Category Archives: toy hacks

Bringing A Child’s Play Kitchen To Life

Given how many adults will go out of their way to avoid spending any extended amount of time in the kitchen, it’s pretty amazing how much children love playing in their miniature versions. Especially since they tend to be pretty simple: usually they’re little more than different sized boxes made …read more

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Posted in ESP8266, kids oven, kitchen, led hacks, Microcontrollers, neopixel ring, RGB LED, TM1637, toy hacks | Leave a comment

Building An RC Air Boat from Garbage

What do you get when you combine an old optical drive, some empty soda bottles, and a microcontroller? Well…nothing, really. That’s still just a pile of rubbish. But if you add in a battery, an RC receiver, and some motors, you’re getting dangerously close to a fun little toy to …read more

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Posted in air boat, Arduino Hacks, boat, e-waste, remote control, toy hacks, upcycle | Leave a comment

Making A Birthday Party Magical With Smart Wands

Visitors to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios are able to cast “spells” by waving special interactive wands in the air. Hackers like us understand that there must be some unknown machinations happening behind the scenes to detect how the wands are moving, but for the kids …read more

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Posted in hardware, home automation, ir camera, magic wand, NoIR, open cv, Raspberry Pi, Raspberry Pi Zero, reflector, toy hacks | Leave a comment

Recreating Classic Model Kits With Modern Tech

It used to be that if you wanted to make a nice scale model of an airplane, you’d be building the frame out of thin balsa ribs and covering it all up with tissue paper. Which incidentally was more or less how they built most real airplanes prior to the …read more

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Posted in 3d printed, 3d Printer hacks, balsa, scale model, spitfire, toy hacks, Warbird, WW2 | Leave a comment

The Fine Art of Restoring Matchbox Cars

Did you have anything planned for the next hour or so? No? That’s good because if you’re anything like us, watching even one of the restorations performed on [Marty’s Matchbox Makeovers] is likely to send you down a deep dark rabbit hole that you never knew existed. Even if you …read more

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Posted in hot wheels, matchbox, model making, restoration, scale model, toy hacks | Leave a comment

Lego Monorail From Your 3D Printer

If you had to guess the age of a person hailing from a country in which Lego is commonly available, you might very well do it by asking them about the Lego trains available in their youth. Blue rails or grey rails, 4.5, 9, or 12 volt power, and even somewhat unexpectedly, one rail or two. If that last question surprises you we have to admit that we were also taken aback to discover that for a few years in the 1980s everybody’s favourite Danish plastic construction toy company produced a monorail system.

[Mike Rigsby] had a rather ambitious Christmas …read more

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Posted in lego, lego monorail, monorail, toy hacks | Leave a comment

Make Your Lego Fly

We probably all used to make our Lego fly by throwing it across the room, but Flite Test have come up with a slightly more elegant solution: they converted a Lego quadcopter to fly. They did it by adding a  miniature flight controller, battery and motors/rotors to replace the Lego ones in the Lego City Arctic Air Transport kit. This combination flies surprisingly well, thanks to a thoughtful design that balances the heavier components inside the case.

Lego purists may be horrified to hear that the conversion does use a small amount of glue: the builder didn’t think that the …read more

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Posted in drone, lego, multirotor, quadcopter, space, toy hacks | Leave a comment

A Trove of Cosplay Prop Making Tutorials and Blueprints

[CutTransformGlue] recently posted a build video for “Making Rey’s Star Wars Blaster“, embedded after the break. The construction uses layered MDF sheets to build up the blaster, and it’s a treat to see it taking shape, ending with an amazing paint job. It’s a good way to learn about the techniques used to bring such props to life and help you hone your skills. But digging deeper led us down an awesome rabbit hole.

[CutTransformGlue] got plans for Rey’s Blaster from the Punished Props Academy – a prop and costume making team from Seattle committed to “transforming passionate fans into …read more

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Posted in blaster, cosplay, Foamsmithing, guns, molding, nerf hacks, props, ray gun, star wars, toy hacks, vacuum forming, weapons hacks | Leave a comment

POV Tops Hobbyist Abilities

Sometimes a beautiful project is worth writing on that merit alone, but when it functions as designed,someone takes the time to create a thorough and beautiful landing page for their project, we get weak in the knees. We feel the need to grab the internet and point our finger for everyone to see. This is one of those projects that checks all our boxes. [Nathan Petersen] made a POV toy top called Razzler, jumping through every prototyping hoop along the way. The documentation he kept is what captured our hearts.

The project is a spinning top with an integrated persistence-of-vision …read more

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Posted in persistance of vision, POV, top, toy, toy hacks | Leave a comment

Vintage Toys Live on Through 3D Printing

We all have fond memories of a toy from our younger days. Most of which are still easy enough to get your hands on thanks to eBay or modern reproductions, but what if your childhood fancies weren’t quite as mainstream? What if some of your fondest memories involved playing with 1960’s educational games which are now so rare that they command hundreds of dollars on the second-hand market?

That’s the situation [Mike Gardi] found himself in recently. Seeing that the educational games which helped put him on a long and rewarding career in software development are now nearly unobtainable, he …read more

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Posted in classic hacks, computer, computer hacks, logic game, preservation, recreation, toy hacks, vintage | Leave a comment