Ever wish your 3 year-old had a toy or two which, despite being < $5, triggers a sense of wonder about how on earth it works? Here are two toys that I (finally!) found at Henry Bear's Park. Both are made by Toysmith (Auburn, WA).
I first saw this at a friend's house and spent two years tracking it down. This odd little ball is black with colored dots. When you roll it across the floor, it seems to frictionlessly glide along - it's actually floating within a clear sphere. If you smack it just right, the dots glow and blink. $4!
It's a wind-up plastic UFO that scoots along a tabletop, but a little mechanism inside makes it change direction just before it would have plummeted off the edge! The salesperson suggested that it would be a fun way to keep your one-year-old entertained at a restaurant, since it can't fall off the table. $2!
I hope to see more inventive toys with curious mechanisms inside...