#ModarriDIY Submission Guidelines

Here at Modarri we are all about innovation, hacking and the maker’s mentality. We love to see and share our users’ innovations for our cars. Everything from fanciful paint jobs of our blank DIY cars to hand crafted accessories to integrations with other toys or 3D printing.

Modarri DIY

Fan Painted DIY cars

If you know of a kid, or kidult of any age who has created a clever #ModarriDIY and would like it to be considered for feature on our blog and in our social media please contact us!

Please include:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Email (if your are under 18 have your parents email)
  • Social media handles for tagging in social posts
  • Pictures of the final creation — top, front, back views (optional: the creator with their masterpiece)
  • Pictures or short video showing the process

Tell us!

  • What inspired your design?
  • What supplies did you use?
  • Any special tips for making your Modarri DIY design?

Submit a Modarri DIY Design

Modarri Transport Truck Created from Lego

A Modarri fan created this Modarri transport truck out of Legos.

Modarri transport truck made from Legos

Here’s a close up to see how it is built. Check out the attention to detail!

Close up of Modarri car transport truck made from Legos

Legos and Modarri go together like peanut butter and jelly! Another fan discovered Lego people fit perfectly in Modarri cars.

Share your custom designs and special car modifications! Tag your Twitter , Facebook or Instagram pictures with #ModarriDIY for a chance to have yours featured here.

Check out the Modarri line of cars & accessories.

Rare Modarri Tiger On the Prowl

The tiger’s arrival has been traced to Laurel Bushman, a highly respected artist residing in Santa Cruz, Calif. She allegedly painted a Modarri DIY car and added teeth.


An acquaintance stated, “I know Laurel for her remarkably beautiful canvas paintings and murals… a flower-bedecked elephant for a child’s wall, a cheery painting for Peet’s Coffee. She’s not the sort you’d expect to turn a tiger loose in the city.”

Share your Modarri designs and special car modifications! Tag your Twitter , Facebook or Instagram pictures with #ModarriDIY for a chance to have yours featured here.

Shark Week Shark Car

Modarri car painted like shark by Heather GlassIt’s Shark Week! It’s time again for Discovery Channel’s week of teeth and fins. Time to learn about the many amazing kinds of sharks. Heather Glass designed this Modarri DIY car with the classic shark toothy grin. How could you design yours to look like your favorite of the 400 varieties of sharks?

Post your sharky Modarri to Twitter or Instagram with #ModarriDIY for a chance to have your design featured on our site.

The Speediest Slug in Town

Ever seen a banana slug? These slow-moving mollusks are beloved members of Modarri’s Santa Cruz community. In fact, they’re the official mascot for our local University of California campus. Banana slugs live in redwood forests, hang out in our gardens, crawl our sidewalks…. and have actually inspired some amazing art. Check out this modified Modarri toy car!


Doug Ross Banana Slug Modarri Car


Modarri X1 Slug

Local artist Doug Ross contributed the banana slug Modarri to our miniature art car collection. The car features a beautifully streamlined aluminum body complete with antennae!

We’re calling it the X1 Slug because Doug’s custom car body is wrapped around a Modarri X1 Dirt Car. Conveniently, the car already had a banana yellow frame and seat.

The X1 Slug is especially dear to Modarri’s toy inventor and CEO David Silverglate, who is a graduate of UCSC. Thank you, Doug!

banana slug

You can see how well Doug captured the essence of a Banana Slug!

About Doug Ross

Doug Ross is best known in the art world for his high quality illustrations: He designs beautiful graphs and draws corporate art as well as children’s art. Forbes, The Harvard Business Review and McGraw-Hill are among the many famous names on his client list. Doug also makes fine art prints, which can be seen by appointment in Santa Cruz.


Banana slug art bus – See how Santa Cruz students and their bikes get to school.

UCSC article about banana slug mascot – The university chancellor insisted that sea lions were a more distinguished mascot, but students let the banana slug triumph.

Modarri shop – Check out the Modarri X1 Dirt Car, the T1 Track Car and more.

Share your Modarri designs and special car modifications! Tag your Twitter , Facebook or Instagram pictures with #ModarriDIY for a chance to have yours featured here.

