Archive for the ‘General Coolness’ Category

A Day in the Life of Monkey, a Rescue Dog

A day in the life of Monkey, a rescue dog. Adopt a pet – you’ll both be into something good!

 

 

 

Giant Legoman Washes Ashore in Florida

giant legoman
Legoman washed up on shore

A giant Legoman washed ashore in Siesta Key Village, Florida Tuesday. He’s about 8 feet tall and on his chest is the message "No real than you are." On his back is the name Ego Leonard and the number 8.

A google search leads to this website for Ego Leonard.

Oddly enough, this isn’t the first Legoman to wash up on shores. Three years ago, one washed up in Zandvoort, Holland, and one also washed up on Brighton Beach, England. This leads to the question "were they all released into the sea at the same time and this guy has been making the transatlantic journey ever since?"

A google search of the text on his torso leads to this website for Ego Leonard, which seems to belong to a group of Dutch artists.

The information on the main page of their website says:

"I would like to introduce myself:
My name is Ego Leonard and according to you I come from the virtual world. A world that for me represents happiness, solidarity, all green and blossoming, with no rules or limitations.
Lately however, my world has been flooded with fortune-hunters and people drunk with power. And many new encounters in the virtual world have triggered my curiosity about your way of life.
I am here to discover and learn about your world and thoughts.
Show me all the beautiful things that are there to admire and experience in your world. Let’s become friends, share your story with me, take me with you on a journey through beautiful meadows, words, sounds and gestures."

Below is some video of the most recent visitor to our shores.

 

Via BoingBoing

 

Google Honors Gumby’s Dad

google logo
Today’s Google Logo

If you visit Google today, you will be greeted by this logo shown here. The reason? It’s Art Clokey’s birthday.

You do know who Art Clokey is don’t you? Of course you do. He’s Gumby’s Dad.

Art first created Gumbasia, a stop-motion film, which let him to create Gumby and eventually an entire cast of characters including Pokey, The Blockheads, Prickle, Denali, and a few others. Gumby’s head was inspired by the hair of Art’s father.

Later, Clokey also created the Davey and Goliath series. (My friend, Rich, still uses Goliath’s voice to call me "Davey").

Art Clokey passed away in 2010 from a bladder infection.

Lots of Gumby Videos
are available for purchase on Amazon!

 

 

The Substitute on MTV

This has nothing to do with toys. But my son is on this show. Be sure to watch it!

 

Wearable Barbie

barbie jewelry
Barbie necklace

Margaux Lange loved Barbie as a child. As an adult with a bachelor of fine arts degree, she put that obsession to good use and began creating Barbie jewelry. But she went a few steps further than just standard Barbie jewelry. She creates hers by directly incorporating bits of discarded Barbie and Ken dolls.

The liberated Barbie pieces are imaginatively combined with sterling silver and pigmented resins to transform a mass-produced feminine icon into unique pieces of wearable art.

barbie jewelry
Barbie earrings

Her unique creations are sold at art and jewelry galleries and museum stores in the U.S. and as far away as Australia and Russia. They are also available for purchase on Etsy.

Some are quite beautiful and abstract until you look closely and realize that they are, in fact, made from pieces of dolls. Some are a bit disturbing. Some are a bit cutesy and some are quite elegant. A few are a bit provocative, using otherwise clothed sections of the dolls’ anatomy.

barbie jewelry barbie jewelry
Barbie and Ken necklace
Turn the Other Cheek Bracelet

Via Gizmodo

Dave’s Un-Cool Toy of the Day: Banzai Slide N’ Splash Whale Pool

 

Banzai’s promise and fail (from failblog.org)

I’ve posted about the deceptive photos on Banzai water products in the past. Not once, but twice. Well, they have not changed.

Their latest deceptive photography is on the packaging and publicity for the Banzai Slide N’ Splash Whale Pool.

Their packaging shows four children in the pool with tons of space between them (two in the pool, one on the slide and one at the top ready to slide down). But the reality makes that impossible.

As you can see from the photo there’s barely enough room for one child.

And over at Amazon, there are many more complaints about the product including leaks right out of the box, tangled hoses, and the slide being so unstable that children can’t actually slide down it or climb the stairs. In addition there are many complaints about the actual size of the pool compared to the photo.

User photos at Amazon also show just how small the pool actually is compared to their blatantly deceptive image.

