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.
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.
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:
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!
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 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
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