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The Kid Should See This

Vintage coin banks with amusing mechanisms

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Catapults, teeter-totters, ramps, and levers can make saving coins a fun activity. This vintage collection of coin banks provides six inventive examples of how simple mechanisms can create some imaginative scenes, too.

In this Grand Illusions video, host and toy collector Tim Rowett shares a few of his favorite coin banks. From the video caption:

“The first launches coins in a spiral, until the coin vanishes down the hole in the middle.

“Then from Takara of Japan a group of teddy bears animate when you pop a coin in.

“Then a performing dog! Pop a coin in its mouth, release the spring, and the dog jumps through the hoop and pops the coin in the barrel.”

catapulting dog

“The next example has a bear that climbs a ladder. You pop the coin into his backpack, wind him up, and he starts climbing the ladder. At a certain point, the ladder tips forward in a see saw motion, and the coin pops through a slot in the side of the house.”

ladder-climbing bear

“The next example is called ‘Joy Bank’. Pop a coin in, push the lever down, and the figure of a boy climbs the steps and gives the girl a kiss, and then he slides down to the bottom of the steps…

“Finally a coin bank that only works with an American one cent coin. The coin ‘flips’ its way down the zig zag track. There is a kind of fluttering action, and the size and weight of the coin are both critical. As far as Tim has discovered, only the one cent US coin will work!”

spinning coin ramps
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Previously from Rowett on TKSST:
• The Mephisto Spiral – Part magic trick, part optical illusion
• Tippe Top
• Math in Motion: Playing with a desktop Galton Board

Bonus coin videos:
• How to make a mechanical snail coin bank
• How to make a coin sorting machine with cardboard
• Don’t put any coins in this cardboard coin box

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