Argentine hacker mods Furby so it quotes Borges, creates a "Borgy"

Argentine hacker [Roni Bandini] modded a 1998 Furby so that it responds to stimulus by rattling off a random quote from Jorge Luis Borges. He calls it "Borgy." Read the rest

Toy makers tap into what kids really want: 'Unrolling is the new unboxing'

Ok, I'm not just sharing these "Cutetitos" for the sake of sharing them. I'm sharing them because I've just learned that toy makers have figured out that young kids really like unboxing videos and they have now found a way to replicate that experience with "mystery toys" (like these plushies wrapped up a burrito). 

The Atlantic [emphasis and some links mine]:

"Enter the L.O.L. Surprise! doll, a sphere the size of a bocce ball that consists of seven layers of packaging. Kids peel away the layers of crinkly plastic, which contain stickers and messages and tiny accessories that are surely crunched under many a parental foot, and find a small, nearly naked plastic doll with giant Bette Davis eyes who measures just a few inches tall.

More than 800 million L.O.L. Surprise! toys have been sold since their debut in late 2016, and they were one of the top products sold on Cyber Monday this year... Parents can now buy eggspods of foamcake popsburritos, and balls of many shapes and sizes containing mystery animals and figurines. (“Unrolling is the new unboxing,” said Ashley Mady, the head of brand development at the company that launched the burritos, called Cutetitos, in October.)"

...There are biological reasons young children like watching unboxing videos, and it’s the same reason they’re drawn to surprise toys. Kids don’t really get good at understanding and anticipating the future until they’re about 4 or 5, Rachel Barr, the director of the Early Learning Project at Georgetown University, told me...Unboxing videos and surprise toys allow kids to enjoy the anticipation without being too afraid...because they know roughly what will be in the package, just not the exact details.

Read the rest

Toy construction set made from real bricks, wood, and concrete

Mini Materials are 1:6 scale construction toys made from brick, wood, concrete and other real construction materials: everything from breeze blocks to Jersey barriers to pine pallets (marketed as drinks coasters!). (via Super Punch) Read the rest

Kickstarting a Da Vinci-inspired, programmable, mechanical drawing robot-arm

https://drawmaton.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/45118351_358662618238424_3396031426926215168_n.mp4

Robert Sabuda (previously) writes, "It has long been a dream of the Leonardo da Vinci Robot Society to bring one of the Renaissance Master’s creations back to life. 2019 is the 500th anniversary of da Vinci’s death and the Society has chosen to honor his memory and celebrate his life through one of his best known inventions - the Robot Knight. This robot is an early proto-computer android whose read-only programmable memory allowed it to perform many actions. And it was also rumored that the robot’s arm could also perform an extremely complex task…draw a picture!" Read the rest

The first woman Doctor Who to be commemorated with a limited-edition Barbie

Tonight marks the world premiere of the first Doctor Who series in which the Doctor is portrayed by a woman. The limited-edition commemorative Barbie available for pre-order starting tomorrow, exclusively through Forbidden Planet. Read the rest

Little Green Terracotta Army Men

Forget Little Green Army Men in Yoga Poses; they're totally 2016; the contemporary Little Green Army Man is a mashup with the terracotta warriors: they're $41 from Hobbylink Japan. (via Super Punch) Read the rest

The classic BIC 4 color pen

Not particularly wonderful to write with, but awesome none-the-less, I had to have a BIC 4 color pen. Read the rest

Self-solving Rubik's Cube

It looks like any other Rubik's cube, but for the little mechanical squeaks it makes as he scrambles it. He puts it down on the table and watches it in silence for a while. Then it moves.

Read the rest

Incredibly satisfying video depicting the meticulous, miraculous restoration of a ruined vintage Hot Wheels car

BaremetalHW's narrated timelapse of his restoration of a completely trashed Hot Wheels 1971 "Bye-Focal" car is fantastically satisfying: watching him bang out the dings, zinc coat, polish, paint, decorate and re-fit this tiny car to near-perfection is a glorious defiance of entropy. (via Kottke) Read the rest

The top that (almost) never stops

Who isn’t fascinated by the idea of perpetual motion?  Though I know it’s impossible, I’m always on the lookout for things that seem to come close.

Like most tops, Limbo is spun from your fingertips – but the hidden USB recharge-able gyroscope is what keeps it going.  LIMBO just took the Guinness World Record title for Longest-Running Mechanical Spinning Top with a non-stop spinning time of 27 hours, 9 minutes and 24 seconds! Here is a lovely product shot with its protected secret exposed.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite games to play was a frantic board game called Battling Tops where you and your friends each spun a top into a playing field and the last one standing was the winner.

This was a ridiculously entertaining game but it gave me a completely different feeling than my LIMBO toy. Instead of a frenzied micro-war playing out in front of me, the goal of LIMBO is to simply stand upright and appear as still as possible.

For those who don’t actually know that it’s powered though, LIMBO defies logic. It seems to have the gift of perpetual motion — much like the liquid-filled, drinking glass birdies from my childhood.

If you have children and haven’t seen these in action, spend the 5 bucks on one right now. It’s basically a science experiment in a fancy blue top-hat!

The bird tips back and forth depending on whether his beak is moist or not. As water evaporates, the temperature in the bird's head lowers and creates a pressure change inside the body, which causes liquid to rise into its head, which makes him dip again.  Read the rest

Watch how much this police dog loves (or hates) a Jack-in-the-box surprise toy

In the below video, Redondo Beach police officer Kyle Lofstrom pops the weasel and police dog Ammo responds accordingly.

A post shared by Redondo Beach K9 Team (@redondobeachk9team) on Aug 9, 2018 at 5:28pm PDT

"I can’t tell if this means he likes his new toy or hates it," Lofstrom posted on the K9 team's Instagram.

(via Laughing Squid) Read the rest

Watch this elegant desktop Stirling engine go over 2000 RPM

YouTuber IAA015 likes to demonstrate fun decorative gadgets for the home and office, like this nicely designed Stirling engine that can reach speeds of over 2,000 revolutions per minute. Read the rest

Mattel finally made a "tech Barbie" that isn't terrible!

Ever since 1992's Math class is tough/let's go shopping scandal, Mattel has been trying to figure out how to make a more progressive Barbie, something to bring back the edgy glory-days of 1982's teen pregnancy Barbie. Read the rest

Nazi UFO toy model pulled from shelves

Toy model manufacturer Revell agreed to discontinue its model of the Haunebu II Flying Saucer, described as "the first object in the world capable of flying in space." According to the product description, the Nazi aircraft never made it past its 1943 test stage due to World War II. Thing is, none of that is true. From The Local:

The fact that Revell's product’s description fails to mention the aircraft never existed is risky in that people who buy it might actually believe the Nazis possessed superior technologies, (said historian Jens Whener of the Military History Museum in Dresden, Germany).

"Enthusiasts can use this as a strategy to cast doubt on what we know today about National Socialism," the historian said.

The company said it agrees with the MHM, adding that “it is in fact a legendary, extraordinary aircraft which cannot be proven in terms of its existence.”

"Unfortunately, our product description does not adequately express this and we apologize for it," Revell said in a statement.

Read the rest

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.

Read the rest

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