Mechanic John Bitmead wanted to relive some of his childhood, but wanted more than just the toys he grew up with, like the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe. So, he decided to convert a Daewoo Matiz into a life-sized replica of the ride-on toy, powered by an 800cc engine capable of reaching speeds of up to 60mph in 17 seconds and top out at 70mph. It took approximately 5-months and $7,000 to complete, since every every detail had to be recreated perfectly, from the yellow roof to glassless windows to the oversized drink holders. Read more for another video and additional information.
LEGO revealed an interactive new way to help visually impaired children learn how to read Braille. Officially called, LEGO Braille Bricks, these are essentially custom bricks molded with the same number of studs used for individual letters and numbers in the Braille alphabet. They also feature a printed letter or character that enables sighted teachers and kids to learn and play along. The toymaker plans on releasing the first kits in 2020 and will be free to select institutions through participating partner networks. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Photo credit: Two Bit Arcade via Peta Pixel
Two Bit Arcade’s Martin Fitzpatrick, a self-taught programmer, has built the world’s first Etch A Sketch digital camera, and it’s called the “Etch A Snap”. This pocket-sized device captures digital photos and then uses a Raspberry Pi Zero computer board to draw them onto the actual Etch A Sketch “screen”. The Raspberry Pi uses Pillow and OpenCV to process the photo down to a 240×144 pixel 1-bit black-and-white line before turning them into plotter commands, which are then executed by physically moving the Etch A Sketch wheels with two 5V stepper motors built into a custom 3D-printed frame. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: SirDork730
Michael Bay is known for explosions in the movies he directs, and Jared Middleton, also known as SirDork730 on Instagram, wanted to create similar shots, but with toys instead. Simply put, he recreates dramatic scenes using well-known children’s characters like a Stormtrooper from Star Wars and Pokemon’s Charmander. When he’s not creating thse incredible photographs, Jared works at a call center in New York. Read more for two videos, additional pictures and information.
A group of brick artists have created a life-sized McLaren Senna using 467,854 LEGO pieces, and it weighs in at a hefty 3,748 pounds, or approximately 1,102 pounds heavier than its real-life counterpart. The entire creation took the team 4,935-hours to complete, with the assembly alone taking ten people 2,725 of those hours. Just for reference, the actual Senna hypercar takes only 300-hours to build. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Photo credit: Laughing Squid
Volkswagen teamed up with the f.re.e. travel convention in Munich, Germany to create a life-sized replica of the iconic Type 2 Westfalia Camper Van using 400,000 LEGO bricks. Brick masters Rene Hoffmeister and Pascal Lenhard spent 6-weeks building this 1,543-pound creation that measures 16-feet long. They used 3D programs to generate a construction plan in advance to determine the approximate amount of bricks required. but construction came to a standstill once they had to order the 20,000 transparent bricks needed for the windows. Read more for additional pictures, a making of video series and additional information.
The 1967 Ford Mustang GT Fastback has been faithfully recreated in this all-new LEGO (10265) set, which is comprised of 1,472-pieces, complete with white racing stripes, bonnet scoop, printed mustang grille badge, GT emblems and 5-spoke rims with road-gripping tires. Plus, there’s even optional add-ons for customization, including various license plates, a supercharger unit, rear ducktail spoiler, exhaust pipes, front chin spoiler and even a nitrous oxide tank. You can also remove the roof panel or open the doors to easily accessthe detailed interior that boasts seats, a radio, working steering and a mid-console gearshift. It goes on sale March 1, priced at $149.99. Read more for another in-depth video review, additional pictures and information.
Photo credit: Kris Naudus / Engadget
Spin Master’s second-generation Air Hogs Zero Gravity Laser Racer has just been unveiled at the 2019 NYC Toy Fair, and like its predecessor, it can ride on the floor, climb up walls and zip across your ceiling, just like the Spider-Man of R/C vehicles. However, it’s not magic, as the car uses a small suction fan on the undercarriage that is just strong enough to keep the very lightweight car moving around on flat surfaces. Read more for additional pictures and information.
The LEGO Group today introduced Hidden Side, an augmented reality-enhanced LEGO play theme where you must turn a haunted world back to normal, one ghost at a time, at the New York City Toy Fair. It’s currently the only play experience available today that fully and seamlessly integrates augmented reality (AR) with physical construction to reveal a hidden world of interactive play. It includes a series of eight “haunted” building sets full of amazing functionality and hidden surprises that, on their own, provide the build and role-play fun of any LEGO play theme. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Basic Fun! is reviving the Texas Instruments’ Speak & Spell toy with all the of familiar games, an LCD that mimics the original’s segmented display, and of course the signature orange-and-yellow design. The biggest upgrade is found in the voice, and while the TMS1000 chip inside the original Speak & Spell synthesized voices could handle roughly 200 words, this model uses recorded dialog processed to sound like it’s synthesized, instead of generating sounds on the spot. Read more to see the new version in-action.