Replica Star Trek original series tricorder


Thinkgeek's $60 replica tricorder is full-sized, plays real Leonard Nimoy-voiced Spock audio samples, and has a removable light-up scanner. (via Geeky Merch)

Toys are more gendered now than they were 50 years ago


Before Reagan's FCC deregulated kids' TV and allowed toy-makers to produce 22-minute commercials disguised as cartoons, there had been major strides in de-gendering toys, grouping them by interest, rather than by constraining who was "supposed" to play with them.

Read the rest

Free shipping for 3D printed Makie dolls


Makies, the award-winning 3D printed custom dolls featured in our gift guide, have just announced free shipping on UK orders, and on overseas orders of more than $115! Get your order in by Dec 15 for Xmas delivery in the UK. Dec 10 for the rest of the world.

Read the rest

Celestial Buddies: plush planets and sun

Celestial Buddies sells huggable plush planets that are pretty danged adorable -- they come with little information booklets to nurture kids' curiosity about space.

Read the rest

Barbie "computer engineer" book is a total disaster


The storybook has Barbie infecting all her friends' computers with a heart-shaped USB drive, then calling on the boys to fix the computers and program the video-game that she goes on to take credit for.

Read the rest

Plush undersea creatures


Parisian crafter Big Stuffed makes beautiful, cuddly, handmade undersea creatures -- the big ones are huge, like the 90 cm whale made from fun-fur and jersey. (via Crazy Abalone)

A history of functional toy cameras

Written by pop-culture authors Buzz Poole and Christopher D. Salyers (who is also a toy camera collector), Camera Crazy is an attractively photographed collection of functioning toy cameras, which were popularized in the 1960s when the plastic 120 film “Diana” hit the market for only $1 a pop. Although always a hit with children, toy cameras have also been revered by collectors and photographers who welcome the artistic challenge of shooting with a plastic box that offers only a fixed focus and single shutter speed. From 1970s Mick-A-Matics and Gobots Cameras (1985) to Tamagotchi Cameras (1997) and Lego Digital Cameras (2011) – and everything in between – this book pays homage to over one-hundred of these cameras as well as many photographs produced by these “toys.” With a camera now included in every smart phone, I hope toy cameras don’t become a thing of the past.

Camera Crazy by Buzz Poole and Christopher D. Salyers

Take a look at other beautiful paper books at Wink. And sign up for the Wink newsletter to get all the reviews and photos delivered once a week.

Wonderfully grody, inside-out teddy bears


Kent Rogowski's marvellously gory and visceral pictures of inside-out teddy bears were collected in the 2007 book Bears, which is available used starting at $0.49. (via IO9)

We Are Indie Toys – How vinyl character artists turn their ideas into one-of-a-kind collectibles

Resin characters are small pop art statues, often depicting creepy-cute characters that bring to mind Sanrio, Aurora monster model kits of the 1960s, and the bright colors and themes of the lowbrow art movement. The subtitle of We Are Indie Toys is “Make Your Own Resin Characters” but that’s not true. While the artists profiled in this book offer good tips for designing and making resin figurines, there are no instructions in the book (someone needs to write that book!). Nevertheless, We Are Indie Toys is an illuminating trip into the world and minds of the best resin artists of today, with plenty of process photos and screengrabs.

We Are Indie Toys by Louis Bou

Take a look at other beautiful paper books at Wink. And sign up for the Wink newsletter to get all the reviews and photos delivered once a week.

Ewok haters! See this guy's awesome diorama and beg for forgiveness

David Mizejewski found his old Star Wars action toys. So he did what anyone else would do: make an amazing Ewok diorama.

Read the rest

WATCH: Japanese doll maker at work

Many thanks to Andreas for sharing this lovely video of a doll maker in Japan.

Vintage toys: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Thumper, and... Idiot?

idiot

The 1949 Airboy comic has an ad for 5 puppets: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Thumper... and Idiot. We'll assume Idiot is not a Disney-licensed character, though he looks a bit like their Hunchback. The same firm also sold Halloween masks:

Read the rest

Hallowe'en Makie mischief: Barbie freakout!

The adorable stop-motion video from 3D printed toy makers Makies is a spooky Hallowe'en treat with a well-deserved comeuppance for Barbie.

Read the rest

History of the Ouija Board

In 1891, Kennard Novelty Company, makers of the first commercial talking board, needed a name for their product, so they asked the board to name itself. Smithsonian's Linda Rodriguez McRobbie looks at "The Strange and Mysterious History of the Ouija Board." Above, my favorite Ouija Board moment in film. From Smithsonian:

ouija-board-planchette-gallery.png__600x0_q85_upscale

Contrary to popular belief, “Ouija” is not a combination of the French for “yes,” oui, and the German ja. (Ouija historian Robert) Murch says, based on his research, it was (Kennard Novelty Company co-founder) Elijah Bond’s sister-in-law, Helen Peters (who was, Bond said, a “strong medium”), who supplied the now instantly recognizable handle. Sitting around the table, they asked the board what they should call it; the name “Ouija” came through and, when they asked what that meant, the board replied, “Good luck.” Eerie and cryptic—but for the fact that Peters acknowledged that she was wearing a locket bearing the picture of a woman, the name “Ouija” above her head. That’s the story that emerged from the Ouija founders’ letters; it’s very possible that the woman in the locket was famous author and popular women’s rights activist Ouida, whom Peters admired, and that “Ouija” was just a misreading of that.

The Strange and Mysterious History of the Ouija Board"

Loony Lids is an epidemic.

looooon

Oh those nutty 1950s. (via Weird Universe)