Flybrix: "rebuildable, crash-friendly drones" made from Lego

Flybrix kits allow you to turn a variety of Lego builds into little copter-drones that you can fly with an app or a Bluetooth joystick. Read the rest

Is your Etch A Sketch game at Kyle Fleming's level?

If drawing stairsteps on an Etch A Sketch seems like the pinnacle of achievement, these masterworks by Kyle Fleming may inspire you to new heights. They may also inspire you to shake yours clean and permanently donate it to the nearest toddler. Read the rest

A fully-functional Rubik's Cube made of ice

Starting in 1980, spurred by popularity of the Rubik's Cube, UK-based Tony Fisher started passionately collecting "twisty puzzles."

Over the years, he's become quite the collector and inventor. All his "transformations" are really impressive. In fact, in 2016, he became a Guinness World Record holder for "World's Largest Rubik's Cube."

Well, now he has fashioned a fully-functional Rubik's Cube out of ice.

He explains:

This is my Rubik's Cube made from 95% ice and it is fully functional. All 8 corners and 12 edges are solid ice. The 6 centres are 50% ice and the core is plastic. The screws and springs are regular metal ones. The puzzle shown is a first attempt and works surprising well. I am thinking about making others with full ice centres and also fully coloured ones.
This video doesn't show how he made it and you'll see that the video footage is reversed in the beginning, making the melting ice seemingly "build" the toy. He does, however, write that he'll be posting the construction video soon. (Daily Mail)

Previously: WATCH: World record smallest 7x7x7 Rubik's Cube Read the rest

Uranium glass marbles

If you're concerned that these Uranium Glass Marbles are simply standard marbles with phosphorescent material or somesuch, worry not! Amazon assures the consumer that they'll get a geiger counter going.

... A Ludlum Model 44-9 Geiger-Mueller probe connected to a Ludlum Model 3 when in direct contact will read several hundred cpm.

That said, a lot of the reviewers talk of using blacklight to see them, which does suggest an absolute minimum of radioactive material augmented by fluorescent paint. There's six in each pack of 5/8" marbles. Read the rest

This political sorting hat will assign you a nice flag

According to Politiscales, a political Myers-Briggs type questionnaire and sorting hat, I'm some kind of happy hippy anarchist with no time for terfs. I often found the questions vague or open to interpretation, so would moderate answers that might be more assertively stated down the pub. It coughed up this nice purple flag, too. I've never seen it before and Google Images doesn't know what it represents, but it's rather suggestive of the sexier regions of the left. Read the rest

Complete tour of the LEGO House in Denmark

The Beyond the Brick channel headed to Billund, Denmark for a superfan's tour of the LEGO House. What's great about this tour is that the host knows the names of many of the builders, and has met a lot of them personally, giving the tour a real insider's feel. Read the rest

This 6-year-old made $11 million on YouTube in one year

Meet Ryan, age 6. He's the host of Ryan ToysReview on YouTube. He earned $11 million in revenue in twelve months. From the Washington Post:

What has grown into a viral phenomenon began with a simple, unremarkable 15-minute video about a Lego Duplo train set. When his family started recording and posting the videos in March 2015, the 3-year-old barely had any views let alone reviews, according to a profile of Ryan in Verge. In his first video, he simply opened a Lego box, set up the blocks, and played with them.

“Ryan was watching a lot of toy review channels — some of his favorites are EvanTubeHD and Hulyan Maya — because they used to make a lot of videos about Thomas the Tank Engine, and Ryan was super into Thomas,” his mother, who declined to be named, told TubeFilter last year.

“One day, he asked me, ‘How come I’m not on YouTube when all the other kids are?’ So we just decided — yeah, we can do that. Then, we took him to the store to get his very first toy — I think it was a Lego train set — and it all started from there.”

"6-year-old made $11 million in one year reviewing toys on YouTube" (WaPo)

Read the rest

Eco-friendly bamboo toy cars and planes

Giant Grass Design recently did a successful crowdfunding round to create eco-friendly bamboo toy vehicles. These look like lots of fun! Read the rest

Celebrate Xmas with your little makers with conductive play-doh kits from Technology Will Save Us

Back in July, I blogged the Kickstarter campaign for Technology Will Save Us's Dough Universe kits: kits for 4-7 year olds that use conductive dough to make squishy circuits that can power all kinds of electronics projects. Read the rest

Boing Boing Gift Guide 2017

Here's this year's complete Boing Boing Gift Guide: dozens of great ideas for stocking stuffers, brain-hammers, mind-expanders, terrible toys, badass books and more. Where available, we use Amazon Affiliate links to help keep the world's greatest neurozine online.