Road Trip! Modarri DIY Trailer Hitch

Going on a road trip with the kids? Here are some survival tips and a trick for making your Modarri cars road trip ready.

The Modarri S1 Street Car is perfect for everyday travel, but let’s face it: There’s not much room for suitcases. Ryan of Santa Cruz saves the day! He recommends adding a trailer hitch with hot glue.



Says Ryan, “I was going to make a plastic hitch on a 3D printer, but then I found a metal one in a Revell model kit.”

Way to think outside the Modarri box, Ryan! Thanks for sharing your creativity.

Share your Modarri designs and special car modifications! Tag your Twitter , Facebook or Instagram pictures with #ModarriDIY for a chance to have yours featured here.

Modarri Miniature Woodie Car by Tiffany Wells


We love woodie cars. When it’s true love, you can’t explain why… but maybe it’s the sheen of the lacquer. The hyponotic swirl of the wood grain. The feeling of yesteryear.

Woodie cars first appeared in the 1930s. The originals feature real hardwood frames. For safety reasons though, many woodie cars on the road today only have wooden exteriors; steel replaces the hardwood construction.

This picture of a 1937 Ford Deluxe Station Wagon is courtesy of Lars-Göran Lindgren Sweden:


Thanks to Santa Cruz artist and animator Tiffany Wells, there’s a woodie in the Modarri fleet!

Wells began with the blank canvas of a Modarri DIY Car. Her acrylic artistry extends from the hood to the boot; she even painted the wheel wells to match.


Modarri DIY Car shop

Share your Modarri designs and special car modifications! Tag your Twitter , Facebook or Instagram pictures with #ModarriDIY for a chance to have yours featured here.

Leopard Print is the New Black

Leopard print is our new favorite color. This one-of-a-kind Modarri DIY Car is the work of Beth Allison Gripenstraw, a professional artist from southern California who’s made her home in Santa Cruz.

Share your Modarri designs and special car modifications! Tag your Twitter , Facebook or Instagram pictures with #ModarriDIY for a chance to have yours featured here.




We love the detail of the autographed customized license plate.

Did you know each factory Modarri license plate is unique? Register yours in your Modarri Garage now.


Hybrid Modarri Toy Cars

Rebuilding Modarri cars is half the fun of ownership! Swap parts among the cars; they’re all compatible! Literally millions of combinations are possible.

Shown here are hybrids made by combining two classic Modarri car models. Can you tell which cars were used? Choose from the S1 Street Car, T1 Track Car and X1 Dirt Car. (See the originals below and in our shop.)

Thanks to fan Ron G. for the builds & photo session.

Share your Modarri hybrids and special car modifications! Tag your Twitter , Facebook or Instagram pics #ModarriDIY.






3D Printed Board Rack for Modarri Cars

Modarri drivers tend to live the adventurous life style. Sometimes it’s hard to get all that gear into a sleek high performance vehicle.

Rodney of Santa Cruz solved that problem with 3D printing. He designed an printed a custom rack to carry for his Santa Cruz Skateboard on his Modari S1.

Share your Modarri designs and special car modifications! Tag your Twitter , Facebook or Instagram pictures with #ModarriDIY for a chance to have yours featured here.




A History of “Hacking”

Hacked_Modarri_toy_car_by_Colby_PhillipsAny word sounds funny after you repeat it a few times.  “Hack, hack, hack. Hack.”

Here at Modarri, we talk a lot about hacking our cars — modifying them with headlights or maybe a propeller as Colby Phillips did here…

But where did we get that term? Let’s take a quick spin down Etymology Lane.

Old English Hacking: Chop Chop

The word “hack” has been in use for at least 500 years. Speakers back then basically defined it as we sometimes do today: “to cut with rough or heavy blows,” as when chopping wood.

According to dictionary.com and similar sites, earlier versions of the word are tōhaccian (Old English) and hacken (Middle English). It’s of Germanic origin.

Hacking at MIT: Making Mischief

According to a writer for MIT, a new definition involving trickery was coined at the university and first written in the minutes of their Tech Model Railroad Club, recording the words of graduate student William Eccles. This happened in April of 1955, sixty years ago this week.

