2049: Unfulfilling Toys
Title text: We were going to do a falling-apart Rubik's cube that was just 27 independent blocks stuck together with magnets, but then we realized it was actually really cool and even kind of worked, so we cut that one.
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This comic lists and illustrates a number of classic toys that are missing a key piece or attribute that makes them work and/or that makes them unique. As such, they are not much fun.
Rigid Slap Bracelet
Slap Bracelets are flexible bars that when you hit them on your arm they twist and become a bracelet. A rigid one would not twist and would be deeply frustrating and painful.
Sealed Stomp Rocket
A stomp rocket has a rubber pouch full of air, connected via a hose to a cylinder containing a tightly-fitting rocket on a stick. By stomping on the pouch, the air is forced into the cylinder launching the rocket into the air. By sealing the air channel, the rocket would stay in the cylinder and the person would just be bounced into the air by the pouch -- acting like the world's smallest bouncy house -- or the pouch will burst rending the toy even more useless.
A supersoaker is a water gun that works by first pumping air into the gun, which introduces air pressure next to the water, then releasing the water using the gun's trigger -- the extra pressure from the pumped air makes the water go much further than a regular water gun. In this version, the water cannot be released, so the fun part of the water gun -- getting to spray your friends -- isn't there.
Glass Glow Stick
In a classic glow-stick, made of flexible plastic, one much first bend it enough to break the glass cylinder inside. This allows the chemicals inside to mix and begin glowing within the plastic tube. If the entire tube were made of actual glass, however, it would not only shatter into many sharp glass pieces, but would also cover the hands of the unfortunate user with a mixture of harmful chemicals.
Wingless Sky Dancer
In the traditional toy, a doll or figure with folded-up wings sits on top of a hand-held device with a wrapped string or other mechanism that lets it spin the doll very fast. As the doll spins, centripetal force causes the wings to unfold and provide lift, and the doll rises up in the air and flies, spinning, sometimes going quite high. Without the wings, the doll will spin but otherwise remain flightless.
In a traditional yo-yo, one attaches a string to their finger and the other end of the string is loosely attached to the yo-yo, such that it will hold the yo-yo but the yo-yo can still spin. In this case, the string is included but not attached to the yo-yo, so the yo-yo, when it reaches the end of the string, will keep going instead of coming back to the person or spinning at the end of the string.
This one actually exists and some people are even quite good at it. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5P-fdrlBg8 for example.
Title-text: Falling-Apart Rubik's cube
In order to build the magnetic Rubik's cube, you would need to embed magnets (like the little hockey-puck shaped ones for magnetic bulletin boards) in the the uncolored (inward-facing) sides of each cube. You would need to take care to have the correct pole of each magnet facing outward in order for it to work, but you can achieve that by having the corners and the central outside cubes use one pole (say north) facing outward and have the edge and center (hidden) cube use the other pole (say south) facing outward. In that way each piece would be attracted to its correct neighboring piece and if you rotated a side, it would resist turning until you got half way around, then it would be drawn into the correct new position.
This also exists, is rather functional, and is the only way to make fun Rubik's cube shapes such as 1x5x5.
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