Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Old Rubik's toys and Evel Knievel rides again

I was having a rummage around in the loft at the weekend and stumbled upon my Rubik's snake puzzle. It seemed worth getting down and giving to the predlets to see what they make of it. It was a hit.
Rubiks snake
It is a set of pyramids linked by rotators. Whilst they were playing with it I suddenly realised it must be about 30 years old. Which was quite shocking! It has survived the the of time though.
Other things that came down from the loft included my Evel Knieval stunt bike. This did not survive quite so well as the handle bars had got a little brittle. As it hurtled down the hall and into the bathroom it smacked into the wall and the little Evel would have been heard to say "It came off in my hand".
It still does go though. You can buy new version of it still on Firebox
When I had the original one back in the 70's the bike worked but all the metal in Evel's body snapped, so it was impossible to get him sat on the bike or in any stunt poses. It was before the interwebs let us reach the toy companies and ask for customer service so I wrote a letter (I was about 7) to the toy company saying how unhappy I was that Evel had broken. They sent me a new Evel. Which I thought was amazing, and still do.
The other Rubik's related item that I still find fascinating was the Rubiks' rings. This is a set of square panels bound with nylon that let the panels be folded around one another. It is very tactile puzzle solving. Logically it is really a shuffle puzzle.
You start with it in this format
Rubiks rings
Fold it over and around a bit
Rubiks rings
Until you get to this
Rubiks rings complete
The tactile nature of these puzzles and toys is a nice change from the purely digital world I live in. However a blend of the two, an Augmented Reality Haptic feedback Rubik's puzzle .... wooooooaaah