Keeping with my theme of DIY projects as gifts, I present to you this little treat, a laser-cut marble machine that comes to us via merry old England. While the mechanism is cool – you turn a little crank and send the balls climbing up a hill and then down a little ramp – the real fun comes in assembling the jolly little machine. → Read More
If you watch one homemade Japanese RC car transformer video today, make it this one. This amazing little roadster switches from sports car to dancing robot in a few seconds and it can even walk while in robot mode, and, more important, transform back into a car in the blink of an eye. → Read More
The first time I was chased around a room by a glowing, buzzing ball I was in college and I had just come home from a rave. The last time was when I opened the Sphero and set it loose on my rug.
The Sphero is a ball with a brain. Designed by Orbotix, this 3-inch toy has an internal motor and a set of LEDs that can make it flash nearly any color of the rainbow. It’s run by iOS or Android apps… → Read More
For a mere $50 you, too, can own a small, iPhone-controlled helicopter made by a company that has been traditionally known for selling phone cases.
Like Parrot before them, Griffin is branching out from its traditional product line and offering this small dual-rotor helicopter that is, in general, controlled via IR commands sent using a special dongle attached to the iPhone. There is full… → Read More
Kindness, sociability, affection, appreciation of others: those are the things your child could be learning if we didn’t just slap down an iPad in front of them every time life gets a little crowded and they get a little bored. But what about the smallest of the younglings? What can they do to have a good time while we amuse ourselves into the sweet release of e-toxicity? Why not pick up the … → Read More
This $5 fake USB cable connects to almost anything (bananas included) and lets you pretend you have some of the coolest gadgets in the office. Want to make a Bananaputer? It’s only a click away. → Read More
I remember poring over Uncle Milton Catalogs as a wee lad but I doubt old Milt has rubber glass, oil-absorbing polymers, or conductive foam sensors in his bag of tricks. That’s where Inventibles comes in. These guys are a one-stop shop for wild materials and scientific tools and I’m kind of salivating just going through the lists of items. → Read More
Ned Strongin, co-inventor of Connect 4, passed away on April 9 of this year. He also invented Weebles, the little toys that wobble but don’t fall down.
Strongin was 92. → Read More
While at first glance, it may seem a little strange that Toys R Us is apparently planning on selling the iPad 2, it really makes a lot of sense. Apple is pursuing different market angles, and one of them is the e-reader one, and kids love the big full-color interactive titles in iBooks. To be honest, I’d expect a whole section of Toys R Us to be dedicated to color e-readers soon. → Read More
Takara Tomy in Japan has started selling Manekko P-Chan [JP], a small parakeet toy that repeats what you say (4 seconds maximum), twice, and just seconds after “hearing” your voice. You can also “teach” P-Chan phrases that it stores in its memory and repeats at random times later, just like a real bird would do. → Read More
Most people over the age of 20 will remember the ViewMaster toys that let you see slideshows from your favorite movies and cartoons in 3D. Shabby, static 3D, but still. Well, Hasbro has put out a product that, while it sounds ridiculous at first, is actually sheer genius. Replace the slide wheels with an iPhone! It’s brilliant! → Read More
On Friday, we’ve shown you Twimal, a super-cute USB toy for Twitter users that can read specific tweets out loud (so you don’t have to look at the computer screen to follow your time line). But before Takara Tomy, a smaller Japanese toy company called WiZ has brought the so-called Charatter [JP] to the Japanese market, a teddy bear that’s able to do the same. → Read More
Uncle Milton knows what’s up. This $23 device will throw a beautiful rainbow across your room, complete with multiple colors. Sadly, as one Amazon reviewer notes, “the product projects a rainbow onto the walls, not through the air as displayed in the illustration, but I do have to say that my seven year old and my three year old are completely enchanted.” So it’s not a real rainbow, but a fauxbaux… → Read More
When it comes to flying discs (“frisbees” to the vulgar), there are many to choose from. I personally like the Koosh Woosh, but as they don’t sell that particular relic any more, I’m forced to recommend other options for summer fun. The Hela Disc looks promising: it’s like an Aerobie donut-style disc but unlike that worthy item, won’t slice your head off if you… → Read More