Archive
Toys and Games
Midget Midget Racer (Sep, 1949)

George Andrews, of Akron. Ohio, who likes to drive midget racers, wants his son to follow in his footsteps; so he built this “midget midget” for Junior. It isn’t powered now, but George plans to mount a Ford starter motor on the rear axle. Eventually, after Junior masters the battery-driven job, a one-cylinder gasoline engine will be employed for power.

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HOW TO MAKE PHOTO CARICATURES (Apr, 1962)

HOW TO MAKE PHOTO CARICATURES
By Weegee (The Famous!)
WANT to accent a prominent feature such as the eyes or jaw in a photo caricature? Using distorted sheet plastic as a supplementary camera lens will do it. Take a clear sheet 1/16 to 1/2-inch thick, heat it in an aluminum foil pan, twist it with gloved hands and dunk it in cold water. Then turn it before the subject, looking through for the desired effect. Repeat the heating and twisting if necessary. Once you have the effect, take the photo through the plastic. Some remarkable results are illustrated.

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The Return of The Toys (Dec, 1946)

Gallery of new toys for the 1946 Christmas season, the first one toy makers could gear up for after WWII. Check out the “reaction jet engine” on page 3 and the proto-legos on the last page.


The Return of The Toys

This year’s mechanical marvels are sturdier, more realistic —and more expensive.

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Junior Cadet Space Helmet (Aug, 1962)

Wow, this looks like it’s harder to make than than the street legal kart.

Junior Cadet Space Helmet

As any budding young astronaut will tell you, his most important piece of equipment is a realistic helmet with light, radio, oxygen tanks, and plenty of colorful armor.

WETHER they’re solving re-entry problems on the living room banister or stalking Martians in the orchard, junior spacemen need plenty of imagination-inspiring equipment. So vital a piece as the helmet should be built at home where the astronaut can help and be sure the construction meets space-age requirements.

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Remote-Control STATION WAGON (Aug, 1949)

Remote-Control STATION WAGON

A 7-1/2 inch scale model of the Jeep Station Wagon. Powered with a miniature electric motor, you can “drive” it yourself.

By Douglas Roffe

A flick of the switch, the lights go on and this realistic little station wagon starts to roll! A flick of the switch and it’ll back up! A twist of the wrist and you can steer it to the left or the right!

Powered with a miniature electric motor driven by batteries housed in a flashlight case, this remote control model car is as agile as the real Jeep Station Wagon after which it was patterned. Actually, the control system is very simple. One end of a flexible cable is connected to the steering mechanism on the car while the other end is attached to the flashlight case. By twisting the case the front wheels can be turned. Two wires extending from the batteries in the case are taped to the flexible cable and are connected to the electric motor which drives one rear wheel of the car.

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Midget Jeep (Sep, 1949)

I love the name “Devil Junk” that he gave his jeep, though it does make it sound like the kid might have a heroin problem.

The midget jeep at the left was built by Valentin Labata. of Leyte. Philippine Islands. He starts his letter by asking, “I wonder if Filipinos are qualified to enter your Workbench Award contest?” They sure are, Val. We base our awards on ability, not nationality. He goes on to say. “A 3-hp. Wisconsin engine drives one rear wheel through a belt, giving 25 m.p.h, top speed and 75 to 80 miles per gallon. The brake works through the other rear wheel. I received help from my father, who donated the engine and the wheels, and two relatives. That’s me in the middle. The other two boys are the helpful relatives.”

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Build Your Own Street Legal Kart (May, 1962)

Well, it was apparently street legal in 1962 at least.

In case you had any concerns about reliability; read about these guys driving this kart around the world.

MI’s HIGHWAY KART

You don’t need a trailer or a station wagon to haul this kart to a track you can drive it there on public roads!

By R. J. Capotosto

DRIVING a kart is a real thrill. Seated on a low-slung frame only inches from the ground, you feel as if you’re doing 80 mph when you’re doing 20. Yet it’s surprisingly safe. The low center of gravity and a width two-thirds the length make it almost impossible to flip a kart in a tight turn. Just about everyone who tries a kart gets the urge to own one—and if you’ve got that urge, you get a bonus in building the MI Highway Kart.

Since karts are generally driven on special tracks, it is not necessary to register them. However, transporting a kart is often a problem. It can be hauled in a station wagon—if you own a wagon—or it can be towed on a trailer. Either way, the lugging can be quite a nuisance. With this in mind, our model was designed so that registration could be obtained, making it possible to drive the kart to its destination on public roads.

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Water Rocket (Dec, 1955)

Jet-Propelled Rocket. For flights several hundred feet straight up. fill the eight-inch plastic rocket one-third full of water, pump in air (inset) and press a trigger. In flight, water ejected by compressed air makes a visible jet stream.

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Lucky Kid’s Midget Tractor (Sep, 1949)

Lucky kid, I want a tractor too!

Our next award goes to a proud wife and mother, Mrs. S. C. Manila, of Boyceville. Wisconsin. Her letter reads, “I cannot help but forward the enclosed, snapshot of a tractor my husband made for our youngsters. It really has created envy in everyone who sees it. It stops traffic and all children just must touch it and ride in it. I am sure your readers will be interested. It is powered with a 2/3-hp. engine and will pull four coaster wagons carrying 12 children. Our boy in the snapshot is just four years old.”

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Ronald Reagan – Movielandlubber (Feb, 1952)

I have never seen any biography of Ronald Reagan that includes the fact that was an inductee of the Mechanix Illustrated Hobby Hall of Fame. What a travesty. How can I ever trust them again?

Ronald Reagan – Movielandlubber
ON board the S.S. America on her maiden voyage, actor Ronald Reagan asked to see the blueprints. One look and Reagan, a whittler from way back, was trapped. He wanted to build a model.

“I had all the material,” he says, “but no experience. I had to find out that you don’t put each piece into place as you finish it, that you don’t paint the parts after you have them in place.

“I always carried a piece of the boat around with me and any time I had a spare moment, I’d drag out my knife.”
Finally it was completed—a fine scale model of the S.S. America. And since then, Reagan has made a model of the S.S. Challenge, a C-2 freighter. He plans to continue building model ships because, as he says himself: “a ship is a thing of beauty—-whether it’s on the high seas or on your living room table.”

Caption: Movie star Ronald Reagan, featured in Paramount’s Hong Kong, left surveys his model of the S. S. America, below. It took him a little over a year of spare-time work to complete the difficult job.

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