Four ninths of a Rubik's Cube

If an entire 3x3 Rubik's Cube is too much, but a 2x2 one too plainly insulting, try this 2x3 one that you can get for about a fiver at Amazon. That's four ninths of a real Rubik's Cube for nine tenths of the price!

The product page assures you in its first bullet point that this puzzle contains "no fabrics." SOLD. Read the rest

Consumer groups' labs advise parents not to buy connected toys, claim risk of strangers listening and talking to kids over the internet

Two leading European consumer groups -- the UK's Which? and Germany's Stiftung Warentest -- have published an advisory with the results of their lab tests on the security of kids' connected toys, warning that these toys are insecure and could allow strangers to listen in and talk to your kids over the internet. Read the rest

Makers of bizarrely long-legged teddy bear respond

The Joyfay Giant Teddy ($109, Amazon) is described as "6½feet" and appears in pictures as an adorably chubby furry friend for young and old alike: "offers more huggability than your average bear!" declares the product description.

But upon receipt, buyers report, the toy is not quite what they expected. It is, as promised, "6½ feet". As spotted by Twitter user cooltonedcutie, it's mostly limbs.

"I was expecting a the bear to be huge because it's 6.5 ft right?" writes "Amazon Customer". "No, all of its height is from its legs and the legs are longer than its upper body."

But others say the freakish furry is just adorable — a position its creators at Joyfay are quick to concur with.

"We first began selling giant teddy bears because we noticed a large spike in demand around Valentine’s Day for these items on Google Trends," writes Nikola Matic, who cofounded the company while completing a PhD program at Case Western Reserve University. "At this time, this was a present almost exclusively given to girlfriends and wives. It was often given from boyfriends or husbands that traveled frequently or were deployed overseas as a sort of surrogate boyfriend. As such, the proportions of the teddy bear were closer to an adult humans than to tiny teddy bears."

Adds Matic:

In the years since, a demand has grown for these giant teddy bears as a gift for children, for birthdays, and even at Christmas. With that change in demand, there was a desire for the bears to have the proportions of a smaller teddy bear.

Read the rest

The Animation Dome

My inventor friend Les Cookson, just reached out and shared his new project with me: The Animation Dome. As usual, Les has created something that we’ll want to play with—and as with all his projects, it's inspired by a technology designed over 150 years ago: the Zoetrope. His tool takes the traditional 2D animation illusion into the third dimension.  

The dome is a great art creation tool and is obviously the logical gateway to creating warm-hearted Burning Man favorites such as Peter Hudson’s Charon.

And his art imitates life classic, Tantalus.

If you like the Animation Dome, check out Les’s other creative products at Ancient Magic Art Tools.

He is the man with the animation plan!

The Animation Dome [Kickstarter] Read the rest

Unicorn turns evil with a squeeze

Don't chase Glenda Glitterpoop the unicorn ($41, Amazon). Instead, squeeze it, transforming its beatific unicorn face into a snarling monster. It's washable, too, so you can squeeze it again and again!

Glenda measures 8.5" tall and she's a fast one so catch her quickly! She will go from "awww" to "ahhh!" with a quick squeeze behind the ears This mystic Feisty Pet is a rare beast! What a lucky find! Stuffed with polyester fibers and is surface washable

Here's essential video of Glenda turning:

Read the rest

Kids' smart watches are a security/privacy dumpster-fire

The Norwegian Consumer Council hired a security firm called Mnemonic to audit the security of four popular brands of kids' smart watches and found a ghastly array of security defects: the watches allow remote parties to seize control over them in order to monitor children's movements and see where they've gone, covertly listen in on them, and steal their personal information. The data the watches gather and transmit to offshore servers is copious and sent in the clear. The watches incorporate cameras and the photos children take are also easily plundered by hackers. Read the rest

Watch an incredible demonstration of Slinky tricks

And yet I can barely get mine to walk down the stairs. (KumaFilms via Kottke)

And if you're not hip to the fantastic story of the Slinky's invention:

In 1943, Richard James, a naval mechanical engineer stationed at the William Cramp and Sons shipyards in Philadelphia, was developing springs that could support and stabilize sensitive instruments aboard ships in rough seas. James accidentally knocked one of the springs from a shelf, and watched as the spring "stepped" in a series of arcs to a stack of books, to a tabletop, and to the floor, where it re-coiled itself and stood upright. James's wife Betty later recalled, "He came home and said, 'I think if I got the right property of steel and the right tension; I could make it walk.'" James experimented with different types of steel wire over the next year, and finally found a spring that would walk. Betty was dubious at first, but changed her mind after the toy was fine-tuned and neighborhood children expressed an excited interest in it. She dubbed the toy Slinky (meaning "sleek and graceful"), after finding the word in a dictionary, and deciding that the word aptly described the sound of a metal spring expanding and collapsing.
(Wikipedia)

Read the rest

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