Earth, 2147. The legacy of the Metal Wars, where man fought machines—and machines won. Bio-Dreads — monstrous creations that hunt down human survivors... and digitize them!In 1987, before he created Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski was a writer for Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, a live-action sci-fi show for kids. 24 episodes were produced. Straczynski wrote or co-wrote 14 of them, including multi-episode plot arcs. A line of interactive toys brought the battle into kids’ living rooms, and Captain Power was also one of the very first shows on television to feature computer animation in every episode. But in an attempt to appeal to both children and the adults who watched with them, the campy show included some concepts and scenes critics deemed too violent for children and lasted only a single season in syndication. The full run of the show has now been uploaded to Youtube. [more inside]
The Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab (Geiger counter sold separately) was one of many rad atomic toys available for inquisitive young minds living in the US.
17 Least Appropriate Playmobil Sets For Children : Yep. A randomly numbered list on which several items are questionable. But really, whoever approved #1 for production was more than a little bit twisted.
Just over sixty years ago the Reverend W. V. Awdry told his sick son a series of stories based on real life incidents with trains, which he later wrote up as the Railway Series. Now Thomas the Tank Engine and the other engines of the Isle of Sodor (somewhere between Barrow-in-Furness and the Isle of Man) are a global phenomena, with toys, books and of course the TV series - filmed using model trains on more than 70 1:32 scale 16-by-20-foot sets, and voiced by the likes of Ringo Starr and Alec Baldwin. 2008 has been a rough year for Thomas: George Carlin, who voiced the series in the US up until 1998, passed away (previously), as did David Mitton, who had written and directed over 180 episodes (and who has previously worked on the special effects for Thunderbirds). There's changes ahead for Thomas as well - this year saw the faces of the engines, which had previously been cast in silicone and attached with double sided tape, replaced by CGI faces, and from 2009 onwards Nitrogen studios in Canada will be taking over production with an entirely CGI Thomas. Meanwhile a group of British students continues the tradition of model engine-based storytelling with their YouTube based British Railway Series.
Kindertrauma is about the movies, books, and toys that scared you when you were a kid. It’s also about kids in scary movies, both as heroes and villains. And everything else that’s traumatic to a tyke! [more inside]
New Security Blanket, Stat! What do you do if you're a parent and your darling child's favorite toy has been worn down to nothing? Or perhaps you're thinking ahead and want a "backup binky?" You start a "Lost Lovies" thread, of course. Think of it as a hive mind for real desperate housewives looking for something better than a creative explanation as to why Sprinkles the Cow is suddenly MIA.
Junior General is intended to promote the use of historical simulations as a tool for teaching history by providing free resources that anyone can use. To go with their teaching scenarios they make available thousands of paper solders for download and printing. Everything from stone age primatives thru Myceneans, Confederate gunboats to US Iraq infantry and futuristic Cyber Assault Droids. Also available are accessories like castles, houses, trenches, battering rams and hangers.
1970s toy commercials. From an era when things were more fun, cool, and fresh. Whether you were a hipster or a genius type, there was some creative and smart toy to be had. Many toys were educational and prepared you for the vicissitudes of adulthood. (YouTube alert!)
The Toymaker offers over 40 free paper toys and pretties you can print out (PDFs) and make yourself, as well as "Stories to be Told by Firelight" - online versions of author/illustrator Marilyn Scott Waters' children's stories and lots of other fun goodies. For people who have kids, people who know kids, people who are kids, and people who love papercraft, illustration, toys, and tales. [more...]
Just fill the catapult with one or more cupids, pull the trigger, and aim at the person of your dreams!
Just fill the catapult with one or more cupids, pull the trigger, and aim at the person of your dreams! This "love gun" alarms me, but maybe I overreact as a parent about my kid's exposure to violence. Is this just a harmless novelty, or a disturbing example of how desensitized we are to guns? At least it's for kids over 3.