Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Classic acrobat toy driven by push button-action

Here's a nice version of a classic wooden folk toy. An acrobat figure is mounted by the hands to two twisted strings held between two upright bars. When the button is pushed, the bars are separated, causing the strings to untwist. It's this untwisting motion that makes the acrobat perform speedy somersaults. Unlike the more traditional version where you use your hand to squeeze the bars, the version shown in the video has been converted to operate via a large push-button. This clever adaptation of a classic toy is by Roberto Lou Ma, who was kind enough to share with us the plans for the ramp-walking robot and ramp-walking rhino.

For plans and instructions on how to make the traditional acrobat toy, I urge you check out the book Traditional Wooden Toys: Their History and How to Make Them. The book has sections on animated toys, balancing toys, climbing toys, wheeled toys, wooden dolls, rubber-band powered toys, spinning toys, optical toys, games, and many others.

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