Watch wireless dominoes topple without touching each other

Eser Dominoes are an interesting proof of concept that won a juried award at the 14th Japan Media Arts Festival.

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Blocks modular synth sounds almost as good as it looks

Blocks is a tiny synth system that fits in a laptop bag but looks like a ton of fun, with various modules that click together, weird touch- and pressure-sensitive rubbery keys and pads, and various "control" blocks for looping, recording, sequencing, and MIDI/USB connections to other gear.

Roli Blocks [Amazon]

They also sell a range of keyboard controllers using the same design. Even the two-octave models are awfully expensive; I don't even want to know how much the "grand" model is.

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The lollipopter puts the helicone to shame

Remember the helicone toy that changed from a helix to a pine cone? A mathematician just upped the ante with the colorful lollipopter. Read the rest

Make abstract paintings with this Pocket (Jackson) Pollock toy

The first and only #toy that allows you to be #JacksonPollock! #designertoys #arttoys #abstractart #abstractexpressionism #pollock #funny #sculpture #artwork #woodentoys

A post shared by Steve Casino (@stevecasino) on Jul 2, 2017 at 7:27pm PDT

Taking a break from painting portraits on peanuts, artist Steve Casino has created a wooden toy that literally made me laugh out loud when I saw it in his Instagram feed. He calls it a Pocket Pollock and it's fashioned after abstract painter Jackson Pollock. Like its namesake, the toy also makes abstract paintings. How? Well, just watch the video.

When you're done with that video, go to Steve's YouTube channel and check out Steve's other wooden toy sculptures. They are so cool and creative! Read the rest

The best inflatable unicorn

My quest for an inflatable tardigrade is yet to yield results, but they say the journey is the destination and I have discovered a plethora of inflatable unicorns along the way. This one is the best. It's quite expensive, at $43 shipped, but you can't cut corners when it comes to quality inflatables.

P.S. The inflatable unicorn wall head is just incredibly nasty, thanks to the uncannily realistic horse photo printed on it. Unless you're putting it in someone's bed as a warning, avoid.

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Spirited Away's No-Face as a mechanical piggy bank

The Kaonashi No-Face Piggy Bank makes the most out of one of the coolest characters in Studio Ghibli's storied history -- but getting one exported to you from Japan costs an astounding $164. (via Kadrey) Read the rest

Cube Spinner tantalizingly close to Lament Configuration

The cube-shaped fidget spinner is the only cool fidget spinner, but they could and should be even better: whoever is responsible for Hellraiser merchandise is missing a trick. (Though you can get a Lemarchand's Rubik's Cube)

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Restoring a 50 year-old Hot Wheels model car

baremetalHW collects, revives and customizes Hot Wheels toys. Above, a 1968 Deora is restored to its original glory; he shows the paints and techniques required to get it right. Below, a contemporary model is turned into a Mad Max monster.

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How Matchbox cars were made in 1965

Here is delightful factory footage from 1965 of Matchbox car manufacturing in the London Borough of Hackney. From Wikipedia:

The Matchbox name originated in 1953 as a brand name of the British die-casting company, Lesney Products, whose reputation would be moulded by John W. "Jack" Odell (1920–2007), Leslie Charles Smith (1918–2005), and Rodney Smith (hence the name Lesney, a portmanteau of Leslie and Rodney Smith's first names). Their first major sales success was the popular model of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation coach, which sold more than a million models. Shortly thereafter, Lesney co-owner Jack Odell created a toy that effectively paved the way for the company's future success. It was designed for his daughter: her school only allowed children to bring toys that could fit inside a matchbox, so Odell crafted a scaled-down version of the Lesney green and red road roller. This toy ultimately became the first of the 1-75 miniature range. A dump truck and a cement mixer completed the original three-model release that marked the starting point for the mass-market success of the Matchbox series. As a result of the inspiration for the toys' size, the idea was born to sell the models in replica matchboxes — thus yielding the name of the series. It also resulted in the description of the models' scales being "1:box" (as opposed to more mathematical scales such as 1:87, 1:64, or 1:43).

(via Laughing Squid)

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Reminder: don't eat fidget spinners

Fox News reports that a girl in Texas nearly choked on a fidget spinner that she had put in her mouth. Her mom looked over to see the child red-faced and drooling, and had to rush her to hospital to get the quarter-sized toy removed from her esophagus.

“From this I wish to offer some word of caution to parents,” Joniec posted. “Fidget spinners are the current craze so they are widely distributed. Kids of all ages may be getting them, but not all spinners come with age-appropriate warnings. The bushings pop out easily, so if you have young kids (under 8 yr old) keep in mind that these present a potential choking hazard.”

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Loop-a-Lot (1966) crummy toy commerical

The Loop-a-Lot is described by this YouTuber as a "crummy toy." Is it really crummy? Well, it probably didn't keep kids amused for more that 45 seconds. So, it probably is crummy.

The purpose of the toy is to balance pennies on points inside cutouts of a paddle while you spin it around your finger. You could make one out of a piece of cardboard in a couple of minutes.

The manufacturers knew this toy would be a hard sell, so they resorted to the desperate ploy of incorporating a suit-wearing, roller skating monkey into the commercial. Read the rest

Pixel-art Useless Machine on the web

A classic favorite of Boing Boing editors, the Useless Machine has been implemented as a website for your button-pressing pleasure. Read the rest

Make crazy 3D houses with Brick Block

Oskar Stalberg (previously) made Brick Block, a fun online 3D toy that lets you design surreal blocky houses. You can spin the scene to any degree and have it generate random houses. It's like the level editor for a Victorian-themed version of the classic cyberpunk game Syndicate.

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Custom Minecraft figs with glowing eyes and swords

Red Lava Toys is a Detroit-based startup that make super cool, low-cost custom Minecraft figs at a local makerspace: they CNC-milled their own injection molds for the body and joints, and have precision die-cut vinyl stickers that they print to order with long-lasting ink and cover with a clear adhesive coat, then place them on the body of the toy. Read the rest

In 1982, Mattel fielded a teen-pregnancy Barbie toy

Midge is a semi-disavowed character in the Barbieverse, created in 1963 to counter claims that Barbie was oversexualized; weirdly, in 1982, Mattel made the decision to release a version of the doll, who appeared to be a young teen, as a pregnant lady, with a detachable bump containing an articulated foetus. Read the rest

You won't be able to unsee this Tickle Me Elmo skinned alive

The Canada Science and Technology Museum had the best worst idea of all time: they stripped the fur off a Tickle Me Elmo to show kids how it works.

Bonus video: a classic of the little robot demon afire:

Furless Tickle Me Elmo for Tinkering Activity (YouTube / Canada Science and Technology Museum) Read the rest

A doll designed to bend into the whole alphabet

Mister Alphabet is an action-figure designed to cleverly bend and contort into every letter of the Latin alphabet; the website is long on trademark warnings and arty Instagram photos, but short on details, like, "Is this an object of commerce?" and "If so, where does one buy it?" (via Kottke) Read the rest

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