This one is about a toy. Hopefully, many more posts about toys will follow, and thanks to my 20 month old nephew, Max, there will be many more toys to post about, hopefully. So I got him a new toy. The package says 6+ but he’s pretty advanced. Here is a non-artist’s rendering of the little guy.

a non-artist's rendering of Max.

a non-artist's rendering of Max.

      I didn’t get the mouth quite right but he really does look a bit like that.

      I think these pictures of Tarata’s Balancing Act from New Zealand are pretty self explanatory.

Tarata's Balancing Act Monkeys in action

Tarata's Balancing Act Apes in action

      Kind of awesome. Exercises all sorts of brain and hand parts that don’t get enough work. And if you need more proof of that, maybe their genius copywriter can convince you:

From the package (all misplaced capitalization are exactly as is on the package):

“Playing the Balancing Act provides the Enjoyment of a Challenge and the Satisfaction of Success.

Making use of every day talents you are introduced to the Natural Law of Gravity, Leverage, Balance Point, Fulcrums, Friction, Weight and Dimension.

Along with the Development of Personal Skills including Patience, Perseverance, Problem Solving, Colour, Shape and Spatial Awareness and Hand eye Coordination, this simple toy is invaluable for Individual and Collective Creativity and Fun!”

      So good that I had to get a set for myself.

      The apes are the better set, not just because they have fewer nooks and crannies which makes their configurations more challenging and imaginative. More that the idea of stacking apes appeals more to my sense of logic. I mean, monkeys stack. They are quite agile and acrobatic creatures. That’s what they do. I’ve never seen dinosaurs pile on top of each other.

      So the apes are the set to get, except maybe for this guy:

Um, not sure about this guy...

Um, not sure about this guy...

      I’m sure his stance is incidental and I’m reading way too much into it.

ADDENDUM (May 29, 2010):

If you would like to know where to get the Tarata Balancing Act in the Vancouver area, that would be Kites On Clouds in Gastown. More than just kites, it’s a fine place to spend some time.

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