Ugears: beautiful, steampunkular geared wooden puzzle-toys

Ugears makes gorgeous wooden puzzle toys made from laser-cut plywood that snap-fits to create beautiful, retro machines and sculptures with meshing, working geared mechanisms. Read the rest

Watch this guy solve a 17x17x17 Rubik's Cube in under 5 hours

Russian speed-cuber Evgeny Bondarenko decided to tackle the biggest challenge on the market today: solving the 17x17x17 Rubik's Cube. Talk about concentration! Read the rest

Barbie ride-on toy car modded with real engine goes 70 mph

Edwin Olding hacked together a Barbie Power Wheels Ford Mustang chassis with an old go-kart frame and a customized Honda dirt bike engine. This hot pink whip now races at 70 mph. From The Drive:

Olding told The Drive, "I wanted to find the cutest Barbie Power Wheels car online and turn it into a drift kart."

With the miniature Mustang's tiny electric motor and plastic tires, that would not be an easy task. Instead of trying to boost the Power Wheels' weak performance, Olding decided to chop out everything that wasn't the car's outer shell and drop that onto a pre-built go-kart found on Craigslist. That, however, presented its own problems. The kart's frame couldn't fit into the Mustang's 36-inch wheelbase, so it had to be cut down and welded back together.

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Silly Putty is fun for most everyone

I still buy multi-packs of the red egg. My daughter is into Aaron's Thinking Putty, but I find Silly Putty to be the ultimate fidget toy.

Lifting newsprint ruins the putty, so buy a few eggs at once.

Original Silly Putty Pack #104-48 6 Pack via Amazon Read the rest

Bandai is manufacturing armored cats

Bandai created armored cats ("Nekobusou") as a jokey tweet whose unexpected popularity inspired the toymaker to go into production with a like of armored cat figurines ranging from $5-14 each. Read the rest

What's inside one of those magic chess boards?

Square Off is a crowdfunded chess board that uses a computer and magnets to move pieces physically while playing a human opponent. YouTuber What's Inside? does a teardown to see how it works. Read the rest

Watch this speed build of a LEGO ship in a bottle

One of the great things about YouTube is the vicarious pleasure of watching someone do something satisfying that you may not have time or inclination to do yourself. Case in point: this cool speed build of a LEGO ship in a bottle. Read the rest

Watch how to tow a real car using toy cars

MrBeast, best known for surprising video game streamers and restaurant workers with enormous donations and tips, also dabbles in goofy experiments, like seeing how many toy cars it takes to pull an actual car. Read the rest

A puzzle expert shows off some of his favorites

Tim at Grand Illusions chose several of his favorite "photogenic" puzzles to share. Some of them he has not solved yet, and even some that he's solved are still quite challenging to replicate. Read the rest

Rock'em Sock'em Robots -- $15

In another career, I used my set of Rock'em Sock'em Robots to settle meaningless employee disputes. They worked successfully at several startups, until I met some online media sales people. They didn't know to stop when their block was knocked off.

Mattel's Rock'em Sock'em Robots via Amazon Read the rest

Simple web music box

Creative Beats is a single-serving music box designed to show how easy it is to create things when simple, effective tools are available. I reviewed a Novation Launchpad once and could barely figure it out, but I'd gotten something out of this within a couple of minutes:

https://media.boingboing.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/My-Recording_01.mp3

It's inspired by a book project by Questlove, and made with Glitch. If the foolproof scale and single kick drum prove too limiting, there's plenty out there to graduate to. Read the rest

Wonderful toy photography reveals delightful alternate realities

Pro toy photographer Mitchel Wu creates these stunning scenes using "practical effects," physical effects created without computer-generated imagery.

I create and craft stories through toy photography...capturing the illusion of motion and emotion where none exist. Bridging the gap between toys and the stories in one's head - it's all fun and games...

See more on Wu's Instagram too!

(via PetaPixel)

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There's a cute VW bus made for little kids

Three hundred and fifty bucks doesn't seem unreasonable for this kids' electric VW T1 Camper Van. The red-and-white two-seater IS an officially licensed product, so it may be of decent quality. Not only does it have working head and tail lights but it also goes forward and in reverse. It can only handle up to 110 lbs., so grownups will just have to get a real one (or get this T1 fridge).

(The Awesomer) Read the rest

A ball that inverts and changes color when it is midair, and the scientific literature that explains it

The Hoberman Switch Pitch Throwing Ball is a $12 toy that instantiates a dual polyhedron: every time you throw it, it turns inside-out; there's a wealth of scientific literature that explains how this works, including this open-access paper from the Journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures. Here's JWZ's summary: "The curved body panels that make it look like a sphere hide an internal structure that is a cube; or really, two tetrahedrons embedded in a cube; and when it its its activation energy, the tetrahedron becomes its dual, swapping faces and vertices." Read the rest

Check out this fun song performed on instruments made of LEGO

LEGO invited YouTuber Andrew Huang to make a song using only instruments he constructed from the colorful plastic bricks. Some very creative instruments were the result. Read the rest

The Pocket Sprite's a game console that's small enough to fit on your keychain

Earlier this month, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Pocket Sprite – a $55 piece of game emulation hardware that fits in the palm of your hand. Measuring just an inch wide and two inches tall, the Pocket Sprite looks like the smallest Game Boy you've ever seen. It plays like it too, with A, B, start and selection buttons and a wee display with dimension sized to make playing games from the 1980s and 1990s in their original format feel "right."

Out of the box, the Pocket Sprite can play homebrew games designed to work with Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Sega console emulators. Before you ask, yes, this also means that any Game Boy or Sega ROMs you happen to find online will work with the hardware.

Before laying hands on it, I was apprehensive about how playable the Pocket Sprite might be. I still carry around a Game Boy Micro console with me, everywhere I go. I find that it's juuuuust small enough to pocket and still large enough that playing Super Mario World for 30 minutes can actually be enjoyable. The Pocket Sprite's way smaller than my GB Micro is. I was surprised by how easy its chunky controls were to use. But I was disappointed by how hard it was to keep track of a game's action on its display. For my eyes, it's just too small. But maybe your experience will be different.

Whether or not the Game Sprite is worth $55 really depends on why you're buying it. Read the rest

Spirograph in a tin, just like you remember

I gave my daughter a spirograph for Valentine's Day.

I spent hours doodling with a spirograph as a kid. My set came in a tin pretty much just like this one.

It is tempting to wallpaper her room with individual spirograph doodles.

Spirograph Design Tin Set via Amazon Read the rest

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