Artstraws were white paper straws that were about 2ft long. They were exactly the same as ordinary straws, but longer and came without the bendy bit at the top. They opened up a whole new world of creative opportunity in much the same way that macramé1 did. The booklet that came with the pack showed a range of wondrous ideas for the humble paper tubes, such as intricate baskets made by weaving them together, or fantastically realistic spaceship models by gluing them onto toilet-roll tubes and painting them silver. The possibilities were endless. So how come the most exciting thing anyone ever managed to make were twisted lumps of paper?
And they were so expensive as well. The huge glossy box promised far more than the reality: it was a box of rolled up paper tubes. Even Blue Peter2 couldn't think of anything mind-blowing to make out of Artstraws.
Where did they go? Are they still on sale? Who knows? But whoever sat down one day and had the idea of packaging some white paper and selling it as an expensive 'hobby product' has definitely made a lot of money.