Brooklyn-based furniture and woodworker Daniel Moyer uses leftover scrap wood to build minimalistic toys under the brand fdup.toys. The first series was a quirky edition of superheros to which he’s since followed up with a fun duck sidekick. Moyer calls the project “a small scale production employing oldschool workflow and jig techniques, and a nice way to salvage and purpose the trimmings that would normally end up in the woodshop dumpster.” You can see more in his shop. (via Design Milk)
UGEARS are a series of 11 new mechnical models built from wooden pieces that spring to life with the help of rubber band engines, cranks, or with the assistance of gravity. Similar to balsa wood insects, the laser-cut pieces assemble like a puzzle without need for glue or adhesives. The most impressive design is an elaborate 480-piece steam locomotive that’s 12″ long and propels itself up and down a provided track with an internal engine.
This season’s hottest new retro-kitsch action figures pre-date GI Joes and Power Rangers by nearly 500 years. If you’ve ever imagined what Michelangelo’s “David” would look like while locked in heated battle with Rodin’s “The Thinker,” or how “Venus de Milo” would use a brand new set of articulated arms, The Table Museum has your answer. These 6-inch limited edition action figures feature fully moveable arms, legs, and even eyeballs. Unfortunately the ordering window for several of the figures has already closed, but “David” is currently available for pre-order at around ¥4800 (~$40) and ships sometime in May of 2016. They even take PayPal. (via Boing Boing, Hyperallergic)
Model train enthusiast James Risner decided to turn several toy locomotive sets into a contemporary kinetic art installation of sorts by creating an infinite loop. The seven linked trains can travel forward or backward at surprisingly quick speed, creating a hypnotic spiral of of motion. I wonder if this could be scaled to a Metropolis II level? (via Laughing Squid)
At 42x the size of a traditional ‘Light-Brite’ toy, the Everbright by San Francisco-based Hero Design is a huge grid of adjustable LEDs for drawing with light. But instead of only a limited selection of individual colors, the Everbright relies on 464 dials that change in hue as you twist them, offering almost unlimited color possibilities when creating designs. When you’re done drawing, the entire board resets to a blank canvas with the press of a single button. While fully interactive, it also comes pre-programmed with several animations that can play when not in use.
You can learn more about Everbright here, and it looks like this has already moved beyond a concept and the devices are now available for sale. (via Designboom, Neatorama)
Grant Thompson of the King of Random just shared a great tutorial on how to make completely edible gummy LEGO bricks and figures using a mixture of corn syrup, Jello, and gelatin. Using the right molds, the pieces are so precise you can actually build with them. Unlike the chocolate LEGO bricks we featured a few months ago, these look somewhat simple to make. (via The Awesomer)
A few years ago we mentioned LEGO and bird enthusiast Thomas Poulsom who designed a beautiful series of LEGO bird specimens. Poulsom submitted his concept to LEGO Ideas, and enough people voted to turn the birds into an official kit that includes his blue jay, robin, and humming bird models. The bird sets went on sale a few hours ago. (via Laughing Squid)
Update: Whoa, it looks like the kits sold out in the process of me writing this, but you can still order for delivery within 30 days.