Showing 43 posts tagged toys

Discovered by German physicist Helen Sperl in 1891, popularized in 1950 by Danish engineer Werner Ostberg, and demonstrated here by Grand Illusions' Hendrik Ball, this is a Tippe TopWatch as it spins “at a high angular velocity,” turning itself upside down to spin on its stem. But wait, there’s more

The interesting thing is that when the Tippe Top inverts, it also changes the direction of the rotation! In other words, at some point during the inversion, the top stops spinning around the axis through the stem and then starts to rotate the other way. At the same time, the center of mass is lifted, and the top is thus a quite interesting problem concerning conservation of energy and angular momentum.

There’s more physics and toy videos in the archives, including another from Grand Illusions: the Spiraculum.

Using nothing but LEGO components, the team at Brickride builds supercool rollercoasters. The one above: Incredible 100% LEGO Roller Coaster with Corkscrew. Watch a time-lapse of how they put it together.

In the archives, more LEGO and other awesome toy builds: LEGO Great Ball Contraption, DIY paper rollercoasters, amazing marble machinesK’nex Clockwork, and what you can do with a lot of toothpicks.

via The Awesomer.

This four and a half minute lens commercial gives us the perfect excuse to visit Northlandz, home to one* of the world’s largest model railroads. Some background from Makezine

Bruce Williams Zaccagnino started building model railroads in his basement in 1972. He expanded his basement five times to house his growing model train habit. This was getting out of hand for a hobby, so in 1990, Bruce bought 16 acres of land in Flemington NJ, built a building, and took it on as a full-time job. Northlandz is named for the Northern geography most of the scenes depict, with ‘z’ at the end for Zaccagnino…

Northlandz’ railway exhibit includes about 100 model trains travelling a landscape of 400 bridges and tunnels and eight miles of track traversing mountains, rivers, and towns with thousands of model buildings. The materials to make the exhibit include enough lumber and plaster to build about 40 large houses.

In the archives: more toys and trains

Thanks, Dick.

Update: In recent years, the title of “world’s largest” has since been challenged by the continued expansion of Germany’s Miniatur Wunderland. Also amazing.