Tuesday, November 6th, 2007
Two Toys to Occupy your Toddler to the End of Time
Here are two ball-track toys from Kiddie’s Paradise, Inc., a Taiwanese children’s toy manufacturer with no appreciation of math, or perhaps science or science fiction.
Or at least, they are very bad at thinking up product names…
Forever Up-Down is a 6″ x 6″ x 12″ hunk of plastic you flip over every which way to
move a ball along an embedded track that loops back upon itself. Two balls that move at different
speeds are included to provide two skill levels, intended for ages 4
and up. I’d call it a MÃ¶bius Strip, or maybe Deep Thought. Your toddler can hone her manual dexterity while pondering the meaning of life for seven and a half million years.
Tai-Chi Ball is also a sort of mobius strip encased in a clear plastic sphere so that you never lose the track ball. Look at the expression on the kid’s face. When you stare into the sphere, the universe opens itself up for a few seconds to show you whatâ€™s possible, or maybe you see how you’re gonna die.
You could incorporate the ball into an actual Tai Chi routine, you know, the martial art turned mind and body exercise craze. Except, I have trouble envisioning the quiet, fluid movements of Tai Chi being accompanied by a rolling, rattling sound.
I didn’t locate a US retailer for the small Tai-Chi Ball, though it is sold in Europe. A large Tai-Chi Ball can be found at Munchkin Field. (I’m not sure, but you might be able to buy direct from the manufacturer. I’m not clear on whether it’s offering wholesale or retail sales.)
When drafting this article I initially titled it, “Name these SciFi Baby Toys.” Is it just me? Are these toys not screaming out for really cool names? Any ideas?