Redemption value: fun

DO your kids enjoy the box more than the toy that came in it? Then they might appreciate the possibilities of a new drink bottle conceived by noted industrial designer Yves Behar.

Chubby knobs make it easy for little hands to hold the new Y Water. After the vitamin-infused beverage is consumed (or spilled), the 9-ounce plastic bottles can be refilled, recycled or, better yet, played with.

Behar decided on a tetrahedron -- which looks like an upside-down Y -- not only to promote the brand, but also to give the packaging a second life. Using rubber connectors called Y Knots included with each bottle, kids can link the vessels to form space stations, superheroes, a double helix -- anything a young mind can dream up.

"My sons Carl and Fritz made dogs," says Y Water owner Thomas Arndt, who lives in Brentwood and is a former brand manager for the drink company that owns Red Bull. "We want to encourage kids to build whatever they want. And learn a lesson in reusing rather than disposing."

The $1.69 beverage comes in four flavors denoted by the colors yellow, white, red and orange. Y Water is scheduled for mid-March release at Whole Foods markets and other outlets. More information:

-- Janet Eastman

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