December 2003 | Vol. II - No. 12
The UFO Toy is part art project, part science project. Each package contains two flat, pre-scored sheets that are easy to assemble by folding and applying a dab of glue. One sheet is pre-colored with a rainbow motif, while the other offers children a chance to explore their own creativity. Four designs (stars and stripes, rainbows, rays of sun and starbursts) are outlined on a sheet for users to color as they wish.
UFO Toy distributor Ed Kush believes this toy encourages learning. When created, it goes from two dimensions to three dimensions, giving users a concrete example of what makes a dimension in the process. “The UFO Toy stimulates the thought process,” Kush says. “It makes kids ask the question, ‘How come this doesn’t rip?’ It seems like it should tear apart, but it doesn’t.”
Mathematician Arthur H. Stone originally created the toy, which was once called a Hexagonal Kaleidocycle. Stone, who came from England to work on the famed Manhattan Project with contemporary Richard Feynman, created the toy almost accidentally. Stone had brought a notebook from England that was too small for American-sized paper. To solve this dilemma, he would rip the pages to fit his notebook and fold them in origami-like shapes. In doing so, he created what is now the UFO Toy.
Kush hopes a revival of this toy will bring it to cult status, similar to the Slinky or yo-yo that every kid once had. UFO Toys are priced at $5 apiece and are available through the Victoria Toy Company.
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