Boing Boing 

Tinker Crate

Tinker Crate is a monthly subscription service, delivering cool toys to encourage engineering-style skills in kids aged 9 to 14. Instructions are included, but they also produce slick videos like the one above to further engage little minds. Project kits include parts and diagrams to make a trebuchet in one month, and a simple motor the next.

The site doesn't list more projects than that, but since they're offering subscriptions up to 12 months, we'll just have to sign up and be surprised.

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Paul Dini's cyber garage sale

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Paul Dini is having a garage sale, and you're invited. No, it's not for charity, and these are not big ticket items, it's just, in his words, "Original art, collectibles, One-of-a-kind pieces, animation memorabilia, costumes, and generic crap I don't want to pay storage fees on anymore." It's his collection of mostly unopened toys and action figures; but to geeks, these are Paul Dini's toys! Dini is somewhat of a towering figure in the superhero world for his work as a animation and comic book writer and creator. In addition to being part of the core team of writers on Lost, he is a five-time Emmy award winner, as well as the Eisner award, Harvey Award and several Annie Awards. Now his toys can be yours!

Paul Dini's Cyber Garage Sale

The 1982 JC Penney Christmas Catalog


631 lovingly scanned pages for your perusal; may I draw your attention to the electronic toys, including Little Professor at $15, Speak and Spell digital at $62, Coleco Frogger at $60, Merlin at $31.50, Simon at $32, Pocket Dungeons and Dragons at $20 and Electronic Battleship at $40 (multiply by 2.42 to adjust for inflation).

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Beauty tips for male Lego execs


Hugh writes, "Lego published annoying 'beauty tips' for young girls; Elbe Spurling has a nice response: beauty tips for male Lego executives."

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Alternate universe, Star-Wars scale Cthulhu action figures


Warpo's amazing, Kickstarted alternate-universe Cthulhu action figures have been reality for some months now, but now they're objects of commerce: $20 each at Thinkgeek.

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Parents upset over child's toy that says "Fuck you"

A defective Peppa Pig toy has taught a three-year-old to say "Fuck you." It appears Peppa has taught the boy's father to say the forbidden word in front of his child, as well. [via]

Martin Luther playset is the best-selling toy of all time


Playmobil's German "Little Luther" toy sold 34,000 pieces in 72 hours.

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Kickstarting Facets, a cool granddad's magnetic, geometric wooden building blocks


Ron Worley's nearly fully funded in his Kickstarter for Facets -- wooden, geometrical blocks with small magnets that easily lock/unlock and build amazing, gemlike geometrical forms.

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Infectious disease squeeze-balls, full of buboes

The coolest gross-out toy under our tree this year is the $5 infectious disease ball, a squeeze-ball wrapped in mesh that erupts into disquieting, vividly colored buboes when you squeeze it.

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Kevin Kelly's gift guide of cool toys

At Cool Tools Kevin Kelly presents 7 or 8 cool toy gift ideas. I'm excited to learn that there are a few new Perplexuses: the Rookie, the Twist, and the Epic.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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