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Sat, 26 Sep 2020 17:39:52 -0500
2017-11-08 Print

Dad Invents Incredible Toy to Get His Kids Creating Too

Animation Dome 3D Zoetrope makes a run on Kickstarter to get kids drawing and building mind-blowing living creations. And You Have Got to See What This Thing Can Do!


Lincoln, CA – Inventor Les Cookson put his skills to work creating a toy that seems to work magic while entertaining and teaching, pointing imagination to the future while looking back on history. The Animation Dome Kickstarter campaign will run through January 2nd, 2018.

Watch the video on the Kickstarter page because this is a toy that has to be seen to be believed. Drawings or toys like LEGOs and Army Men are place on a red movie reel style base, then covered with a mysterious black dome. A hand spins a gear at the top of the dome and in an instant, the wall of the dome goes transparent giving way to a colorful whirl of animation. The items placed under the dome have now come to life. The drawings have become moving cartoons, the LEGOs are walking and turning their heads in your direction as they pass, the Army Men are acting out a scene from Toy Story.

But how is this magic possible? Wonder is the beginning of learning. The Animation Dome is a type of zoetrope, and works in much the same way; only it has been optimized for fuller brighter viewing and 3D animation, and simplified for use by children. The 2D or 3D animations are arranged in a simple looping sequence. Then by viewing the spinning animation through slits in the dome, the blur of color is broken into a rapid succession of sequential images producing the illusion of motion. This is the same basic persistence of vision principle that is at work in flip books and even your flat screen TV.

Many have seen these types of 3D zoetrope animations at theme parks or online videos. But the Animation Dome takes the amazing 3D zoetrope experience, and makes it something safe, easy, and fun that kids can do themselves. But your kids will not just be having fun, they will be learning crucial STEAM concepts—Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics—they need to become the innovators, educators, and leaders of the future! The intuitive logic combined with the necessary constraints will inspire creativity while it teaches problem solving skills—helping your kids learn and grow while they play!

“I balanced a lot of complex factors in order to keep this design simple enough for children, while keeping the effect as cool as possible—it wasn't easy,” Les recounted. “I paced back and forth excitedly as my mind raced through different designs and possibilities. Then I would stop and build. Test what I built. And repeat the process all over again.” This went on for about six weeks, until Les was standing knee high in prototypes, and holding in his hand plans for the Animation Dome.

Teaming up with engineers at Practical Industries, Les now has a few fully functional 3D printed Animation Dome prototypes, and plans all laid out for full injection molded production. All the team needs now is funding. And for that they are going directly to the kids and parents who want the Animation Dome to become a reality. If you want to help bring the Animation Dome to life, pre-order one on Kickstarter before the project deadline. See the project at

Contact Info
Les Cookson
790 Devonshire ln
Lincoln, CA 95648

Phone: 916-412-1766