Applying High Voltage to Kids Toys

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 24, 2023

When you apply power with higher-than-normal voltage to electric kids toys, they tend to move faster. When you apply 30V instead of the usual 2.5V or 5V, they move really fast:

This reminds me of when I was in grade school. Does anyone remember Stompers? They were battery-operated cars and trucks that were bigger than HotWheels and, while not remote-controlled, were able to move around under their own power. But they weren't that speedy...maybe they could do 1-2 mph.

Anyway, some kid at school figured out that you could remove the AA battery, connect wires to the battery terminals, and then connect those wires to as many C- and D-cell batteries as you could gang together in a series. So instead of the usual 1.5V, you could pump 4.5V, 6V, 7.5V, or even 9V into those tiny cars. And boy, did they go. We could barely keep up as we raced them against each other down the halls, running behind them holding our battery packs. But the thrills were short-lived — I think the school banned them and all that current burned the tiny Stomper motors out after awhile. Fun while it lasted though! (via waxy)