July 17, 2007

Switch Pitch By Chuck Hoberman

hoberman_switch_pitch.jpg

Sheesh, PingMag is clearing up all sorts on Asian inscrutability. First, mystery octopus playground equipment, and now magically transforming plastic balls.

When we went to visit the in-laws in Hong Kong last winter, they gave the kid one of these plastic puzzleball-looking things. They'd bought it on the street in Beijing for under a buck. It was incredible, and we all had as much fun playing with it as the kid did, more even. But with no markings or tags, we had no idea where it came from or where to get more. I figured it'd be the kind of thing to look out for on Canal St someday, dangling above the windup scuba diver swimming in that lonely bucket.

But now it turns out the ball is not the indigenous successor to the Chinese finger puzzle, but the product of New York artist/engineer Chuck Hoberman. It's called the Switch Pitch, and it retails stateside for about five bucks.

Hey, Chuck! Guess what? Your Chinese factory's selling your merchandise out of the back of their Range Rover!

Transformable Architecture: Ping interviews Chuck Hoberman [pingmag]

3 Comments

Saw these at the museum store at SF MoMA a couple of weeks ago. Very cool.

I love those things. They've just shown up at our local "5 below" which is a sort of kids' dollar toy store.

WE have a SwitchKick, witch is similar, but bigger and Nerf-ier. It doesn't really work as advertised and was practically destroyed within 2 days, but was still kind of cool.

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