Why Buy Toys When You Can Build Them Instead?

Like many creative individuals who suddenly find themselves parents, [Marta] wanted to make something special for his children to play with. Anybody can just purchase an off-the-shelf electronic toy, but if you’ve got the ability to design one on your own terms, why not do it? But even compared to the fairly high standards set by hacker parents, we have to admit that the amount of time, thought, and effort that was put into the “Marta Musik Maschine” is absolutely phenomenal.

[Marta] was inspired by the various commercial offerings which use RFID and other technologies to identify which characters the child is playing with and respond accordingly. But since he didn’t want to get locked into one particular company’s ecosystem and tinkering with the toys seemed frowned upon by their creators, he decided to just come up with his own version.

Over the course of many posts on the Musik Maschine’s dedicated website, [Marta] explains his thought process for every design consideration of the toy in absolutely exquisite detail. Each of the writeups, which have helpfully been broken down for each sub-system of the final toy, are arguably detailed and complete enough to stand as their own individual projects. Even if you’re not looking to get into the world of DIY electronic toys, there’s almost certainly an individual post here which you’ll find fascinating. From the finer points of interfacing your Python code with arcade buttons to tips for designing 3D printed enclosures, there’s really something for everyone here.

The children of hackers are often the envy of the neighborhood thanks to the one-of-a-kind playthings provided by their parents, and considering the level of commitment [Marta] has put into a toddler toy, we can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

10 thoughts on “Why Buy Toys When You Can Build Them Instead?

      1. Love the “Onshape” cloud based CAD software he used! I downloaded the free iOS app, registered a free hobbyist account, and went through the first 2 very short training videos they provide. This will be perfect for growing my amature CAD skills and for designing a custom bracket I need for a project in the garage!

        https://www.onshape.com/pricing (scroll to the bottom for the free plan)

  1. I love the blog content, but the background style is very very poor contrast, I’ll have to skip reading it on my phone and try a browserwith high contrast pligins or something.
    Even a more robust font in plain black would help.

    Blue light bad!

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