The Happy Sad Man
The Happy Sad Man is a toy that is simple to play with, but complex in its workings. This toy will teach your 5-10 yr old the basics of magnetism.
Turn That Frown Upside Down!
The Happy Sad Man changes facial expression from a smile to a frown (or vice versa) with just a 180 degree turn of his hair. When the hair is on top of his head, he is happy; but, when the hair is on the bottom of his head he is sad.
How it Really Works
There are two arched bar magnets with “opposite” pole orientation on opposite sides of a track that runs around his head. (Opposite when in the same position on the circle, but both magnets poles point in the same direction at the same time; see sketch) In slots of varied length on his face are tinier magnets with their north poles downward. When the magnet attached to his hair is on bottom of his head, the tiny magnets attract to the south pole of that bar magnet and form a frown face. When the other bar magnet is on the bottom of his head, the tiny magnets repel forming a smiley face .
The Happy Sad Man is not an expensive toy, but not as cheap as the toys made of only plastic. It is made of plastic pieces and specially shaped (cut) magnets. The toy will not be easily taken apart by users and it does not have any loose parts, so the safety risk is minimal.