Friday, December 10, 2010
A Ball of Whacks
One of the standard toys is a rubber chicken. This is a fun item to have. Most people are shocked that I have one and would actually bring it into the work place. But after they get to play with it, the fear of having fun at work seems to dissipate.
I like the squishy rubber chicken - they come in all types of rubber, you can buy them online - but to get the kind that feel a bit icky (like cold chicken skin) you have to touch and feel them in a toy store.
The rubber chicken can be used for so many things in a training class or workshop. A "talking token" - only if you have the chicken may you speak. Or to transport the team forward in time, so that they can Remember the Future. You've heard of the magic of waving a dead chicken - right?
The chicken is fun - but the best toy is the Ball of Whacks - it looks simple. Many people believe it to be some new form of Rubik's Cube - it's not! They grab it and twist. Crash all the pieces flip and spin and the ball breaks into pieces. "Oh, that's not what I thought it was."
The ball is made up of 30 golden ratio rhombic pyramids. With internal rare earth magnets that stick the pyramids together, these design blocks form a perfect 30-sided rhombic triacontahedron an interesting shape. But the design allows one to make even more interesting shapes.
It is a creative tool and can be used individually or in a group game. At one client's site I kept it on my desk and every few weeks it would disappear and show up in a new configuration, stay that way for a week or so and someone else would play with it a while to make a new shape. Some were very creative.
This toy combines two of my favorite things, building blocks and magnets. I'm a Lego fan from way back, I once built a road grader from Legos. But the genius of combining magnets with blocks is astounding. I think magnets are fun because one can play with a fundamental force of nature that operates on a human scale. One rarely gets the chance to play with a mysterious force of nature and not get hurt (gravity is fun but the stop at the bottom of the hill can break bones).
Posted by David Koontz