Friendly Floatees are plastic bath toys marketed by The First Years, and made famous by the work of Curtis Ebbesmeyer, an oceanographer who models ocean currents on the basis of flotsam movements. Ebbesmeyer studied the movements of a consignment of 29,000 Friendly Floatees—yellow ducks, red beavers, blue turtles and green frogs—which were washed into the Pacific Ocean in 1992. Some of the toys landed along Pacific Ocean shores, such as Hawaii. Others traveled over 17,000 miles, floating over the site where the Titanic sank, and spent years frozen in Arctic ice to reach the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, British and Irish shores 15 years later in 2007.
- "Friendly Floatees" | 2018-10-26 | 216 Upvotes 35 Comments
The Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab is a toy lab set that was produced by Alfred Carlton Gilbert, who was an American athlete, magician, toy-maker, business man, and inventor of the well-known Erector Set. The Atomic Energy Lab was released by the A. C. Gilbert Company in 1950. The kit's intention was to allow children to create and watch nuclear and chemical reactions using radioactive material.
- "Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Laboratory" | 2015-11-15 | 17 Upvotes 2 Comments
A Lego tire is a rubber tire manufactured by the toy building block company The Lego Group for use on vehicles within their Lego building sets. The tires are available in a range of sizes depending on the application. Lego first began manufacturing tires in 1962 and included them in what would become their most popular set at the time. Previously, the only tire options for Lego users were either purchasing complete car kits from Lego, or building their own tires out of existing Lego blocks. Lego produced 318 million tires in 2011, making them the world's largest tire manufacturer by number of units produced.
- "Lego - the Largest Tyre Manufacturer in the World" | 2012-05-20 | 67 Upvotes 31 Comments
A pantograph (Greek roots παντ- "all, every" and γραφ- "to write", from their original use for copying writing) is a mechanical linkage connected in a manner based on parallelograms so that the movement of one pen, in tracing an image, produces identical movements in a second pen. If a line drawing is traced by the first point, an identical, enlarged, or miniaturized copy will be drawn by a pen fixed to the other. Using the same principle, different kinds of pantographs are used for other forms of duplication in areas such as sculpture, minting, engraving, and milling.
Because of the shape of the original device, a pantograph also refers to a kind of structure that can compress or extend like an accordion, forming a characteristic rhomboidal pattern. This can be found in extension arms for wall-mounted mirrors, temporary fences, scissor lifts, and other scissor mechanisms such as the pantograph used on electric locomotives and trams.
- "Pantograph" | 2017-06-04 | 68 Upvotes 13 Comments
A pop-pop boat is a toy with a very simple steam engine without moving parts, typically powered by a candle or vegetable oil burner. The name comes from the noise made by some versions of the boats. Other names are putt-putt boat, crazy boat, flash-steamer, hot-air-boat, pulsating water engine boat. Around the world they may be called Can-Can-boot, Knatterboot, toc-toc, Puf-Puf boat, Poof Poof craft, Phut-Phut, or Pouet-Pouet.
Toyetic is a term referring to the suitability of a media property, such as a cartoon or movie, for merchandising tie-in lines of licensed toys, games and novelties. The term is attributed to Bernard Loomis, a toy development executive for Kenner Toys, in discussing the opportunities for marketing the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, telling its producer Steven Spielberg that the movie wasn't "toyetic" enough, leading Loomis towards acquiring the lucrative license for the upcoming Star Wars properties.
- "Toyetic" | 2017-12-19 | 74 Upvotes 5 Comments
Since Barbie's introduction in 1959, the doll has been portrayed with many different careers. Different dolls are sold with sets of clothes and accessories that fit the career being portrayed. For example, the Lifeguard Barbie play set includes a Barbie, an outfit with shoes, a lifeguard chair, a dolphin, and a life preserver, while the Italian Teacher Barbie includes a Barbie, an outfit with shoes, flash cards, an Italian quiz, an easel, a notebook, a key chain, and a hairbrush. Each career is created to give children the option of exploring new careers and help them learn new things.
According to Mattel, Barbie has had over 200 inspirational careers, and more recently including more STEM fields.
Spirograph is a geometric drawing device that produces mathematical roulette curves of the variety technically known as hypotrochoids and epitrochoids. The well known toy version was developed by British engineer Denys Fisher and first sold in 1965.
The name has been a registered trademark of Hasbro Inc. since 1998 following purchase of the company that had acquired the Denys Fisher company. The Spirograph brand was relaunched worldwide in 2013, with its original product configurations, by Kahootz Toys.
- "Spirograph" | 2021-03-07 | 63 Upvotes 17 Comments
A toy balloon or party balloon, is a small balloon mostly used for decoration, advertising and children's toys. Toy balloons are usually made of rubber or aluminized plastic, and inflated with air or helium. They come in a great variety of sizes and shapes, but are most commonly 10 to 30 centimetres in diameter. Toy balloons are not considered to include "sky lanterns" (hot-air paper balloons), although these too are or were used as child toys in some parts of the world.
According to The Journal of the American Medical Association, out of 373 children who died in the US between 1972 and 1992 after choking on children's products, nearly a third choked on latex balloons. The Consumer Products Safety Commission found that children had inhaled latex balloons whole (often while trying to inflate them) or choked on fragments of broken balloons. Parents, a monthly magazine about raising children, advised parents to buy Mylar balloons instead of latex balloons.
- "Michael Faraday invented the rubber balloon" | 2022-09-29 | 77 Upvotes 9 Comments