My Favorite Toys

I like toys, particularly those that teach the principles of mechanics or science in some spectacular way. Following are photos and a bit of text about some of the best from friends and from my own meager collection.

My latest acquisition. This was so neat that it has prompted me to get a new computer with USB ports so that I can use it! It's called the Qx3 Microscope, it costs a mere $99.- and it can magnify objects 10, 60 and 200x. You can make .mpg movies with it, too.
This is a rather crummy photo of a Tomy Stoomdorm. There were several different machines in this series of way cool pneumatically-activated toys from the late seventies. This particular one, which moves like a caterpillar or an accordion, belongs to a fellow member of the SBSMEEBBQ.
This is a closeup of the Domino Dealer. The orange clip at the top towers above the mechanism and hold 50 plastic "dominos" which are dispensed behind the toy as it rolls along a tabletop. If you're in to toppling dominos, this is a must-have and at less than $20.- it's a deal. They're still available, too!
This is a wind-up rubber-band powered helicopter! With counter-rotating blades, a tail rotor is unnecessary. The winding mechanism is pretty delicate, as is the entire helicopter which is mostly made of a compressed foam. I got it mail order a few months ago and I'll have more details when I find the box in the clutter...
This is my very own Tomy Hoomdorm which hops like a frog. When the black reservoir is full of compressed air, sitting on the floor depresses a trigger located between the "forelegs". This opens a valve, the front and rear "legs" extend rapidly and Hoomdorm hops a few inches up and forward. Once airborne the trigger relaxes, the legs contract and a new cycle is ready to begin.
This is an early Croft Special pop-pop Catamaran, along with my first attempt at cloning the boiler. Note the flotation hulls, which are aluminum cigar tubes! With luck, Duke Croft and I will be making a batch of these sometime this year...

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