The Way Toys Work

The Way Toys Work
The Way Toys Work

The Way Toys Work

The Science Behind the Magic 8 Ball, Etch A Sketch, Boomerang, and More
By Ed Sobey, By Woody Sobey


160 Pages, 7 x 10

Formats: Trade Paper, PDF, EPUB, Mobipocket

Trade Paper, $14.95 (US $14.95) (CA $16.95)

ISBN 9781556527456

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (May 2008)


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The first book to explain the technology of playthings, from wind-up racers to Nintendo controllers
If you’ve ever wondered how an Etch A Sketch writes on its gray screen, or why a boomerang comes back, or how an R/C car responds to a radio controller, now you’ll have your answers. The Way Toys Work explains the technology, history, and trivia behind 50 popular toys, with patent blueprints and photos of the “guts” of devices including:* Kaleidoscope * Magna Doodle * Slinky* Nintendo * Super Soaker * Big Mouth Billy Bass* Rubik’s Cube * Silly Putty * Video Game Light Gun* Furby * Dunking Bird * View-Master* Yo-Yo * Push ’n’ Go Car * Wiffle Ball* Gyroscope * Operation * Hula HoopYou’ll also find pointers on how to build your own versions using recycled materials and a little ingenuity, experiments that can be done with certain toys, and tips on reverse engineering old toys to get a better look at their interior mechanics. The only thing you won’t learn is how the Magic 8 Ball is able to predict the future--some things are best left a mystery.


"Written for novices and illustrated . . . throughout, this book is sure to provide hours of entertainment and enlightenment." —School Library Journal

"Perfect for collectors, for anyone daring enough to build homemade versions of these classic toys and even for casual browsers." —Booklist

"Really fun . . . can keep little and big brains occupied for hours." —

Author Biography

Ed Sobey founded the National Toy Hall of Fame and was founding director of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He also cofounded Kids Invent Toys at California State University–Fresno and Camp Invention. He has written 20 books, including A Field Guide to Office Technology, and directed five museums from Florida to Oregon. He lives in Redmond, Washington. Woody Sobey is the state coordinator for Invent Idaho, a state-wide invention competition for grade school students, and the director of education for the Discovery Center of Idaho. He lives in Boise, Idaho.