Mighty Beanz are toys manufactured by Moose Enterprises, a corporation headquartered in Melbourne, Australia.
An individual Mighty Bean is a three dimensional ovaloid with small flat circular ends on either side, rather like a large plastic capsule, approximately one inch long. These are frequently coloured with bright colours, and many of them bear cartoon likenesses of Marvel superheroes or other licensed characters. The Moose version of the toy was launched in 2003; similar toys have existed for years before.
The toys are hollow and contains a small, dense spheroid inside, which is not quite as long in diameter as the inside of the mighty bean to allow for movement. The Mighty Bean can stand up on either end because the spheroid is pulled over the centre by gravity. This pulls the centre of mass of the Mighty Bean over its tiny base, making it impossible for the Mighty Bean to fall down.
When a Mighty Bean is placed on a slant, instead of simply sliding down, the Mighty Bean falls on its side, and the spheroid rolls down and up the other end. In doing this, the ball rolls slightly up the other side of the Mighty Bean, causing the centre of mass to shift away from the Mighty Bean's long base, making it fall over. It stands vertically for a moment, and repeats the process.
Good Housekeeping warns that since these beans are small objects named after a foodstuff, they may represent a choking hazard to toddlers.
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Good Housekeeping warns that since these beans are small objects named after a foodstuff, they may represent a choking hazard to toddlers. The discs can also be played on many antique music boxes bearing the Polyphony and Regina brand names. It stands vertically for a moment, and repeats the process. They stand out by their continuing production of discs, with a selection of about a thousand tunes. In doing this, the ball rolls slightly up the other side of the Mighty Bean, causing the centre of mass to shift away from the Mighty Bean's long base, making it fall over. They offer clockwork, spring wound models as well as electric ones. When a Mighty Bean is placed on a slant, instead of simply sliding down, the Mighty Bean falls on its side, and the spheroid rolls down and up the other end. The Porter Music Box company of Vermont produces steel disc music boxes in several formats.
This pulls the centre of mass of the Mighty Bean over its tiny base, making it impossible for the Mighty Bean to fall down. The company is an industrial concern which also makes magnetic and hologram card readers, appliance components, industrial robots and miniature motors of all kinds. The Mighty Bean can stand up on either end because the spheroid is pulled over the centre by gravity. Recently, it has started selling licences for its music box tunes to cellular phone companies, for use as ring tones. The toys are hollow and contains a small, dense spheroid inside, which is not quite as long in diameter as the inside of the mighty bean to allow for movement. Sankyo Seiki bills itelf as the biggest manufacturer of music boxes in the world, and advertises that it controls 50% of the market. The Moose version of the toy was launched in 2003; similar toys have existed for years before. It also supplies movements to many other manufacturers, or to clockmakers and clockmaker suppliers which sometimes sell them retail to hobbyists for as low as 3 Euros each.
These are frequently coloured with bright colours, and many of them bear cartoon likenesses of Marvel superheroes or other licensed characters. In Japan Sankyo Seiki still makes a wide variety of music boxes from tiny musical keychains to much larger models. An individual Mighty Bean is a three dimensional ovaloid with small flat circular ends on either side, rather like a large plastic capsule, approximately one inch long. They also sell several models of clear acrylic paperweights with a musical box movement inside, for a minimum of about 45 Euros. Mighty Beanz are toys manufactured by Moose Enterprises, a corporation headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. The higher range boxes with removable cylinders and small assorted tables made of fine woods can cost up to 34,000 Euros and about an equivalent number of US dollars. They have in a sense branched out widely from their original cylinder offerings since they now also offer traditional looking music boxes with removable metal disks for around a 1,000 Euros, with each disk costing in the neighborhood of 14 Euros.
Located near Lake Neuchâtel, Reuge is one of the last of the Swiss survivors making music boxes of all sizes and shapes, with or without automatons in imitation of past models of the previous centries or in a modern style with clear acrylic sides to see the mechanical operation. Some went back to making watches, others were eventually responsible for the famous Bolex movie cameras and the Hermes typewriters. Between the two world wars most of the swiss companies converted to the manufacture of other products requiring precise mechanical parts. They are eagerly sought by collectors who have the space for their large or very large cabinets.
