Sunday, January 24, 2010

Techno Gears Marble Raceway Mania

Techno Gears Marble Raceway Mania
This is a 420 piece marble track with a competitive twist (sorry for the pun). Two players release one marble each simultaneously with the press of a button. Each marble encounters spinning wheels, dips, a chicane, a corkscrew, a pachinko-like bumper course, a lane switching trigger, and a set of weighted levers. When a marble reaches the finish line, the clock stops and flashes "Winner" on the screen.

Here is a link to the Techno Gears Marble Raceway Mania.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Place de la Musique - home of mechanical marvels

Check out this news story about a massive collection of music machines, arcade games, and other mechanical marvels.

From The Sanfilippo Foundation web site:
The Sanfilippo "Place de la Musique" is known worldwide for its magnificent collections of beautifully restored antique music machines, phonographs, arcade and gambling machines, chandeliers, art glass, the world's largest restored theatre pipe organ, the most spectacular European salon carousel in existence, street and tower clocks, steam engines and other functional mechanical antiques, displayed within a breathtaking French Second Empire setting.

Learn more at The Sanfilippo Foundation web site.

[ Thanks Joe! ]

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Kuku impenetrable metal ball puzzle(s)

Kuku Impenetrable Metal Ball Puzzle
Imported from the UK, this precision aluminum puzzle is made by the same folks who make the Isis Puzzle. And, like the Isis, it is a puzzle within puzzle. If you manage to open the Kuku, inside you will find a token that can be registered online to play a game -- which itself is a puzzle requiring you to decode a picture clue to come up with a 10 digit code. Should you solve this second puzzle, you are admitted to a special vault area where you will have 5 minutes to explore and perhaps lay claim cash or other prizes. Clever idea.

Here is the link to more info on the Kuku Impenetrable Metal Ball Puzzle.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mario Hammer paper automaton download

Mario Hammer paper automaton download
Another Mario Brother's inspired paper automaton download is available at Nintendo Papercraft. The paper Mario smashes a Goomba with a large hammer.

Here's the page with the Mario Hammer paper automaton kit.

[ Thanks Alan! ]

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Zombie Shooting Gallery mechanical toy

This would have been better to post before Halloween, but it's still a great mechanical toy. A new spin on an old shooting gallery game.

From the zombie shooting game description:
Take aim with the included laser assault rifle and blast the zombies as they pop up from the windows of the dark mansion. Too slow and they dine on the human hostages inside. Remember, practice hard... not much time before the real hell spawn arrive to feast on flesh of the living.

Here is the link for the Zombie Shooting Gallery mechanical toy.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Motion mimicking boxing robot toy set

Motion mimicking boxing robot toy set
A pair of hand-held controllers with on-board sensors capture your hand motions in real time and translate them into little robotic punches directed at your similarly armed opponent. The set includes two robots and two pairs of infrared controllers.

"The infrared controllers have built-in tilt sensors and accelerometers to detect when you move your hands--when you punch, the robot punches; directional buttons control forward and backward movement. Each robot has a target area in the middle of its chest; when struck, it registers a "hit" on the four-LED display just above the target. Four hits disables a robot and wins a bout."

Now if we could just scale these up to the size of monster trucks...

Here is the link for more info on the Motion Mimicking Robotic Pugilists.

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Solid wood Sacred Myths Legendary Puzzles

Solid wood Sacred Myths Legendary Puzzles
This isn't just one puzzle, but 7 different puzzles -- all based around great moments in science and history. If you solve each mechanically unique puzzle in order, each will provide a clue to solving the next one.

Sacred Myths Legendary Puzzle details

From the item description:
Sacred Myths is a series of 7 individual puzzles. Following the series sequentially, each puzzle contains clues and codes to solve that particular puzzle, as well as a password needed for additional hints for subsequent puzzles. It is possible to solve each puzzle individually, or solve them in order to take advantage of the hints. Up to you.

These puzzles can be pretty taxing. Solving them without using the hints makes them especially difficult. We were floored by the mechanism used the Carta Blanca puzzle box. It's one of the most unique puzzles we have ever seen. All of the Sacred Myths puzzles are hand crafted from solid wood.

The seventh puzzle will be released in the winter of 2009. Interesting. It could be a puzzle figuring out what the next puzzle will be!

Here is's link for the Sacred Myths Legendary Puzzles.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cogitate - online engineering puzzle game

Cogitate - engineering video game with gears
Cogitate is an engineering problem solving online game. The object is to place beams, gears, and motors on the stage in order to guide the golden cog to the target. Each piece you use to engineer your solution has a price, so you have to try to come up with the most cost-efficient one for each level.

Here's a link to the free online engineering game called Cogitate.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Hovering ball target shooting game looks fun

hovering ball target shooting game
The fact that the targets are hovering in air makes this seem more appealing to me than if they were stationary targets. I'm not sure why this is so -- perhaps because I imagine the targets bouncing gently up and down or maybe because it seems like it would be particularly satisfying to blast one of the balls out of the air.

From the game description:
This unique target game uses vectored jets of air to suspend six foam ball targets in mid-air that players try to shoot using a brightly-painted six-shot plastic dart gun loaded with suction-cup tipped foam projectiles.

Here's the link for the The Hovering Target Shooting Game.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

GEARS video game teaches mechanical thinking

GEARS video game teaches mechanical thinking
The object of the free online game called "GEARS" is to get the end gear rotating in the correct direction. The end gear is the blight blue gear. You can tell which direction the gear should rotate by the arrow.

For gears to rotate they must be attached to the start gear. The start gear is the gear with the Robot in the middle.

You add new gears to the machine by dragging them into place. Once all of the necessary gears are in place, click the start gear to set the machine in motion.

Here is a link to the GEARS video game.

[ Thanks Andrew! ]

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Mechanisms from The Sands Mechanical Museum

Coin-operated arcade mechanismsThe Sands Mechanical Museum -- restorers of coin operated arcade machines -- contains coin-operated games, pinball machines, horse race games, arcade video games, and shooting games.

They mean it when they say "those things hidden from the player are almost as fascinating as the things visible. The motors, gears, electrical wiring, and gadgets have an appeal all their own."

Indeed, they offer an extensive section called Mechanisms Explained in which they have documented, photographed, animated, and described how a wide range of arcade machine mechanisms work. They offer mechanism explanations for the following:
• Ball bearing baseball "runners"
• Bingo display screen (mechanical)
• Various coin payout devices
• Coin counter units
• Coin rejector workings
• Coin slide mechanisms
• Credit recording unit
• Gear box based hunting game
• Photo booth camera with Geneva mechanism
• An early score keeping unit
The Sands Mechanical Museum is an extremely well documented online mechanical reference source.

Thanks bhaaluu!

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