visual effects
One of Solo: A Star Wars Story’s Giant Explosions Was Inspired By the Slow Mo Guys on YouTube

Digital tools like 3D animation and motion capture helped revolutionise the visual effects industry, but there’s still plenty of room for practical effects to help bring the impossible to the big screen. Solo: A Star Wars Story’s VFX supervisor Julian Foddy revealed to the BBC that one of the film’s most memorable explosions was actually inspired by a popular YouTube channel. Read More >>

toys
Baby’s First Game Boy Teaches Your Kids the Joys of Gaming With Physical Buttons

Unless you’re a staunch advocate for your kids having zero screen time, at some point you’re going to distract them with a mobile device. But instead of putting your expensive, fragile smartphone in their hands, LeapFrog’s new RockIt Twist is like a baby’s first Game Boy that makes gaming more accessible with a bunch of kid-friendly controls like wheels, dials, switches, buttons, and sliders. Read More >>

gadgets
I Actually Have a Chance of Solving This Motion-Sensing Rubik’s Cube Handheld That Gives You Hints

Did the Rubik’s Cube, one of the world’s most deceptively simple puzzle games, need to be turned into a handheld gaming device? I initially thought Super Impulse’s new Rubik’s Tilt game was a gadget the world didn’t need, but it turns out there’s one feature a cube-solving amateur like myself is happy to finally have: hints. Read More >>

lego
Jurassic World’s T-Rex Fighting Mecha T-Rex is the Lego Set of My Childhood Fantasies

Lego’s partnering with Universal for a new 13-episode animated mini-series called Lego Jurassic World: Legend of Isla Nublar that takes place before both of the Jurassic World movies. It’s a thinly-veiled attempt to sell more toys, but I’m totally fine with that since one of the sets features Jurassic Park’s much-loved T-rex battling a robotic doppelgänger. Did Lego somehow find a trove of my childhood drawings? Read More >>

toys
This Tiny Pac-Man Game Is the Size of a Credit Card

Super Impulse’s Tiny Arcade line—a series of four-inch-tall fully playable arcade cabinets—is a fun way for ‘80s kids to relive their childhoods spent stuffing tokens into arcade machines. But for those times when you’re away from your desk and get the itch for Pac-Man or Missile Command, Super Impulse has created a new MicroArcade line that now puts those classic titles on gaming machines no bigger than a credit card. Read More >>

lego
This Animated Lego Fan Film Is as Good as the Official Movies

Has the winter weather made it difficult for you to pop out to the cinema to catch The Lego Movie 2? Eventually the flakes will stop falling, but until they do, Nukazooka’s excellent fan film Lego: The Great Escape will tide you over with characters, animation, and a story that’s just as entertaining as the official movies. Did we also mention there’s a cat? Read More >>

toys
This Ridiculous Slow-Motion Racing Game Penalises the Speedy

Even awkwardly tripping and stumbling on a throw rug would look super cool when played back in slow motion, as YouTube channels like The Slow Mo Guys have shown us time and time again. But with Hasbro’s new The Slow-Motion Race Game players don’t need a £100,000 high-speed camera to create a slow-motion effect; just lots of patience, steady pacing, and a willingness to potentially embarrass themselves. Read More >>

toys
My Favourite Childhood Gadget of the 80s, the Speak & Spell, is Back

I can’t remember when exactly the Speak & Spell first entered my life – it was sometime in the very early ‘80s when I was four or five years old – but I do remember being amazed that my parents allowed me to touch and play with this marvel of technology, when other devices, like the VCR and the stereo, were strictly off-limits. And now a new Speak & Spell is coming for kids who aren’t quite ready for that outdated phone or tablet you still have lying around. After introducing the classic educational title, The Oregon Trail, to a new generation of kids with the first portable version of the game, Basic Fun! is reviving another classic electronic toy from my youth, and my first real gadget obsession. Read More >>

watch this
Someone Created an Entire Album Using the Crude Sounds of a Computer’s Motherboard

The range of music that Chiptune artists can squeeze from old video game consoles is unbelievable, but at the same time that’s hardware that was specifically designed to produce a range of sounds to accompany a game. Alexander Semenov, however, managed to create an entire Chiptune album using only the sound capabilities of a motherboard’s incredibly limited built-in speaker. Read More >>

gadgets
Igloo’s New Foam-Free Coolers Are Made From Biodegradable Tree Pulp

The styrofoam cooler you remember your parents dragging to the beach as a kid is still kicking around a skip somewhere, refusing to break down or disappear. That’s why the industry has switched to reusable products, but if you don’t want to shell out £300+ for a Yeti cooler, Igloo has created a disposable option that’s biodegradable. Read More >>

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Slo-Mo Footage Of a Magnet on a Trampoline Reveals its Invisible Forces

You might recall that primary-school experiment where an iron filing-covered sheet of paper draped over a magnet reveals the invisible lines of its magnetic forces. But with a strong enough magnet (the kind they won’t let you play with in school) and a miniature trampoline, you can actually see those invisible magnetic lines in three dimensions. Read More >>

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How to Draw Your Own Thanos Snap Disintegration Flipbook Animation

If you haven’t seen Avengers: Infinity War and haven’t been on the internet or spoken to a single living being since the movie came out, be warned, there are spoilers ahead. For everyone else who’s seen the film and its catastrophic ending, Andy Bailey, the talented Laika animator behind the YouTube channel Andymation, has put together a quick tutorial on how to draw your own flipbook animation of the fallout from Thanos’ fateful finger snap. Read More >>

tablets
How Wacom’s New Affordable Cintiq Beats the iPad

With the iPad Pro and its tight integration with the Pencil stylus, Apple’s tablet finally became a legitimate content creation tool for artists—and legitimate competition for Wacom, whose tablets have been a staple among designers and pixel pushers for decades. Wacom’s hardware, particularly its touchscreen Cintiq tablets, don’t come cheap, but its new £530 Cintiq 16 is priced to compete with Apple, and despite a few compromises, remains a better option for aspiring artists. Read More >>

robots
Touchy, Feely Robots Have Learned to Play Jenga As Well As Humans Can

A steady hand is needed to play a game like Jenga without toppling the tower, but being a successful block-stacker also requires a fine-tuned sense of touch as you try to find the perfect piece to remove. Until recently it meant robots relying solely on visual data weren’t actually great at playing Jenga (yay, humanity!) but by adding a sense of touch, researchers have once again given automatons the advantage. (Never mind.) Read More >>

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Flying a 265 MPH RC Plane Using VR Glasses Might Be as Close as You’ll Get to Being Superman

In order to safely pilot a remote control quadcopter that can hit speeds of well over 160 miles per hour, pilots wear video goggles that give them a first-person view from the tiny crafts. It’s not only a safer way to pilot RC planes, but when you bump the speed up to 265 MPH, as YouTuber Omegoolibird did with a customised aircraft, the experience is as close as you can probably get to flying like Superman or Iron Man. Read More >>