After inflating the balloon and tying the neck, wrap the free end of the long elastic band once around the middle finger and clench your hand into a fist. When you then punch the balloon, it will fly away before returning for another punch. The item came into the collection as part of the Grand Illusions (www.grand-illusions.com) Christmas Pack 2018/2019.

When a small spring-loaded arm on the side of the ‘watch’ is moved, and then released, the inside rapidly spins round, so the five dice inside are shaken up and the numbers on their tops change. Stamped MADE IN GERMANY on the back.

The mercury must be manouvered to fill as many holes as possible in the Eiffel Tower, without the mercury going out of play by falling to a lower level on the left of the puzzle. The item was made in France and the rules on the back are in both French and English. A number of players can be involved, the winner being the person who fills the most holes with mercury. The item can equally well be treated as a dexterity puzzle.

This is a novelty based on static electricity. Under the transparent top is depicted a circus ring. Rattling around inside are two clowns and a ball. When a finger is rubbed quickly over the top surface, the static electricity generated causes the clowns and ball to leap around. Made in England.

This is a late 20th century version of a traditional toy. This cardboard version comes with one stand-up doll and four different outfits. Made by Mamelok Press Limited, Bury St Edmunds, IP32 6NJ, England.

This became a very popular toy in the latter part of the 20th century. The sphere consists of jointed pieces of plastic. By pulling outwards the diameter of the sphere can be doubled. Perhaps fewer people realise that, if you roll the sphere along a carpet, it opens up and then folds up again. The sphere was invented by Chuck Hoberman.