You can’t appreciate this toy unless you see it in action. I hope the link works. It’s my first ever youtube video and the first video ever shot on my iphone.
I started tinkering and playing with this idea a couple of years ago and just decided to take it back off the shelf. The kids might not want to put their video games down long enough to try and master this simple toy but I would set the age range from 6 – 100. As much fun as I had designing and building this, I’ve had much more fun playing with it. It’s been wound up and launched at least a hundred times. Mostly by me but my adult son and a few friends have had some fun with it too.
My idea was to make it simple, easy and cheap enough that I could mass produce them in the shop and sell them to the parents of kids as they browsed and watched the demonstration at the arts and crafts shows (if I ever got in an arts and craft show). Of course they would be made to look more presentable.
There’s nothing pretty about it but I wasn’t trying to make a work of art (yet). This prototype is actually the best performer out of many. I hastily glued the veneer on it just so it would have a slight visual appeal hoping that it might get some attention. You can see all the putty and where I got too aggressive with the belt sander and went through the veneer. I also wanted a hard flat coat of poly on the table thinking it would spin longer but I can’t really tell the difference compared to the bare wood.
The wind up mechanism is unbelievably simple. I have another prototype with a tighter spring that only take 3 twists. My main obstacle is duplicating the small nylon drive gear on the bottom of the top itself. I found it in one of my junk bins and have no idea where it came from. Looks like it might have came from some type of plumbing fixture. I put a metal pin through it and glued a coat button on the top. I have others made from different parts and they all work but none that performs as well as this particular one.
Anyway, I was hoping for and would appreciate any advice, opinions or comments. I have pretty much given up on the idea of going into production and trying to market these. I’m sure the price tag would have to be under $20 or nobody would touch it no matter how cool it was. Does anyone have any idea where that nylon gear might have come from?
-- J.C.Sellers, Norcross, Ga. Just cut it right the first time. The best carpenters make the fewest chips.