The box says it is for ages up to 12. Clearly that is ludicrous. A 12 year old wouldn’t even fit in the pool let alone slide down the whale.

As I mentioned, Banzai has been using deceptive photography on their products for years. I believe it’s time for this to end. But consumers need to do more about it than post complaints on Amazon. They need to head to the Better Business Bureau and report the company. Next, head over to the Federal Trade Commission and report it there as well.

 

Failblog via Gizmodo

 

Fire-Breathing Lego Dragon


This exellent Lego dragon not only looks cool, he breathes fire!

I’m not sure what sets the Lego came from to create this. Maybe this one?

Via Gizmodo

Jesse & Joy – Chocolate

Today’s post is a cool video from Jesse & Joy. It’s in Spanish, so I have no idea what they are saying, but it’s cool and fun. The video is made from cookies and other yummy candies and such.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Anyone lose this tiger?

 

“Escaped” tiger lounging in a field

Police in Hampshire, England were mobilized when a member of the public spotted a tiger in a field through a his camera’s telephoto lens. The tiger didn’t seem too upset. He was just lying in a field.

Police investigated and contacted a local zoo for advice on how to handle the situation. After advising the officers, the zoo prepared a team of staff members trained for just such a situation, armed them with tranquilizer darts, and got ready to travel to the scene.

The nearby Country Golf Club was cleared of golfers and a local cricket game was suspended while police boarded a helicopter and flew to the scene to assess the situation.

But when they flew over the area, the tiger was blown over by the helicopter downdraft.

Hanging with police after the incident

It turns out it was just a plush toy. Police are now treating the incident as missing property and are investigating whether it was a hoax or just a lost toy.

The tiger looks to me to be the Melissa & Doug White Tiger Plush, which lists for $79.99. In fact, it’s almost a perfect match, down to the stripes on his tail. Not the kind of thing most people would accidentally leave lying around, which would lead me to believe it was probably a hoax.

I suppose it’s a testament to the realism of the plush tiger. It fooled police for about 1/2 hour.

Via BBC

 

A Great Deal on AA Batteries

It’s worrisome when toys are recalled due to safety issues. And in the past few years there have been more recalls than there should be.

Did you ever wonder what happens to all the batteries that were on those toys when they are pulled off the shelves and out of warehouses? They can’t be sold as new because they were in the toys.

The good news is that all those battereis are are pulled out of the toys and sold as surplus at a somewhat reduced rate.

American Science & Surplus is offering AA Duracell batteries for $3.25 for a package of 8.

via Gizmodo

Google honors Mr Men and Roger Hargreaves

Google is celebrating Roger Hargreaves and Mr Men and Little Misses books
with an assortment of Google logos today to celebrate his birthday.

I’m sorry to say I’m not familiar with Roger Hargreaves, so I’ll have to check out his books the next time I’m at the Library. They seem to have been very popular in Britain, so I’m not certain how widespread they are in the U.S. There have been four animated TV series of his stories in Britain in 2008 and 2009.

He first drew the characters when his Son, Adam asked him what a tickle looked like. After Mr. Hargreaves death in 1988, his son continued writing and drawing the books until his wife sold the rights to Chorion entertainment group.

An animated move is in the works for release in 2014.

To see all the versions of the logo, go to Google and hit refresh to get a new version.

Torturing Cadbury Creme Eggs

It’s Easter! And that leads us to wonder what happens when you place a Cadbury Creme Egg
in a vacuum? Check out this video for the answer to that burning question and more.

Via Gizmodo

Amazing Xylophoone in the Woods


Check out this amazing video of a xylophone constructed in the woods to promote the Touch Wood cell phone.

It’s supposedly entirely real with no tricks. I would think the timing would be better if it was done with any kind of CGI. But there may be a few camera cuts.

Anyway, it’s amazing to watch. Enjoy!

Oldest known Monopoly Board sells for $146,000.00

original monopoly board
The only known suviving original Monopoly board

Earlier this year (or possibly late December, 2010, I’m not really sure) the oldest known Monopoly board sold at a Sotheby’s auction for £90,000, which converts to about $146,000. The Strong National Museum of Play was the high bidder for the board and it will go on display at the museum in Rochester, New York.

This board is the only known surviving example of around 5,000 that were hand-crafted by the games "inventor", Charles Darrow. It is circular rather than the familiar square board and it’s hand-drawn on oilcloth. Darrow drew the properties and his wife and son colored in the spaces.

