Tube Toys From Oscar Diaz Assemble With The Box They Arrived In.

Tube Toys by Oscar DiazHave you ever noticed how much packaging is used on kid’s toys? Maybe it’s a theft deterrent but it is still a waste – recyclable or not. The Tube Toy is different. Designed by Oscar Diaz, the Tube Toy’s packaging is an integral part of the final product. Currently, Mr. Diaz has created 4 Tube Toy models: tractor, car, train and fire truck. The only waste is the label which includes the instructions on how to put your Tube Toy together. The Tube Toy was built for and is now available through Natural Products and Worldwide (NPW). Great idea.

Now here’s the rant section. The Tube Toy is simple and most kids would probably lose interest in it quickly. For the parents whose kids don’t, I’ve got some parenting advice: don’t raise the bar; keep your kids expectation’s uncomplicated when it comes to the toys you buy. Stepping up to the small electronics like a Nintendo DS or letting them play on your iPhone is the equivalent of giving them a kiddie gateway drug. Within a year, they’ll need more and if you’re weak like me, you’ll let them buy what they want. Before long, you’ll have an XBOX or PS3 (both power hogs) and you’ll be kicking yourself for ever introducing your kids to electronics. Much more difficult to stop than to never start.

So if your kids are around three and they haven’t been introduced to gaming, throw out your TV and get a Tube Toy. I wish I would have
followed my own advice because now I’m dealing with the daily effects of gaming withdrawal. [Core77]


Sorry Kids, But The Xbox And PS3 Have To Go Because They Consume Too Much Electricity

Playstation 3 with Netflix InstantCnet posted an article about the overall electricity consumed by video game consoles (PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii) and how the amount has grown by 50% over the last 3 years. The article was based on a report released by Carnegie Mellon University. In 2010, 1% of all residential power consumed was through video game consoles. Anyone that owns a Xbox or Playstation 3 is aware of the fact that when it’s on, it sounds like a desktop computer and the reality is that it consumes power at about the same rate. Of course it’s the mega processor in the game console that needs the juice and as the quality of the systems has increased, the amount of power needed has increased too. Here’s the breakdown from Mr. Electricity (tv/monitor not included):

  1. Nintendo Wii – 18 watts
  2. Xbox 360 – 185 watts
  3. Playstation 3 – 194 watts

We’ll leave the Wii out of this but with the Xbox and PS3, you get some pretty big power consumption numbers from such a small box and that doesn’t include the power consumed by your TV. The Xbox and PS3 require 4 times the power needed for an average laptop and 18 times the power required to run a plugged in iPad. Yes, you could go rogue and give everything away but that never works out too well.

My recommendation: stick to only playing video games on the PS3 and Xbox 360. It sounds obvious but if you own a system, you know that they include Netflix, Pandora, VUDU, Hulu, Youtube etc. The number of non-gaming services available on each system is growing and making the console a power-draining app player. Facebook, Tweet, Netflix and Pandora on your laptop (45 watts w/display) or iPad (10 watts) and use the game machine for games. [Cnet and Carnegie Mellon University]