Archive for March, 2010
My friend, Rich, recently alerted me to the coolest flipbook he found on the web. I loved it and had to have one for myself, but they were only available from one website in Japan. Since Dave’s Cool Toys only sells toys that I think are very cool, I imported the flipbook from Japan and as near as I can tell, we are the only place in the US that they are currently available.
Rainbow in Your Hand Flipbook
The flipbook is called Rainbow in Your Hand. Most flipbooks create the illusion of a little movie when you flip them. Rainbow in Your Hand instead creates the 3-D illusion of a rainbow floating above the book when you flip it.
Each page is printed front and back with the visible color spectrum on a black background. When you flip it as shown in the photo, the flipping pages with the image of the spectrum are what creates the illusion as they fly past.
It’s very creative and was the brainchild of Masashi Kawamura, a Japanese art director. He created it as a personal project. Rainbow in Your Hand also won the NY Art Directors Club Silver Cube award.
It seems that Rainbow in Your Hand works best against a black background as shown in the photo. I’ll get a video up on YouTube as soon as I can shoot it.
Our best selling Big Bang Cannon
What happened to our cannons?!
If you were on our site recently looking for Big Bang Cannons, you might not have been able to find them. A helpful customer called to say that they were not displaying.
Well, I’m not entirely sure what happened, but for some reason they all disappeared.
The good news is that they are back now. So if you had wanted to purchase a Big Bang Cannon and couldn’t find them, they are back now. If you haven’t seen them, check them out.
pCubee 3-D display
But this 3-D device is very cool. It was created by a group at the University of British Columbia and it’s called pCubee. It’s a 3-D interactive display that doesn’t use any kind of 3-D glasses. It has 5 LCD panels arranged into a cube (there is no display on the bottom) and it uses "head-coupled perspective rendering" and the principle of motion parallax to render a 3-D environment inside the cube that you can interact with by moving the cube or "poking" things in the cube with a stylus.
The way I understand it, it uses the position of your head to alter the image as you move the cube so that you perceive 3-D from the way the image changes as your view of it moves.
Unfortunately, it is only a prototype at this point, but hopefully we’ll see some cool game system in the future. In the meantime, check out the video below.
Little Tikes Smash N Mash Picnic Sand Toys
Toys R Us is having a Buy One Get One Free sale on Little Tikes toys. Buy one Little Tikes toy and get a second of equal or less value for free up to $29.99. This offer expires 3/27/10, so you’ve got to hurry!
And, if you order $100 or more, they are also offering free shipping (excluding video game hardware, software & accessories).
Choose from lawn mowers, spiral sprinklers, dolls, strollers, bath toys, toddler swings and much more. Hurry as this offer expires 03/27/2010.
Measuring snakes on my desk
Sometimes my job is very surreal. This morning I find myself measuring rubber snakes.
The other day we had an order for the Amazon Tree Boa (my favorite of the snakes we sell). When the customer received it they felt that it was far smaller than was on our website. The description on our site lists the guy as 56 inches long (which is what the manufacturer says). The customer measured it at 50 inches.
I try to be as accurate as possible in describing our toys and I never just use the description the manufacturer uses because I don’t like "puffery" (with apologies to Domino’s) and don’t feel they are always adequate. So I do research, I check out the toy myself, sometimes I play with it, and I write my own descriptions.
Well, after measuring the Amazon Tree Boa myself, I found he fell a little short of 56 inches. Yes, it’s true, I’m not perfect. I measured him at about 51 inches from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail. I used string to measure every twist and turn in his body, then measured the string.
So, this morning I have updated the description with a slightly more accurate one.
And I spent my morning measuring a plastic boa constrictor.
Humunga Stache mustache for dogs
This is one of the greatest dog toys I’ve seen. If it really works as it’s supposed to.
It’s the Humunga Stache Dog Toy. The idea is that your dog holds the ball in his mouth and it creates the very funny illusion that he has a comical cartoon handlebar mustache.
Yes, your dog can look like Snidely Whiplash.
The manufacturer warns that it is not a chew toy and is only a fetch toy (I assume because dogs could chew off the curly-cues on the ends). They also come in different sizes to accommodate most dogs.
Humunga Tongue chew toy
And, if the Humunga Stache isn’t funny enough for you, you can get the equally comical Humunga Tongue Rubber Dog Toy It operates on the same basic principle, with a ball that dogs pick up in their mouth, giving the illusion that they have a cartoon tongue hanging out of their mouth.
This is just too funny.
Not weird enough for you? Then maybe you need Rear Gear butt covers for your cat or dog. Yes, you heard that right. It’s a little cover that clips onto your pets tail, hanging down and covering up their butt so you don’t need to see it when they are running around. I swear I am not making this up.
After my last post of the video my buddy and I made, I thought I’d follow it with another video I just discovered that I really liked. This is OK Go’s video of their song This Too Shall Pass. They created a very complex Rube Goldberg-like machine that took up two stories of a warehouse in LA. It was built by the band and members of Syyn Labs and took several months and about 60 people to create It was shot on February 11 and 12, 2010. It took about 30 people an hour to reset the machine after each run. It took 60 takes to get just the right video with most of those takes only lasting about 30 seconds till something went wrong, stopping the production.
This video brought back memories of my childhood and the game Mousetrap
. In retrospect, I have no idea how you were supposed to play the actual game. We would just build the mousetrap and activate it.
It also brought back memories of the old MTV and some of the great music videos they used to play back when they had something to do with music.
Be sure to watch the video below in high def if your computer can handle it. You wouldn’t want to miss any details. Why are the band members wearing coveralls with paint spatters on them? Watch to the end to find out. Scroll down after the video for more (spoilers).
This video is even more amazing when you consider that there are a few points where the "machine" is synced with the music (the drinking glasses, window shades, etc.). And, did you notice, it’s one single camera shot (that’s some cameraman!).
A few details I noticed (spoilers)…
The pile of smashed TV’s, presumable from practice runs.
A previous paint-splattered background paper on a wall with 4 band member outlines.
A few moments when you can catch the guys running to their next position (just after the typewriter between the wooden background, just before the file cabinet falls).
A cameo appearance of their famous "treadmill" video.
Oh. Yes. And it’s not a bad song either.
Just before posting this I discovered a "making of" video series! Here they are…