Apparently “hack” was slang for any tech-based practical joke. In 1959 it was noted, “Hacks was the term applied to all manner of technology-based practical jokes at MIT, such as thermite welding a stopped trolley car to the tracks on Massachusetts Ave.”

Oh, sure,.. the ol’ thermite welding gag.

The practical jokes from 1955 sound a bit Mr. Burns-ish, but MIT students’ “hacks” from the 1960s are more relatable. In one example, students tampered with phone systems to assign long distance charges. From there it’s easy to imagine the word evolving to apply to computer hacking, whether as a practical joke, for malicious purposes, for curiosity or even the general good.

Hacking at Modarri: Modifying Toy Supercars

Here at Modarri headquarters, “hacking” involves artistic and scientific toy car modifications. Straight from the box, our cars can be built millions of ways — but what if you thought outside the box?

Add LEDs here, a motor there, a 3D-printed convertible top… Now we move from millions of options to infinite potential. Stay tuned for maker tutorials!

Art can be hacking too. Professional artists have contributed some very cool modified Modarris to our toy car museum. For example, Doug Ross wrapped a custom aluminum car body around a Modarri X1 Dirt Car. It’s shaped like a banana slug, which is our local university mascot. Another example comes from Laurel Bushman, who added fierce teeth to an amazing Modarri Tiger.

How would you hack a Modarri? Check out our online shop and drop us a line!

Thanks to Colby Phillips for giving us some very cool Modarris! Colby and his father sell their skate & surf graphics at jimbophillipsstore.storenvy.com.

Cute Chick in a Custom Car

Almost ready to hatch! This oversized egg holds a very special car and driver.

The miniature car is a hybrid of the Modarri S1 Street Car — which provides the shiny blue body — and the Modarri X1 Dirt Car, which adds the red frame.

And the orange? According to our toy expert David Silverglate, “That’s a custom design achieved with spray paint.”


As for the driver, ornithologists refer to him as a “milk chocolate Lindt.” And he’s delicious.

Happy spring! – Modarri

Mysterious “Pirate Surfer” Drives the Modarri Shark

Modarri_Shark_handpainted_toy_carSanta Cruz, CA — A mystery man recently rolled into town. Cruising down Highway 1 each morning, he and his custom-painted Modarri DIY car are the newest local attraction.

This driver was born for the sea: His sleek car has shark teeth. His hair has waves. He’s permanently attached to a telescope.

But is he a pirate? A surfer? He’s a mystery wrapped in a Modarri.

His one local connection is artist Heather Robyn Matthews, aka Heather Glass. She created his Modarri Shark in early February.

“I’m not sure what to make of him,” Matthews told us. “He’s a surfer, but he’s a pirate too. He’s an unusual mix of laid-back and really intense… He wanted his Modarri DIY painted rather quickly for a toy fair in New York.”

The car is part of a miniature DIY car fleet created by artists in the Santa Cruz, California area. The collection of about 10 vehicles was recently displayed at the 112th annual North American International Toy Fair in New York City.


Matthews generously painted the stranger’s car for free. It’s not her usual sort of work. Professionally she’s worked as a glass artist since 1979 — hence her business name Heather Glass.

And the driver’s name? The artist told us, “I call him Pirate Surfer Steve, but that’s just because he resembles my neighbor Steve. I really don’t know his name.”

See the artist’s award-winning glasswork at heatherglass.com! Get your own Modarri DIY car at Modarri.com.shop.

Mermaid Sighting in California


Are mermaids real?

While navigating the Caribbean, Columbus reported seeing three “female forms” that “rose high out of the sea, but were not as beautiful as they are represented.”

Like most historians, we think he was mistaken. Mermaids are as beautiful as the legends say!

Mermaid Drives a Modarri

Shown here is a mermaid relaxing at Cowell’s Beach in Santa Cruz, California. She drives the Treasure, a Modarri DIY custom painted by local artist Tiffany Wells.

