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Tue, 23 Oct 2018 21:32:28 -0500
2017-11-14 Print

Kid Judges Pass on Animation Dome, Most Original Toy to Enter ABC's THE TOY BOX

Inventor and father of six, Les Cookson was not able to get his zoetrope inspired Animation Dome out of round one of ABC's THE TOY BOX, but moves on to crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.


Lincoln, CA – Watch the Animation Dome 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 walls 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 cylindrical heads in your direction as they pass, the Army Men are acting out a scene from Toy Story.

But how is this magic possible? 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.

This seems like an amazing toy, but what did THE TOY BOX kid judges think about it? Kyle thought it was “cool!”, and loved how the toys came to life. Adi and Olivia said it was boring, but didn't get a chance to build their own animation, which is where all the fun is at for older kids. Gideon and Sydney really seemed to like the Animation Dome for its scientific and artistic qualities, but voted it down with little explanation.

Gideon delivered the death blow third no vote because he thought he had “seen some stuff like it”. Which begs the question, where had he seen a 3D zoetrope toy? Maybe he's thinking about Pixar's 3D Zoetrope at Disney California Adventure. 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. So perhaps Gideon was confusing the toy with the theme park exhibit, which is kind of like calling the first Teddy Bear unoriginal because real bears have been around for millions of years.

But the Animation Dome is alive and strong on Kickstarter. Teaming up with engineers at Practical Industries, Les has plans all laid out for full injection molded production. All the team needs now is funding. Turned down by reality TV judges, they are going directly to the real 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

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790 Devonshire ln
Lincoln, CA 95648

Phone: 916-412-1766