Because most of the coin-operated music boxes were built for rough treatment (such as typical slapping and kicking by a disgruntled customer) many of these large models have survived into the 21st century, despite their relatively low production quantities. However, since they produced music instead of playing back any sound, including human voices singing, they soon disappeared from their intended venues, displaced by the jukebox. These were, in an sense, the precursors to jukeboxes. Some of the models had a mechanism for automatically changing the metal disks.
In Switzerland coin-operated music boxes, usually capable of playing several tunes, were installed in places like train stations and amusement parks. Surviving musical boxes from the 19th century and the early 20th century are prized by collectors and there is a more or less constant manufacturing of reproductions. These movements are also sold in retail outlets or by catalog for hobbyists who wish to make simple musical miniatures. Cheap windup music box movements (including the cylinder and comb and the spring) continued to be produced in countries like Japan, and later on in other countries with low production costs, to give a bit of music to mass produced jewelry boxes and novelty items.
A few of the original ones found new markets. Series production rapidly disappeared and all the important companies closed their doors. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th most musical boxes were gradually replaced by Player pianos, which were more versatile and loud, and also melodious, when kept tuned, and by the smaller gramophones which had the advantage of playing back voices. Some devices could do both at the same time, and were often combinations of player pianos and musical boxes, such as the Orchestrion.
Instead, the cylinder (or disk) worked by actuating bellows and levers which fed and opened pneumatic valves which activated a modified wind instrument or plucked the chords on a modified string instrument. The term "musical box" is also applied to clockwork devices where a removable metal disk or cylinder was used only in a "programming" function without producing the sounds directly by means of pins and a comb. The cylinder based machines rapidly became a minority. In the last decades of the 19th century however, mass produced models such as the Polyphon and others all made use of interchangeable metal disks instead of cylinders.
The switch over to cylinders seems to have been complete after the Napoleonic wars. The very first boxes at the end of the 18th century made use of metal disks. In some exceptional models there were four springs, to provide continuous play for up to three hours. In some of the costlier models, the cylinders could be removed to change melodies, thanks to an invention by Paillard in 1862, which was perfected by Metert, of Geneva in 1879.
The cylinders were normally made of metal and powered by a spring. By the end of the 19th century some of the European makers had opened factories in the United States. There were also a few manufacturers in Bohemia and Germany. The first musical box factory was opened there in 1815 by Jérémie Recordon and Samuel Junod.
For most of the 19th century the bulk of musical box production was concentrated in Switzerland, building upon a strong watchmaking tradition. They were usually powered by clockwork and originally produced by artisan watchmakers. Most of them were table top specimens though. The musical boxes could have any size from that of a hat box to a large piece of furniture.
The original snuff boxes were tiny containers which could fit into a gentleman's waist coat pocket. . Alec Templeton, an avid collector of music boxes, and a professional concert musician, once noted that the tone of a musical box is unlike that of any musical instrument (although it is best described as somewhere between the timbres of an mbira and a celesta). Some of the more complex boxes also have a tiny drum and small bells, in addition to the metal comb.
They were developed from musical snuff-boxes of the 18th century, and called carillons à musique. A musical box (or music box) is a 19th century automatic musical instrument that produces sounds by the use of a set of pins placed on a revolving cylinder so as to strike the tuned teeth of a steel comb. This function is played by the cylinder in a cylinder music box. The disc is the programming object, a metallic version of a punched card which, like it has holes to express a program, star wheels which turn with the disc produce music by striking the teeth of the comb at the correct time.
This function is payed by the disc in a disc music box. The cylinder is the programming object, a metallic version of a punched card which, instead of having holes to express a program, is studded with tiny pins at the correct spacing to produce music by striking the teeth of the comb at the correct time. The comb is a flat piece of metal with dozens or even hundreds of tuned teeth of different lengths. The spring motor or motors (2 or more can be used to make playing times longer) give anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more of playing time.
The ratchet lever or the windup key is used to put the spring motor under tension, that is to wind it up. The bedpan is the relatively heavy metal foundation on which all the other pieces are fastened, usually by screws.