the bargain bin for about 2 dollars. It was the perfect size to attach to my arm.


    Would you be able to share your rubber band assembly? I'm trying to get mine to flip out as well.


    Sure. Essentially, I strengthened the rounded corners of the wings using coat hanger wire and duct tape and punched a hole in each of the corners. then I made a sort of hinge assembly by threading more wire through the holes I made in the top of the wings and jetpack. At this point, the wings could open and fold close, but not "spring" open. So, I tied a couple of strong rubber bands together, and then tied the rubber bands to the top corners of the wings within the jet pack, so they could not be seen. the rubber bands were VERY tight when folded down, so strengthening the cardboard with wire is a must here. Then I basically had a small pin holding them down attached to a string looped through my beltloops that I can pull to flip out the wings. It worked perfect the first 5 or 6 times, and then the wings started to break. So make sure someone is watching!

    Here is a picture from the back of the wings. I used colored duck tape and permanent ink markers. I used pipe insulation to beef up the wing tips.

    Buzz Lightyear wings.jpg

    WOW - that looks really good! Do they still fold in all the way or do the pipes get in the way? Even if they don't - wow! These are really pro! :) Awesome job!

    my little brother has the same potty!!!

    I made these wings with some adaptations from the tape sculpturing section and a pattern for the front portion. Here are some pictures of how it came out.

    Buzz wings.jpgLogan as Buzz Lightyear.jpg