Said the mermaid, “I really connected with Tif. Just like me, she has roots in Hawaii and Santa Cruz. We first met ages ago when she owned a tattoo parlor. I chickened out of my appointment and we lost touch, but recently I saw her paintings at Artisan’s Gallery. I was drawn to her color palette: lots of turquoise and aquamarine.”

About the Artist & Her Car

The driver’s words resonated with Wells. She told Modarri, “I feel a deep connection with the water spirit. I was born in Hawaii and was a Nirvana baby — like on the Nirvana album cover, just throw me into the water! I grew up across the street from the ocean.”

Wells, who has a degree in animation, added, “Mermaids show up in lots of my art, not only for their connection with the sea, but for the anatomy. You can feel energy with anatomy, with the poses in a painting.”

“For the car, I wanted to create something that a girl would love to drive. When I was a kid, my dad gave me a Tonka truck instead of a doll. I really think that was a benefit. And these days, it’s even more important for girls to play with trucks or Modarri cars. Girls need to learn what boys are learning.”

The car name “Treasure” has a double meaning. First, the one-of-a-kind creation has sentimental value to the artist. Second, there’s a connection to cash: Renaissance-style filigrees and cross-hatching on the Modarri DIY are inspired by designs on the US dollar bill.

Tiffany’s Treasure will be on display at the New York Toy Fair from February 14-17, 2015 in booth 1974.

See more art by Tif Wells on Behance! T-shirts, album covers, animations and more.

DIY Toy Car Track Ideas

Construction is underway at Modarri headquarters! Soon a miniature freeway for Modarri cars – the M1? – will run through our office. Here are some clever DIY toy car track examples that we found while planning.

1. Removable Tape Car Tracks
Washi_tape_toy_ car_track_ -_ LeJardinDeJuliette

Tape tracks are brilliant. They can be semi-permanent yet aren’t space-hogs like 3D tracks. Plus, nobody will stumble over these in the dark.

The example here comes from a Dutch blog, lejardindejuliette.blogspot.be. We like how the road merges with architectural drawing on the wall! A removable cardboard tunnel, shown at the link, was added too.

Types of tape to use for toy car tracks

Painter’s tape is an inexpensive and easily removable option. You can usually adhere it to wooden floors without causing damage. This tape is most commonly seen in about 1” wide blue, but there are lots of colors and widths.

Washi tape is used in the example here. It’s usually more expensive than painter’s tape, but it’s a pretty option. If you want brightly colored tape or tracks that complement your décor, then this option is for you. This removable tape is sized like Scotch tape and is now sold at places like Walgreen’s and CVS in addition to craft supply shops.

Civil engineer tape for toy car tracks_0

Civil Engineer Tape, or any printed road tape, looks like lots of fun. Just be sure to test the removability. We first spotted this on Amazon. Also seen for sale online: removable decals that come in different partial road shapes, letting you and the kids build curves and straightaways on floors, windows and walls.

2. Rocky Roads

DIY outdoor toy car track - Rocks and chalkReal rock, some chalk to mark lanes, and toy cars can brings hours of outdoor fun!

In this example from Dyan Robson’s blog, the writer used weighty paving stones to set up a track. Chalk lane dividers are handy and are easy to remove.

With smaller stones, little ones could easily rearrange the road systems over and over. Make miniature road signs too!

And if roads are built in a sandbox, kids can add landscape with mountains, flatlands, and rivers with bridges.

An even simpler option: Forego the rocks and simply draw chalk roads on the sidewalk, driveway or patio. We saw this idea in a parent’s Modarri car review at intheknowmom.net.

3. Fabric Car Tracks

Soft tracks are best when baby’s on board. The intricate felt blanket shown here depicts a zoo, a farmhouse and other great details for imaginative play with toy cars and other miniatures. See powerfulmothering.com for a tutorial.

DIY felt car track tutorial

A simpler option: Prepare thick fabric roadway pieces that fit together in different ways, letting your toddler make DIY toy car tracks over and over again. You can cut fabric pieces that form straight roads, roundabouts and curves.

Your Ideas & More Ideas

Does a freeway run through your living room? We’d love to see it — especially with a Modarri car in the mix! Send pics to press@modarri.com.

For more examples, check out our Pinterest board DIY Toy Car Tracks.