These are two very strong magnets. One dramatic trick you can do is as follows. Separate the two magnets in your hand by about 25mm (holding them firmly otherwise they will just lock together) and then throw them in the air together. Initially they will rattle in the air before they join together. The rattling sound is amazing – something like a demented cicada. At one time these were advertised on

These shapes, turned by David Springett, are examples of what can be achieved by mixing and matching different turned shapes using a turn-split-twist-rejoin technique. For details see David Springett’s book ‘Woodturning Full Circle’ published in 2008 by Guild of Master Craftman Publications Ltd, Lewis, BN7 1XU, England.

This was a gift from expert woodturner David Springett of Rugby in 2003. When rolled down a slope, the shape takes a drunken path. At first sight it is hard to see how such a shape could be turned. The answer is that a double cone is turned, split into two halves, and then one half twisted by 90 degrees before being re-joined. The key is to make sure that the section through the double cone is square. The piece is made out of Msaraka wood and finished in Carnauba wax (which comes from the Carnauba palm). For more amazing examples of what can be achieved by this turn-split-twist-rejoin technique, see Ref. no. N2272 and David’s book ‘Woodturning Full Circle’ published in 2008 by Guild of Master Craftsman Publications Ltd, Lewis, BN7 1XU, England.

To start the kangaroo hopping, put it on a slope and lightly pull its tail, let go and adjust the slope for best hopping results. Handmade in Australia in Australian Red Cedar for Good Ol’ Toys, Charlestown, NSW, Australia.

The photographs show how these loosely jointed pieces of plastic are able to flex. In one configuration the orange discs are in the middle and the green discs on the outside. In the other configuration the discs have changed positions – the orange ones are now on the outside and the green ones are in the middle. The third photograph shows the half way stage. This unusual behaviour explains how a Switch Pitch! ball (for details see Ref. no. N1614) manages to change its colour when it is thrown up into the air. The effect is distinctly magical.

This looks like a model that has been made up at home from thin printed cardboard taken from a Do-It-Yourself book of paper models. It’s source is not known. Although showing signs of wear, the flexagon remains a pleasing ‘fidget’ toy.