Archive for April, 2009

Big Bang Cannons – new web page!

Dave's Cool ToysOne of our most popular items at Dave’s Cool Toys (and one of my favorites) are Big Bang Cannons. We’ve been selling them since 1995 and they are still one of our most popular items.

Our Big Bang Cannon product pages have quite a bit of information about the cannons, but it would be impractical to answer every possible question about them on each of those pages.

For that reason I have created a Big Bang Cannon web page. Not only have I tried to answer every possible question customers could have abour these great items, but I’ve included some history, operating tips, a link to a pdf file of instructions for your cannon (in case you lose them), photos, and much more. I’ll keep it updated and add to it in the future.

Dave’s Cool Toys

The Sound of Antwerp Train Station

The Sound of Music was on TV this past weekend. We didn’t watch it, but I always have to try to catch the Goatherder song. I really do like that song and the puppet show that goes a long with it. I know. "Dork."

By a strange coincidence, one of the e-newsletters I receive had a link this morning to this incredible video.

Here’s what I have been able to find out about it, although I can’t guarantee accuracy. This took place in Central Station Antwerp, Belgium at 8:00 a.m. on March 23, 2009. It took over 200 dancers who rehearsed this just 2 times. It was staged as a publicity stunt for "In Search of Maria", a TV program searching for someone to play the leading role in the musical "The Sound of Music." It was staged by the Belgian commercial VTM Network and none of the morning commuters had any idea it was going to take place.

Whatever the circumstances, it is wonderful. Enjoy. Be sure to click the "HQ" button for the very best quality!

When you’re done watching this video, you can see the "making of" video here.

Dave’s Cool Toys

Your sidewalk in 3D!

Dave's Cool ToysWe recently purchased the Crayola 3-D Sidewalk Chalk set. Crayola has been coming up with some very cool products lately and this is no exception. The packaging is very clever, letting you look through the glasses and view the art on other packages in 3-D (this is probably what sold me on buying it).

But would it work on our patio? My youngest son did some drawings and I went out to look at them with the glasses and they were very cool. He didn’t make his lines very heavy, so the effect was limited.

Since I haven’t really grown up yet, I had to try it myself. I started with my name, which you can see a picture of here. The concrete came out a little dark in the picture. The cool thing is if you have a set of the glasses you can click on the picture for a larger version and, with the glasses on, it will appear in 3-D as well. I made a spiral version with the colors blending so it looks like it’s sort-of cone-shaped. I didn’t get a good photo before my son’s scootering mostly erased it, though.

To see a cool video that truly does capture the effect, visit this link.

To plan your artwork you need to remember that cool colors (blue, green) will appear farther away and warm colors (red, orange) will appear closer and lift up from the surface when viewed with the glasses.

Does the 3-D work? Yes! Very well. My Wife and Sister-in-Law both tried to put their foot under the "A" in "DAVE", since it appears to be hovering high above the other letters.

The effect works through a process called Chromadepth 3D. The special glasses pull any warm colors like red, toward the viewer, and cool colors like blue away from the viewer. All the other colors are sorted by their position in the rainbow, or ROY G. BIV. Other than the glasses, you don’t need anything special to create 3-D art. Any good sidwalk chalk will work just fine. For this reason, you can take photos of your kids (or your) artwork and the photos will be able to be viewed in 3-D long after the art has washed away in the rain. Chromadepth glasses are available online from cheap ones to nice plastic ones (like those that come in the Crayola sets). Once your chalk is gone, you can even create more 3-D art with markers, crayons, or even on your computer. Just remember the order to create the 3-D effect in. I had limited success with crayons using the Crayola glasses. You can also find lots of artwork online that uses this effect. A quick search on Google Images found hundreds. Supposedly some movies also have inadvertently been created in Chromadepht 3-D just through the use of their color pallete including Mulan, Pocahantas, and Batman and Robin (although I haven’t tried this). I also found some cool 3-D videos online (although many of them are just video slide-shows). Try this 3-D flythrough or this Blacklight Maze.

If you’re looking for more chalk, check out the Chalk Fun kit at Dave’s Cool Toys (shameless plug). You can make your own sidewalk chalk, then use your own chalk creations to make art on your sidewalk. Not only is it fun, but it’s on sale!

Dave’s Cool Toys

Dave’s Cool Toys Blog
We post news about new toys on our site, new toys in the market, general toy information, or stuff we just thought was cool (usually toys).

We welcome your feedback and comments.

Be sure to check out our toys at Dave's Cool Toys. We work hard to find toys you won't find at the big box stores. Now go out and play!

Dave Ference

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Some of the links on our weblog will not take you to Dave's Cool Toys, but to other sites. If you purchase an item from that site we may, or may not, receive a commission on that purchase.

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We've done our best to make sure that information on our weblog is accurate. Some items may be rumors, gossip, or hearsay. We will do our best to make it clear when it is, and will correct anything we find to be wrong.