Posts tagged ‘Toy’

July 31, 2012



The Dreameye is a digital camera released for the Dreamcast in 2000 in Japan only. It was designed to be used as a webcam and a digital still camera, and there were plans for games to involve the Dreameye. The Dreameye was only released in Japan, and Dreameye functionality was absent in non-Japanese versions of the games it could be used with. It came with the Divers 2000 Dreamcast (a rare all-in-one console unit developed by Fuji, intended as a video communications and gaming device for the consumer and hospitality markets) but was also sold separately. The DreamEye can be seen as the first use of a digital camera on a video games console.

The Dreameye came with a microphone headset, a stand, batteries, software, a cable to connect it to the Dreamcast, and a Dreameye microphone plug card. The Dreameye takes pictures at approximately 0.3 megapixels (640×480 pixels), but in order to send them via e-mail the pictures in question had to be first saved to a Dreamcast memory card. Upon transferring the pictures off of the card they resized to a resolution of 320px by 240px.

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July 31, 2012

Game Boy Camera

Game Boy Camera

The Game Boy Camera is an official Nintendo accessory for the handheld Game Boy and Super Game Boy gaming consoles and was released in 1998. It is also compatible with all of the Game Boy platforms (with the exception of Game Boy Micro). The camera can take 256×224 (down scaled to half resolution on the unit with anti-aliasing), black & white digital images using the 4-color palette of the Game Boy system.

It interfaced with the Game Boy Printer, which utilized thermal paper to print any saved images, making a hard copy. Both the camera and the printer were marketed by Nintendo as light-hearted entertainment devices aimed mainly at children. The Game Boy Camera was used to take the photographs for the album cover of Neil Young’s album ‘Silver & Gold.’

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July 31, 2012



A SuperBall or bouncy ball is a toy, invented in 1964 by chemist Norman Stingley by compressing a synthetic rubber material under high pressure. It is an extremely elastic ball made of Zectron, which contains the synthetic rubber polymer polybutadiene, as well as hydrated silica, zinc oxide, stearic acid, and other ingredients, vulcanized with sulfur at a temperature of 165 degrees Celsius and at a pressure of 3,500psi.

The Super Ball has an amazingly high coefficient of restitution. Dropped from shoulder level, balls snap nearly all the way back; thrown down by an average adult, it can leap over a three-story building. Toys similar to SuperBalls are more generally known as bouncy balls, a term which covers other more or less similar balls by different manufacturers with different formulations.

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June 6, 2012

Neo Geo


The Neo Geo is an arcade system board and home video game console released in 1990 by Japanese game company SNK. The MVS (Multi Video System), as the Neo Geo was known to the coin-operated arcade game industry, offered arcade operators the ability to put up to six different arcade titles into a single cabinet, a key economic consideration for operators with limited floorspace.

With its games stored on self-contained cartridges, a game-cabinet could be exchanged for a different game-title by swapping the game’s ROM-cartridge and cabinet artwork. Several popular franchise-series, including ‘Fatal Fury,’ ‘The King of Fighters,’ ‘Metal Slug,’ and ‘Samurai Shodown,’ were released for the platform. The Neo Geo system was also marketed as a very costly home console, commonly referred to today as the AES (Advanced Entertainment System).

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May 8, 2012

Stress Ball

martian popper by beau daniels

A stress ball is a malleable toy, usually not more than 7 cm in diameter. It is squeezed in the hand and manipulated by the fingers, ostensibly to either help relieve stress and muscle tension or to exercise the muscles of the hand. There are many types of stress balls. Many are a closed-cell polyurethane foam rubber. This type of stress ball is made by injecting the liquid components of the foam into a mold. The resulting chemical reaction creates carbon dioxide bubbles as a byproduct, which in turn creates the foam.

Stress balls, especially those used in physical therapy, can also contain gel of different densities inside a rubber or cloth skin. Another type uses a thin rubber membrane surrounding a fine powder. The latter type can be made at home by filling a balloon with baking soda. Some balls similar to a footbag are marketed and used as stress balls.

April 19, 2012

Beatnik Bandit

beatnik bandit

The Beatnik Bandit is a custom car created in 1961 by ‘Big Daddy’ Ed Roth, originally as a project for ‘Rod & Custom magazine’; instead of a steering wheel, it was controlled by a joystick.

A Hot Wheels car was made based on the Beatnik Bandit. The car is a representation of ‘Kustom Kulture,’ a neologism used to describe the oeuvre of those who drove and built custom cars and motorcycles in the US from the 1950s through today.

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March 13, 2012

Power Glove

Power glove

The Power Glove is a controller accessory for the Nintendo Entertainment System, and the first peripheral interface controller to recreate human hand movements on a television or computer screen in real time. The Power Glove was not popular and was criticized for its imprecise and difficult-to-use controls. The Power Glove was originally released in 1989. Though it was an officially licensed product, Nintendo was not involved in the design or release of this accessory. Rather, it was designed by Grant Goddard and Samuel Cooper Davis for Abrams Gentile Entertainment (AGE), made by Mattel in the United States and PAX in Japan.

