Kapla are those little wooden boards that can be found in the toy chests of millions of children around the world. All parents know this toy created in 1987 by a Dutchman, and many have tried to build the tallest Kapla tower possible in their living room. This weekend in the Haut-Rhin, in Mulhouse, four reckless scouts got involved and achieved it by stacking more than 11,000 boards!
Four days for a record of 120 kg at 18.76 m
These four scouts from Grenoble worked for four days to build their tower, which was officially measured at 18.76m this weekend. The previous record, set in Lyon in 2016, was 18.40 ms, according to the organizers. The feat took place in the new climbing hall in Mulhouse, the highest in France, which has a wall 25 meters high. The young builders thus climbed along the climbing wall, roped, to accumulate 11,200 Kapla, over 133 floors.
The building was not built at random: the builders started with a hexagon in the center and three branches forming a Y, a guarantee of solidity. “We all did when we were little,” explains Jonathan Wild, 15, one of the four manufacturers. “We inquired about the record, how they did it, with how many Kaplas. We realized that it was doable and we said to ourselves why not embark on this crazy project. “With the weight, the whole architecture holds up well”, emphasizes Antoine Piollat, scout leader of the Saint-Jean Group in Grenoble. “The higher you go, the stronger the base. Then, on the top, the tower is refined. Once the tower is finished, it weighs more than 120 kg. “
“It’s quite physical but you get used to it”
The four builder scouts had been training for months, with towers several meters high, to set the record. “We put the Kapla in cycles of one or two hours depending on the shape of each one”, continues Jonathan Wild. “It’s quite physical but you get used to it. Everything is done to make our life easier. We have small harnesses that allow you to be as if you were seated, which means less physical effort. “
Small setback, some of the thousands of Kapla made available by two local toy libraries were a little damaged or poorly calibrated. The last meters of construction therefore posed a problem and the initial objective of more than 21 meters had to be revised down a little.
And, after all these efforts, the highlight of the weekend was of course the destruction of the tower on Sunday morning. In front of several dozen people, the builders attached two long wires to the base of the tower, which they pulled to make the building collapse with a loud crash, in three seconds …
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