Instructables
Picture of Hack-A-Toy, LED blaster style
Hey, welcome to my first Instructable! This project is my first toy hack since I was a little kid melting army men together to form, well, melted army men. My kid picks up toys from school "treasure boxes" and restaurants and dollar stores like it is his job. Sometimes he gets doubles. This particular fella was lacking a missile to launch, but the opening looked like a good spot for an LED...
This project is good for practicing soldering in tight places, basic wiring, and liberating pieces from other broken toys. I would estimate this whole project was free, if we ignore the initial costs of whatever the toys, soldering iron, glue gun, and the like originally set me back. Shall we proceed?
You will need:
1. A suitable toy needing an upgrade. Should be hollow (many fast food toys seem to be) to hold new electric guts.
2. LED of your choosing. I went with a small red one I got out of a broken "Star Wars" style generic toy gun.
3. A resistor of suitable rating to avoid burning out the LED if you think you might like several in series. Calculate using Ohm's law (R = (Vs - Vf)/I, where Vs is the voltage coming in, Vf is the forward voltage of your LED, and I is 0.015 mA. The one I built is pretty mickey mouse and probably doesn't need the resistor I put in there, but it was part of the original toy and I figured it isn't harming anything by being in there. Made me practice some extra soldering at least!
4. A small button switch. You can use any sort of toggle or switch - repurpose something from another broken toy if possible.
5. A 3v button battery. As I got mine out of an old motherboard (the things people throw away!) it had a handy mounting bracket with it.
6. Tools: soldering iron, glue gun, wire strippers, wire cutters, screwdrivers to crack into toy.
 
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JackANDJude made it!6 months ago

I made something similar with a fifty cent toy. It is a wheeled
dragonfly being flown by a woman. When you push it around, the wings
flap. My son said it needed a red LED, and he was right. I got the
button and a small battery pack from a holiday lights box - they sell
them like that now so you can see how the lights work before you buy.
My son was doing a lot of play around the fire drill alarm at school, so
I added a buzzer. I hot glued all the parts, including a resister, to
the outside of the bug. There was no room inside, but that's ok. I
think it added to the cyborg bug look.

Great instructable!

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RG_on_the_move (author) 9 months ago
350! Small potatoes, yes, but my kid is pretty happy with the attention our little modification has garnered. Thanks for looking!
RG_on_the_move (author) 11 months ago
I can't believe our little project has been viewed over 170 times! We love Instructables!