Wind-Up Toys : Making a Comeback

Z WindUp looks at the latest in plastic wind-up toys from Z WindUps.

When you think of wind-up toys, your mind sometimes takes you back to toys that were being produced in the 1930s and 1940s. Well, it might be time to change your thinking, because we have come across a collection of wind-up toys that brings back not only the nostalgic days of years past but also are very much relevant for today. These wind-up toys are produced by Z WindUps and they will certainly have universal appeal not only to wind-up toy enthusiasts, but also to anyone who has been looking for a toy with unique designs and functions. We play tested 7 different wind-up toys from Z WindUps, representing just 3 design categories. We actually counted around 167 different wind-ups in the entire product line.

Z WindUps 2The first category was labeled Z Classics, and included a toy soldier called Christopher and a robot named Merlin. Christopher stands 10 inches in height and he is wound up by simply turning the large red key clockwise on his back. He immediately performs with his head, arms and legs all moving together, finally even doing the splits. Merlin is approximately 8 inches in height, with the red key located on his right hand side. He features a tiny yellow alien controlling his movement, as he walks with his robot hands spinning nonstop. Each of them retails for $19.99.

Z WindUps 3The second category was called Dashers, and we looked at TJ, the Triceratops, Klaus the Brontosaurus and Stuey the Stegosaurus. Each measured about 3¾” long, 1½” wide and 2¼” high. The wind up knob is located on their topside, and once activated, they scamper quickly ahead moving their heads, back, legs and tail. A Dasher retails for $4.95.

Z WindUps 4The third category may have been the most surprising. These wind-ups were called Z Morphs, and in each case, a vehicle actually turns into a dog or a dinosaur all with the turn of a red wind-up key. We tested both Ruford and Spikey. Ruford was a green truck that turns into a dog, while Spikey was an orange car that transforms into a dinosaur. Each of them measured approximately 6″ long, 4″ wide and 4″ high. It is simply amazing to watch the vehicle suddenly sprout a tail, legs and head, all while traveling across a table…..and then just as quickly see it transform back into a vehicle all within a few seconds, while never stopping forward movement. The best news of all is that a Z Morph retails for just $14.95.

ZWindUps 5Next, we thought about who would buy these types of wind-up toys. We came to the conclusion that the market was huge. Sure, there would be collectors, and a large contingent of kids (of all ages) who would love these wind-up toys. But let’s not forget the adults who work in an office or have a work desk at home. What an ice-breaker to have one of these wind-ups quietly sitting on the corner of a desk. Any visitor would surely ask about it and require a demonstration. You cannot help but smile when you see them in action.

It is important to remember that none of the Z WindUps requires any sort of battery. Additionally, they each feature a translucent plastic so that buyers get a peek inside to see the detail workings as it performs. We have included several photos of the wind-up toys we tested, but we highly recommend going directly to the Z WindUps website to watch a video and see them in action. Purchases can be made at the website as well.

–RJ Cullen



Posted in Figures, Novelty