Toys: The Inside Story

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Peek inside some common toys while exploring the basics of pulleys, cams, gears, linkages, and circuits. If your parents never let you break open your Etch A Sketch® to find out how it works, or if you’ve been wondering how to stop your toddler’s push toy from making such an infernal racket, you’ll love Toys: The Inside Story.

Toys: The Inside Story includes 12 different hands-on stations illustrating the simple mechanisms commonly found in toys, and lets visitors create their own toy-like combinations of gears, pulleys, linkages, cams, and circuits.

"What's Inside Jack-in-the-Box?" gives visitors a close-up view of the cam combination that frees our hero "Jack," while elsewhere we unmask the amazing collection of switches, cams, and motors that make Elmo® dance and Mr. Machine® run.

Many of the exhibits are free-form and open-ended: “Gears at Play” illustrates the effects of gear ratios as visitors figure out how to spin ballerinas and a carousel, while the “Jeepers Peepers” challenge at the pulley table may take a little experimentation to solve.