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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Friday, October 16, 2009

Remake of classic Robert the Robot toy by Ideal

Robert the Robot toy by Ideal
Robert the Robot was the first plastic toy robot introduced in 1954. This is a modern recreation now being sold.

From the item description:
As the first plastic toy robot introduced to the American Public, he not only walked but included the "sensational new patented talking device, better known today as phonographic record. Recreated from the original Ideal molds, this golden anniversary edition includes: An authentic numbered Robert the Robot, Numbered Certificate of Authenticity, Collector's Manual covering Robert the Robot's history and other exciting details. This is not a toy. It is a fine collectible to be enjoyed by adults. This is a new toy.

Here's an Amazon link to Robert the Robot by Ideal Toy


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Monday, October 12, 2009

Marble music: Quadrilla Music Melody Composer

Quadrilla is a marble-track building system. The new addition to the line is the Quadrilla Music Melody Composer, which incorporates xylophone-like tone blocks into the marble track. As the marbles roll down the track and hit the xylophone bars, a little tune results. This set includes 50 building pieces, 20 marbles, and an instruction book with 14 construction examples.

Here is where you can get the Quadrilla Music Melody Composer Quadrilla Melody Basic Set.

Here is a variety of Quadrilla mable run setsif you want to incorporate the Music module into a larger marble run.


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Friday, September 04, 2009

Tippoo's Tiger - automaton and organ

Tippoo's Tiger is famous life-size carved wooden tiger shown attacking a man. The automaton makes sounds for the tiger and the man and also has a basic playable organ built in. A one-of-a-kind piece with a remarkable history.

From the Victoria and Albert web site:
Concealed in the bodywork is a mechanical pipe-organ with several parts, all operated simultaneously by a crank-handle emerging from the tiger's shoulder. Inside the tiger and the man are weighted bellows with pipes attached. Turning the handle pumps the bellows and controls the air-flow to simulate the growls of the tiger and cries of the victim. The cries are varied by the approach of the hand towards the mouth and away, as the left arm - the only moving part - is raised and lowered.

Another pair of bellows, linked to the same handle, supplies wind for a miniature organ of 18 pipes built into the tiger, with stops under the tail. Its structure is like that of European mechanical organs, but adapted for hand operation by a set of ivory button keys reached through a flap in the animal's side. The mechanism has been repaired several times and altered from its original state. It is now too fragile to be operated regularly.

Here is a link to more on the history of Tippoo's Tiger.

Here is a link to a 26 minute video on Tippoo and a bit about the Tiger.

[ Thanks Falk! ]


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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hand-cranked mechancial laughing device

Take a look at this beautifully made mechanical laughing machine. The Pink Tentacle web site does such a nice job with the description that I will just quote them (below.) I love this thing!

Description of WAHHA GO GO from Pink Tentacle:
According to the video, WAHHA GO GO is activated by spinning the torso-mounted metal disk (an optional crank arm can be used for greater speed). The disk's rotational energy is transferred to the machine's left and right arms via a gear assembly in the lower back. As the arms rotate, the accordion-like lungs expand upward, drawing in air that is then exhaled through the machine’s artificial vocal cords.

Another set of gear wheels in the spine transfers some of the spinning disk's rotational energy to the head assembly, which includes a pair of tiny arms that stretch and relax WAHHA GO GO's artificial vocal cords (thus regulating the pitch), as well as an arm connected to a valve that controls the flow of air from the lungs. This arm also opens and closes the mouth, which alters the so-called "formant characteristics" (resonant frequency) of the laugh, producing the "wa" and "ha" sounds.

By incorporating a series of mechanisms that work together to control the pitch, resonant frequency, and amount of air supplied to the artificial vocal cords, WAHHA GO GO is able to produce an uncanny human-like laugh.

Here is the original post: Video: Anatomy of WAHHA GO GO.

[ Thanks Joanne! ]


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Monday, May 25, 2009

Aquio Nishida cow automaton with sound effect

A few days ago, we featured a nifty cow automaton with an integrated sound effect. Here another by the late Japanese automata maker, Aquio Nishida. This one has an added feature: you can add or remove the sound module at will.


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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cow automaton with integrated sound effects

What a clever idea! This contemporary automaton by artist Dominique Corbin uses a bell and a toy sound-maker to really bring this creature to life. I wasn't able to embed the movie here, but I encourage you to follow the link below to see and hear the cow automaton in action!

Here's a link to the video of the cow automaton with built-in sound effects.

[ Found via http://manivelles.unblog.fr ]


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Monday, May 04, 2009

Robotic woodpecker simulator sound sculptures

Here is a short video on a innovative kinetic sculpture that uses sound to great effect. A set of motorized robots mounted in trees effectively simulate the sound of woodpeckers tapping on trees. Very clever.

[ Thanks Falk! ]


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