BLANCHARD, OKLAHOMA – Brett Deemer can remember the quiet afternoon he sat down with his two boys to make stuff out of Popsicle sticks and glue.
"It was one of those rainy days, perfect day to be crafty," he recalls. "We had everything from Elmer's, to model glue, to the hot glue gun."
They were between 5 and 10 years old and it didn't go well.
"It was a mess and it took forever," he says.
Then he remembered a little thing he used in his tech sector job.
A bridge clip, he thought, might just work.
Deemer demonstrates, "Basically, it just slides right in."
The play session ended.
The sun came out.
The sticks were put away.
"Life and time slipped by," he says.
But the idea stuck.
"It just wouldn't let me go."
The boys grew up, but a few years ago the craft sticks came out again.
He says, "It was really eating at me. I thought I really needed to figure out a way to do this."
"The clips are made with different angles. They will work with any existing craft stick."
He and another business partner used a 3-D printer to experiment with plastic clips that might join together so you could build stuff, anything your imagination might conjure.
"They work," he insists. "They do the job. It did what it was supposed to do, hold the sticks together. You can pull them apart and put them back together again."
Brett took a whole year off work to demonstrate and sell his idea.
He smiles and says, "I'm fortunate enough to have a wife that let me stay home and play with toys for an entire year. Pretty cool."
He has grandchildren who play with his array of clips which, in the past couple of Christmases, have started to appear in packages for sale.
"It's come full circle," says Deemer. "That's pretty cool."
They are a fraction of the cost of similar toys like Legos, K'nex, even Tinker Toys.
You can make boxes or picture frames.
Brett made a Nativity scene this year.
But he also made some Star Wars models, such as the X-wing fighter.
Noah's Ark is ready to launch.
His play war has already started with this 'Crossing of the Rubicon'.
Brett says, "A slogan I came up with is 'Building Imagination'."
It's been 15 years since that rainy day when he and his boys made a mess with glue and sticks.
Having a solution so close at hand makes for a pretty good feeling for this Oklahoma inventor.
Deemer says his Just Clip It kits are just starting in the crowded toy market.
For more information on the toy and how to order, go to https://www.lumberyardtoys.com/