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  Robots of Glass  
 
 
Posted 2005-09-22 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Robots of Glass
Izik Levy makes tiny glass robots, each with a unique unit number and registry card. You can hang Levy's robots around your neck. But they won't do your bidding. Also, don't eat them, even though they look like delicious robot-flavoured candy.
 
     
 
   
 
  3 comments  
  New Nintendo Controller’s 2-Fisted Action  
 
 
Posted 2005-09-16 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
New Nintendo Controller’s 2-Fisted Action
Nintendo has very recently revealed its next-generation wireless game controller at this year's Tokyo Game Show. Alice of Wonderland fame gushes over the gadget, which must be held in two hands:

"OMFG. It’s long and squarish. You shake it. Touch it. Drum with it. Bat with it. Point with it. Conduct with it. Use it like a pencil. Or a TV remote. Thumbpad add on. It’s like a nunchuk – there’s an extra controller for the other hand, strung by a wire..."

The design of the controller pair seems to preclude the possibility of putting down the devices for brief, non-gaming interludes such as answering the phone or scratching one's enormous gamer-ass. One of the controllers apparently operates like a pointer. Which means that you will always have to be aware of what your hand is doing, unlike a traditional controller that can physically be anywhere relative to the console without affecting gameplay. It seems Nintendo is demanding 100% of your attention with its next-generation games.
 
     
 
   
 
  3 comments  
  Video Game Violins Rising  
 
 
Posted 2005-07-11 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Despite much suggestion to the contrary, violins have never been a big part of video game culture. But that could all change. The Evio gaming system involves violin-like controller that detects bow-movement across the strings. The idea is that you'll play the "instrument" to the rythm of the included game. The device connects directly to a TV, but doesn't require a television, making the Evio game violin suitable for the blind. I only became recently aware that there's a whole genre of audio games out aimed at those with vision impairments.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  Toys Remixed  
 
 
Posted 2005-03-23 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Ohio-based Happen's Toy Lab puts an island of misfit toys at the disposal of creative tinkerers. Kids aged six and up can mix and match parts from piles of hand-me-downs, describing the attributes of their creations to trained assemblers who then graft together a one-of-a-kind toy. Seems a good enough recycling solution to me, and the results can be hilarious. Behold: "Nice Hit Monkey Foot," "3-Headed Big Foot," "Dr. One-Eye" and more! Dr. One-Eye, who is afraid of pencils, eats people's lips, lives under the sand and listens to Beethoven's Fifth.

Note that this remixing of toys is comparable to sample-based music, where the whole is a sum of its copyrighted parts. Perhaps even more so that music, many of the toys' parts are instantly-recognizable as established brands. The Toy-Lab program is brilliant because it teaches kids that they have a right to make new things out of old things, to deconstruct, and to share. This contravenes what kids are being taught in school--that tinkering and file-sharing is illegal.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  Hello Kitty iPod… Sort Of…  
 
 
Posted 2005-03-04 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Take one pink iPod mini, emblazon upon it the Hello Kitty logo, and you've got a basic cross-marketing venture. Now, add a large, pink Be@rbrick iPod holder emblazoned with the words "Hello Kitty." Welcome to cross-market confusion.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  Comix Roundup  
 
 
Posted 2005-01-24 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Michael Lalonde took a break from killing Vile Sprites in World of Warcraft long enough to churn out another Orneryboy classic. I don't know about you, but I just can't get enough rapping zombies.

I am still in recycling mode, slapping up last year's Stripfight entry on the Rat Boy LiveJournal page. It's a visual mashup: Rat Boy vs. The Wizard of Id. Everybody loses!

Torontonians take note: Gary Baseman (artist, painter, creator of "Teacher's Pet" TV show) will be appearing at Magic Pony this Wednesday, January 26, between 6-8pm (785 Queen St. W, Toronto). Baseman will be signing stuff and showing off his new Japanese action figure. And no, that's not a euphamism.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  Godzilla vs. Hello Kitty  
 
 
Posted 2004-10-06 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
The Christian Science Monitor says that Japan's pop-culture exports to the West began with Hello Kitty. I couldn't disagree more. Japan's Godzilla is a bigger cultural icon (literally) and predates Hello Kitty by 20 years. Hello Kitty might make a billion dollars a year, but Godzilla was born in 1954, and starred in the classic East meets West film "King Kong vs. Godzilla" in 1962.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  Biskup’s Monster Mash  
 
 
Posted 2004-09-09 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
A mystery print arrived at my abode this morning. It contained numerous birdies juxtaposed with gruesome monsters, and was signed "T. Biskup." A mere Google-moment later, I arrived at the home page of one Tim Biskup, a talented pop-artist, cartoonist, and toy designer. His style seems to be a collision of 60s cartoons, Rat Fink, and Bulgarian iconography. Some of Biskup's stuff can be found in-store at the Toronto-based Magic Pony.
 
     
 
   
 
  1 comments  
  Puppets on a Rampage  
 
 
Posted 2004-07-02 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
What are ugly, ten inches long and brought to life by rapid hand movement? Why, Puppet Terrors, of course. These twisted but collectible hand puppets have gruesome mugs, beady little eyes, and names like "Kid Rottentail." Self-taught puppet-master Jesse Wroblewski birthed the latex-and-cloth creations in his basement during 2002, and after successful online sales, took his Puppet Terrors from the underground onto store shelves in October 2003. His first puppet line includes the tongue-pierced "Bunky The Clown," inmate "Death Row Joe," the masked "Hack," and the anti-Santa "Klaus." Series two is in the works, and stars a rotten rabbit, a corpulent cross-dresser, and a fanged teddy bear.

Continue reading: Puppets on a Rampage
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  Seven Posable Samurai  
 
 
Posted 2004-06-08 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Why watch all 12 hours of Akira Kurosawa's 1954 classic Seven Samurai when you can reinvent the plotline inside your pillow-fort? These Seven Samurai action figures can be yours for 20,000JPY or about $250 Canadian. That's about $35 each, which really ain't too bad if you're nerd with disposable income or just plain crazy.
 
     
 
   
 
  2 comments  
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Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'


yes, many of the free little games are crappy. but as an artist who has recently published free content on the itunes app store,…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool


Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


...you get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock


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