Toy Autopsy: Furby, Glow Dome, Spy Gear!

As makers, we love getting inside of things to understand how they work and how they’re made. So we were inspired to give YOU an inside peek at three of the hottest toys of the 2012 holiday season! Check out the insides of these awesome electronics with helpful tags by our guest maker expert, Matthew Beckler of HackPittsburgh. And next time one of your toys hopelessly breaks like ours did, remember to peek inside and even reuse some of its parts in your next maker project.

(Psssst! Don’t miss Matt’s notes at the very end, exploring cool similarities inside these toys that look really different on the outside AND even a tip about how “night vision” works.)

Furby 2012

Furby Autopsy

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

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Drill-Powered Skateboard

Check out this MAKESHOP Show original project, kid-makers! Watch makers Christian and Marie hack a skateboard by adding a giant scooter wheel and a PVC pipe that holds a simple power drill. Sit on the skateboard, pull the trigger on the drill and propel yourself across the floor on a one-of-a-kind rideable! Along the way, you’ll learn a few maker techniques with real tools. This is one of our most advanced projects and requires an adult helper for guidance and safety, kid makers.

Can you come up with any other hacks for skateboards, scooters, bikes or rideable toys? Want to help us try to build something on the Show? Leave a comment below or send us an email at

Stay calm and make on!

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Maker Interview: Wooden Toymaking

Watch this maker interview with woodworker Chris Bandy of Bandy Woodworks! Chris visited The MAKESHOP™ with his collection of handmade wooden toys and woodworking tools. Kid makers helped him sand, saw and stain to create tic-tac-toe boards, puzzles, trucks and more. Bandy Woodworks uses local, sustainable wood, so Chris also brought rough logs and photos to show kids where he gathers fallen trees for the wood to make his toys.

  • See Chris’s handmade wooden toys at Bandy Woodworks website!
  • Click here for a slideshow of Chris’s visit to the MAKESHOP and blog post about it by MAKESHOP teaching artist, Kevin.


© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh