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

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.

This is a well presented product which includes clear folding instructions. A photograph of one of the folded models is included as an example. Copyright Accord Publishing, Denver, Colorado. Patent No. 6,925,739.

Purchased new in 2013 at the shop of the Museum of Arts and Crafts, Hamburg. This is a modern example of a traditional toy, made from the bark of palm trees. When the stick is twisted between your fingers, the tiger throws out its arms and legs in an animated dance.

This clockwork wind-up has magnetic tyres so that it can cling onto a vertical side of a steel fridge and move along, apparently defying gravity. This is a Kidz Labs Fun Science Product by 3M.

These lively items can be made to jump by pushing the rubber dome inside out and then spinning them as you drop them flat onto a hard floor. This creates a loud pop as the rubber changes shape and the things jump up into the air by around 1.8 metres (6 feet). Made in China for TOBAR, Beccles, England.

The photographs show how the clever design allows this inexpensive ball to expand dramatically in size. Copyright Keycraft 2012. This item appears identical to Ref. no. N1615, but for the fact that for N1615 the copyright year is 2015 and the details on the back of the label differ.

This is not a new idea, but this product supplied by Tiger is well made. Made in China for Tiger, Copenhagen, Denmark.