The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'toys'
They're now selling toy airport screening machines for children. the Scan-It Operation Checkpoint Toy X-Ray Machine, a colourful box with a conveyor belt and a built-in metal detector, is designed to "help children understand and be comfortable and confident in the need and process of higher security protocols" in the post-9/11 age.
If there is a need for toys to instill into our children from an early age the awareness that we, as a society, are in a permanent low-level state of siege and need to accept increasing amounts of security control in our lives for our mutual safety, perhaps we can soon expect other similarly educational toys. How about a Biometric ID Card Play Set, with several Flash-based cards and a reader with working digital camera/fingerprint scanner, hich stores and checks the users' details? Or a Junior CCTV Surveillance kit, which lets youngsters play at silently keeping the city secure from ever-present threats? Or perhaps the Guantanamo Interrogation Play Set, with 9V battery-powered electric shock machine and waterboard? The possibilities are endless.
The latest gadget on the Japanese market is a gun that fires teddy bears, fitted with parachutes, into the air. The necessity that mothered this bizarre-sounding yet oddly compelling invention was the fashion in Japan to throw teddy bears, rather than bouquets, into the air at weddings. The teddy bear gun merely automates this process somewhat.
(via Boing Boing)
The most popular toy in Pakistan these days: the Osama Bin Laden action figure, which comes with military jeep and bodyguards.
"As you know, Osama is very popular in the whole world," said Imran, a young boy eyeing up the goods on offer at a Karachi toy store. "The same thing is happening in Pakistan.
Bin Laden, it seems, has become a sort of Islamic Che Guevara in that part of the world. I wonder how long until overpriced OBL-themed fashion accessories (sewn by child labour in the third world) show up in the ritzy boutiques of the West.
High-tech musical toys from the MIT Media Lab allow children to compose music without learning musical theory. The Toy Symphony site is here. How long, I wonder, until a future generation of ravers/indie kids pick up on these and start using them on records?
These people make improvised electronic musical instruments (with names such as the "Pikachu Glitch Synthesizer") out of toys and other devices. Pretty doovy. (via Slashdot)
Ralph Osterhout worked designing weaponry for the US Navy Seals, now works as a toy designer. New Scientist has an interesting interview on the subject of high-tech toy design.
Some parents say: "When I was a kid we had plain wooden blocks and we were really encouraged to use our imagination." But I think we are much more creative today. Give a child complex three- dimensional puzzles that are very sophisticated and you stimulate a higher level of creativity. How do you expect a kid who plays with wooden blocks to come up with a new receptor blocker for HIV later in life?