Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Animation Praxinoscope

Animation Praxinoscope

Fall 2006 Toys
Ages: 7 & Up
Price: $12.99
How do motion pictures and animated cartoons get made? This plastic replica of a century-old optical toy demonstrates the working principle of transforming individual still images into the visual impression of smooth motion. Six double-sided animation discs each have ten sequential images (among the subjects are horseback riders, bicyclists, rowers, a bouncing ball, pixel figures and abstract patterns). A disc is placed on the spinning plate, with a reflector drum placed above it. As the spinning plate is turned, the individual images appear to come alive.

An additional six blank discs are provided so children can draw their own animations. The process of figuring out just how much difference there should be between each image is part of the fun. More blank discs can easily be made with card stock paper.

Our 7 to 10-year-old testers were fascinated with this optical activity. The mechanism is well-made and easy to put together.

Ruth B. Roufberg   ©2006 Parents' Choice

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