Playful Factory Project Launch: Chain Reaction Toys
There are not many things more exhilarating than putting a well laid plan into action and having it be a success. There is also not much that is more frustrating then having those plans goes completely awry. This week we will be designing chain reaction toys. Although you may have never heard of that type of toy before, you have definitely seen them. Check out these cool toys...
A chain reaction classic! Check it out life size below...
Digital Chain Reaction Game
chain reaction game on pbskids.org
Chain Reaction Machines
If you want to look up more chain reaction toys it might be more fruitful to look up Rube Goldberg Machines
. He was a cartoonist that kind of invented these inventions.
After all of this research we learned that these contraptions are simply a machine that takes multiple complex steps to perform an extremely simple task. In short, a really fun waste of time. Have you ever built your own chain reaction toy? Share with us your experience or fun chain reaction toys you find.
Playful Factory Tips: Turn your junk drawer into a fun toy!
It is time to dump out your junk drawer and make some chain reaction toys. Our Design Department
would like to share some tips to help you start designing your own chain reaction toy.
Tips from our Design Department
(inspired by mousetrapcontraptions.com
1. Decide on a goal for your machine. The goal should be the last step of your machine. The goal could be something useful, funny, or surprising.
2. Gather a few things from around the house, in your toy box, junk drawer, or garage. Balls, marbles, dominoes, string, toy cars, magnets, cardboard or tubes, etc. Don't worry, you can collect more later. Avoid dangerous objects and chemicals.
3. Now play with the things! What can the car bump into or knock down? Can the string pull something up? What can push the ball down the cardboard ramp? Try it out!
4. Get a piece of paper and start writing down any idea that pops into your head. This is called brainstorming. No matter how crazy the idea seems, just write it down for later. Even if you don't use it, it may help you think of more things.
5. Once you get a few good ideas for your machine, make a list, in order, of the steps, or draw a simple picture of the steps.
6. Plan on making quite a few changes to your machine as you build it. It may look different from your original drawing. Try not to get frustrated, this is part of learning what works best.
7. If you get stuck at a certain step of your machine, why not try to work your way backwards? Start at the last step, and connect the part to it that triggers it. Or take a break away from the machine. Sometimes you'll come back with a fresh solution to the problem.
8. WACKINESS! GO CRAZY! A true Rube Golberg machine would be boring without some commom household items (old toys, toilet plunger, egg beater, typewriter...)
10. Setup and test your machine in stages. Once they are working, put each of the stages together.
11. If you have the ability to, it would be fun to video tape your chain reaction toy.
List of Action Words
Sometimes even just words can spark ideas... Here is a list of some action words to get your brain churning. (Churning... that is an action word).
aim, bake, balance, barbecue (not recommended), barge, bat, billow, bite, blow, bob, bounce, break,brew, bulge, burst, catch, chase, chirp, clear, clutch, cook, crawl, crouch, dangle, drip, droop, dump, empty, erupt, explode, fish, float, flutter, fly, follow, gather,
hang, jump, kick, lean, light, melt, mix, paddle, paint, pop, pour, pull, push, raise, rest, rock, roll, sail, scoot, shake, shoot, skate, slide, spew, spin, spray, stretch, swing, teeter-totter, throw, twirl, whistle, yank, zap...
Good luck with your designs!
Playful Factory Concepts: Chain Reaction Toys
We love this part... coming up with fun designs for chain reaction toys is a blast. We would like to see what you come up with.
Here are a couple of our ideas:
Lights Out Machine
1. wiggle your foot to raise the mouse cage
2. hungry mouse runs for the cheese and passes through the spinner
3. spinner moves the boxing glove
4. boxing glove punches the mouse cage
5. mouse cage swings and bumps the paper airplane
6. paper airplane hits the target
7. target pivots the hamster's trap door open
8. hamster crawls through his track and bumps the ball at the end
9. ball rolls down the slide and hits the pivot arm
10. pivot arm rotates and turns off the light... goodnight
Ball Race Track
We also thought it would be fun to make a game out of a chain reaction machine. It could be a ball race track for two players. They roll the dice and the number they get is the number of things they get to change on the track either making it easier for their ball or harder for the other person's ball to get to the finish.
Post your ideas... Feel free to post a completed machine concept or to simply post a section of a machine. If it makes it easier you could come up with a better solution to one of the machines that we designed above. It might also be easier to understand you ideas if there is a sketch on this one. Have fun!
Free Toy Giveaway: Chain Reaction Toy
The free toy giveaway this week is the board game Mouse Trap. This game is a classic! If your family does not have one yet, I highly recommend you get one... or just win one for free right here right now.
The game is played by building a mini chain reaction machine designed to trap mice. Once the machine is build it is a race to try and trap all your opponents mice before you get caught in the mouse trap.
Recommended Ages: 6+ years
Free Toy Giveaway Details
To enter this giveaway, you must participate in some way, big or small, in this weeks design process.
It’s easy, just add research images, safety tips, sketches, or prototypes as a comment to one of the posts this week and you will be entered to win this free toy giveaway. To increase you odds of winning; participate more than once in the design process, subscribe to get email updates, or like us on our new facebook page
Read more details about our giveaways here
. Playful Factory will draw a winner randomly on Monday, September 20th. This giveaway includes free shipping within the US. Good luck!
Winners for Chain Reaction Toys
This toy design topic is very difficulty. So, congratulations to all of those that participated. The winners for this week are...
Weekly Free Toy Giveaway
Out of all those that participated this week we randomly selected the winner of the free toy giveaway... and the winner of the Mouse Trap board game is Jake!
Weekly Toy Design Winner
The design winner of the Chain Reaction toys is Jena. It is a very fun idea to use a chain reaction toy to surprise people. Way to be creative in using a balloon to float up and pop!
This design has been added to the selection of possible monthly toy designs to be made into a real toy at the Playful Factory. Read more about the details here
Great work! Look for the project launch tomorrow to see what our new design topic is going to be.