There is some controversy over the origins of the game. It is certainly known that the game is based on a game created by Elizabeth Magie in 1903 called The Landlord’s Game which was more of a political statement rather than a game. She wanted to draw attention to the way in which rents enriched property owners and impoverished tenants. At least one version of The Landlord’s game is known to exist, which would pre-date the Monopoly board that just sold.

After Lizzie Magie invented the game it was used by various professors for instructional purposes and became popular with Quakers (who eliminated the auction rule because they didn’t believe in it). The streets were mostly around the city of Chicago at that time.

monopoly board
A closeup view of the original board

In the 1920’s the game was apparently popular in Reading Pennsylvania, mostly through fraternities at Williams College.

Ruth Hoskins became aware of the game in Indianapolis and took it back to Atlantic city, where it took on the Atlantic City street names. This version was taught to Charles Todd, who taught Esther Darrow, the wife of Charles Darrow who then began to distribute the game as "Monopoly" with the hand-drawn boards which were reportedly the exact size of his dining room table. (Whew!)

marven gardens
Sign at the real Marven Gardens

You may know that the streets on the Monopoly Board are all in Atlantic City, but did you know that one of them, Marvin Gardens, is both not actually in Atlantic City and is misspelled? The actual location, Marven Gardens, is a housing area in Margate City New Jersey and is said to be a combination of Margate City and Ventnor City due to it’s location between them. Charles Darrow made the original mistake of misspelling it on his circular boards and it has never been corrected.

The history of Monopoly is as complicated as the game itself. The issues surrounding the origination of the game led to various law suits which were not finally settled until 1985 a change in the trademark laws, lobbied by Parker Brothers, allowed them to again claim ownership of the trademark name "Monopoly".

Throwback Twinkies

Banana Twinkies from WalMart

I bought a box of Twinkies yesterday.

I know, "big deal". But I never buy or eat Twinkies. And these weren’t just any Twinkies. When I saw them I had to buy them.

They were Banana Twinkies.

A bit of Twinkie history for those who don’t know why Banana Twinkies are special: Twinkies were first created when a baker noticed that their baking pans for strawberry shortcake were going unused when strawberries were out of season (back when you couldn’t get fruit all year long). So he came up with a banana-filled shortcake to make in the off-season, and Twinkies were born. But during World War II bananas were rationed. So they had to switch to vanilla flavored filling. In the end, the vanilla Twinkies sold far better than the banana ones. So they never went back.

Until now.

Unlike the original Twinkies, these are artificially flavored, which is a shame. So they aren’t true throwback Twinkies. But they are pretty good.

It looks like they’ve done the banana version at least once before, for a promotion with the movie King Kong. And it seems like these have been around for a bit, although they aren’t mentioned on the Hostess website.

Banana isn’t your favorite flavor? You’re in luck. Hostess will let you vote for the next Twinkie flavor. So put in your vote now! If you can’t wait for Hostess to create your flavor, you can always make your own with the Hostess Twinkies Bake Set. It’s a bit expensive at $99.00, but there’s also a generic version from Norpro that I’m sure will work just as well for around $20.00.

Twinkie Sushi. Yum.

For the true Twinkie fan, Hostess has a Twinkie cookbook. Some recipes include: Twinkie Sushi, Twinkie Burrito, Pigs in a Twinkie, and Pumpkin Twinkie Bread Pudding. I may need to try that last one.

I’ve got to squash some Twinkie urban legends:

Legend 1…Twinkies will last forever. They have a shelf life of 26 days. Twinkies only last that long because their recipe does not include milk or eggs.

Legend 2…Twinkies aren’t baked, they are "created" through chemical reactions that cause them to foam up and harden. Twinkies are baked like any other cake from standard ingredients, not a batch of chemicals. They are then injected with their filling through three holes. They do contain the usual chemicals that you’d find in most processed foods. To learn more about what’s in a Twinkie checkout Twinkie, Deconstructed, by Steve Etlinger. It will tell everything you ever wanted to know about how Twinkies are made.

Legend 3… Twinkies will survive Global Thermonuclear War. If Nuclear war occurs, don’t go searching for the Twinkie factory. Check out The T.W.I.N.K.I.E.S. Project and click on the Radiation Test to see how Twinkies fared when exposed to microwave radiation. We don’t suggest you try this at home. It didn’t go well.

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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