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Purdue University’s Toy-A-Fair

Updated: Thursday, 22 Dec 2011, 12:35 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 22 Dec 2011, 12:35 PM EST

  • Peggy McClelland

Toys may be made at Santa’s workshop, but the best ideas for today’s high tech toys come from the minds of bright college students like those at Purdue University. Here they demonstrate some of the winners from Purdue’s Toy-A-Fair, including a ‘Storybook Zombie’ that reads to children. The students use advanced computers and fabricators to make those creative ideas reality.

Amanda Schoolcraft, senior in biomedial engineering and one of the winner’s of the Toy-A-Fair was joined in studio by Dr. Karthik Ramini, professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue. One section of the seniors in Mechanical Engineering are required to use advanced computers and fabricators to build prototype toys from scratch. This year’s winners included a cute nightstand Storiebook Zombie that reads stories to children, an iPad controlled laser guns that takes out the undead predators of Zombie Graveyard, and the ramp-climbing, flip-flopping, four wheel drive Oscillator and a two-ended person-against-person pinball machine.

Some of these toys (particularly the zombies) represent trends, themes and technologies that will be hot next Christmas.  You may be getting a sneak peek at the beginning stages of the next great toy trends.

for more information on the Toy-a-Fair you can visit