This model antique truck toy, circa 1910, is fun to build and has many uses. Make it in two different versions -- with an open cargo bed or a closed van. The open cargo bed can hold a memo pad, paper clips, or even jelly beans, while the truck cab provides a place to store your pencils and pens. The closed van can be used as a bank to store your spare change. With your company name printed on the side, it makes a great promotional gift. Pattern pieces for both versions are included on your printout.
This sleek paper model jet airplane, perched on the point of a pin, is a perfect desktop toy. Give it a gentle shove and it goes into action - dipping, revolving, but never once loses its balance. The secret behind this amazing feat is a penny glued to the underside of each wing. With these coin counterweights in place, the plane's center of gravity is located precisely at the tip of its tail.
As an alternative, you can suspend the jet from a thread passed through the balancing point. Hang it from your ceiling, or attach it to a hook so that you can suspend it from the edge of your desk.
Horses prance as this ornate antique carousel spins. A cleverly designed system of circular ramps makes the galloping steeds go up and down while a cogwheel engages the teeth of the lower rim to make the wheel turn.
Carousels, in one form or another, have been around for centuries. The earliest visual record is found in a Byzantine bas-relief dating from around 500 A.D. The word "carousel" comes from the ancient Spanish word carosella used to describe a war game played by 12t-centry Arabian horsemen. In 18th-century England, carousels came to be called merry-go-rounds or roundabouts. Interestingly, English-made carousels always turn clockwise, while those made in Germany or the United States usually turn counter-clockwise.