Additional development was accomplished through the efforts of Thomas G. Zimmerman and Jaron Lanier, a virtual reality pioneer responsible for co-developing and commercializing the DataGlove who had made a failed attempt at a similar design for Nintendo earlier. The Power Glove and DataGlove were based on Zimmerman’s instrumented glove. Zimmerman built the first prototype that demonstrated finger flex measurement and hand position tracking using a pair of ultrasonic transmitters. His original prototype used optical flex sensors to measure finger bending which were replaced with less expensive carbon-based flex sensors by the AGE team.

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March 13, 2012

Virtual Boy

virtual boy

The Virtual Boy was a video game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It was the first video game console that was supposed to be capable of displaying ‘true 3D graphics’ out of the box. Whereas most video games use monocular cues to achieve the illusion of three dimensions on a two-dimensional screen, The Virtual Boy creates an illusion of depth through the effect known as parallax.

In a manner similar to using a head-mounted display, the user looks into an eyepiece made of neoprene on the front of the machine, and then an eyeglass-style projector allows viewing of the monochromatic (in this case, red) image. It was released in 1995 in Japan and North America at a price of around US$180. It met with a lukewarm reception that was unaffected by continued price drops. Nintendo discontinued it the following year.

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February 9, 2012


superegg by Piet Hein

In geometry, a superegg is a solid of revolution obtained by rotating an elongated super-ellipse with exponent greater than 2 around its longest axis. It is a special case of super-ellipsoid. Unlike an elongated ellipsoid, an elongated superegg can stand upright on a flat surface, or on top of another superegg.

This is due to its curvature being zero at the tips. The shape was popularized by Danish poet and scientist Piet Hein (1905–1996). Supereggs of various materials were sold as novelties or ‘executive toys’ in the 1960s. A 1-ton superegg made of steel and aluminum was placed outside Kelvin Hall in Glasgow in 1971, on occasion of a lecture by Piet Hein.

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February 3, 2012



Spirograph is a geometric drawing toy that produces mathematical curves of the variety technically known as hypotrochoids and epitrochoids. The term has also been used to describe a variety of software applications that display similar curves, and applied to the class of curves that can be produced with the drawing equipment (so in this sense it may be regarded as a synonym of hypotrochoid).

The name is a registered trademark of Hasbro, Inc. Drawing toys based on gears have been around since at least 1908, when The Marvelous Wondergraph was advertised in the Sears catalog. The ‘Boys Mechanic’ publication of 1913 had an article describing how to make a Wondergraph drawing machine. An instrument called a spirograph was invented by the mathematician Bruno Abakanowicz between 1881 and 1900 for calculating an area delimited by curves. The Spirograph toy was developed by the British engineer Denys Fisher, who exhibited it in 1965 at the Nuremberg International Toy Fair. In 1968, Kenner introduced Spirotot, a less complex version of Spirograph, for preschool-age children, too young for Spirograph.

November 30, 2011



AIBO was one of several types of robotic pets designed and manufactured by Sony from 1999 to 2006. AIBO is able to walk, ‘see’ its environment via camera and recognize spoken commands in Spanish and English. AIBO are autonomous robots since they are able to learn and mature based on external stimuli from their owner, their environment, and from other AIBOs. Artist Hajime Sorayama created the initial designs for the AIBO. AIBO’s sounds were programmed by Japanese DJ/avant-garde composer Nobukazu Takemura. The International AIBO Convention takes place every year at Sony Robotics Tower in the Shinjuku prefecture.

AIBO runs AIBOware on a pink Memory Stick, which allows the robot to be raised from pup to fully grown adult while going through various stages of development as its owner interacts with it. AIBOware allows the owner to interact with a fully mature robot able to understand (though not necessarily willing to obey) 100 voice commands. Without the AIBOware, the AIBO will run in what is called ‘clinic mode’ and can only perform basic actions. Many AIBO owners enjoy teaching their pets new behaviors by reprogramming them in Sony’s special ‘R-CODE’ language. AIBO’s complete vision system uses the SIFT algorithm, to recognize its charging station. The newest versions are equipped with a Wi-Fi connection, allowing them to send the pictures they take via email which led to the Roblog.

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November 23, 2011



Myachi [mee-ah-chee] is the brand name of a type of hand sack. It is a small rectangular bag approximately 1.5 by 3.5 inches (40 by 90 mm) that players use to perform a variety of tricks using every part of the body except the palm of the hand. Myachi can be played alone or in groups. There are a number of different games played with the Myachi including big air, best trick and MYACH, but it is most commonly used for freestyle.

Myachi is based on a popular college game in which lighters, keys or coins are tossed from person to person using only the back of the hand. Myachi founder Steven Ochs was introduced to this game while studying at Vanderbilt University and saw marketing potential in this simple hobby. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, the company began in 1998 when Ochs quit his job as a Wall Street Broker. Starting in the back of an RV, he hand-stitched the first ten thousand Myachis and traveled the country selling his concept at concerts, festivals and street fairs. Today Myachi is a top selling toy.

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