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Facts on Mechanical Toys

Updated February 21, 2017

Mechanical toys are low-tech toys that move through some kind of mechanical process. The most well-known categories of mechanical toys are windup mechanical toys, cam toys and crank toys.

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According to the article "Your Kids Will Love Mechanical Retro Toys" at ideamarketers.com, mechanical toys encourage imagination, curiosity and creativity.

Wind-Up Toys

A spring inside the toy powers windup mechanical toys. The child uses a key to wind the spring, which allows the toy to move for several minutes.

Cam Toys

These mechanical toys use a cam attached to a crank to convey kinetic energy from you to the cam. The set-off-centre cam provides uneven rotation allowing the toy to move when cranked.

Crank Toys

Related to cam-powered mechanical toys, crank toys use a combination of several cams in a single toy. This type of toy can exhibit complex movement.


Traditionally, mechanical toys have been made of wood or tin. Some modern mechanical toys are still made of the traditional wood and tin materials, while others are made of plastic.

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About the Author

Christine Lebednik

A writer/editor since 1984, Christine Lebednik has spent much of her career in business and technical writing, and editing. Her consumer print and online articles include product descriptions for TDMonthly Online, book reviews for Catholic News Service, consumer reports for Consumer Search and works for various other publications. Lebednik received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Salem State College.

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