Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Looky Movie Camera Toy Kaleidoscope - 1969


It'll be Home Movie Day in a week, so here a few home movie related posts to count down until the big day.  It's interesting to note that home movies aren't just about the equipment or the films - home movies were an important part of our culture.  For the next week, we'll be posting some lesser known artifacts of the home movie era.

It's hard to deny that to some of us, a movie camera is a big expensive toy.  That's not necessarily a pejorative assessment.  A toy is there for you to fuss over, use to explore the world - and most importantly you should love the hell out of it.  Since we don't want our children "loving the hell" out of our big expensive movie cameras, we have impressive toy versions just for them.

The Looky Color Movie Kaleidoscope is actually about the size of a real super 8 camera, but instead of exposing film, the viewfinder shows off a lovely kaleidoscope.  The crank moves the plastic bits around in front of the lens, and the trigger adjust the angle of the mirrors (in reality just shiny black plastic) inside.  Since the body is transparent, you can see gears twirl around, and watch the mechanisms come together to make the toy work.

HomemovieYou can take this mechanical exploration even further since the toy is designed for a child to take it apart.  The box makes mention of "Kiddie Tools", but I have a feeling that "Dad's Real Tools" will do the job just as well.  It feels like a bit of a cop out way to make the toy pseudo-educational, but that's a pretty cynical line for me to take.  After all one of the era's hit toys was "Mr. Machine",  a toy that either rolled on the ground or lay there in pieces after disassembly.  If only this Looky Movie Camera disassembled enough so that you could put your own stuff in the kaleidoscope.

You can just tell that I was one of those kids who took apart all his toys, can't you?


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