Inventor Reveals the Secrets Behind His Attacknid Walking Robot Toys

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Inventor Reveals the Secrets Behind His Attacknid Walking Robot Toys
Jaimie Mantzel demonstrating a working prototype. Screen capture from Mantzel's YouTube video.
Mantzel demonstrates a working prototype.

Toy inventor and self-described adventure builder Jaimie Mantzel unlocked some previously unreleased videos showing his prototypes that led to the popular Combat Creatures Attacknid toy.

Mantzel worked with the Wow! Stuff toy company in the UK to develop the Combat Creatures Attacknid into a marketable toy. Hasbro has also licensed the design from Wow! Stuff and produced their own Nerf branded version. The pictures and videos below provide some insight into the development of the Attacknid and some of its blaster accessories. One blaster design never made it to market, despite the high cool factor. Check them out.

Below Mantzel demonstrates a working 3D printed prototype of the Attacknid. He lived in Vermont at the time, the toy company was in the UK and the factory was in China. So Mantzel used a 3D printer and laser cutter to create prototypes, and often shot video to demonstrate how they worked.

YouTube player

Perhaps more interesting is the video below showing two laser-cut prototypes for the Attacknid’s blasters. The toys come in different versions armed with various blasters. The video shows the disc launcher and dart shooter.

You can see how the mechanisms work, and you don’t even have to tear apart your favorite Attacknid to do it. Unless you want to modify it, which Mantzel would probably heartily approve of.

YouTube player

Here’s a picture of the disc launcher from the video above, compared to the final product from the author’s own Attacknid.

The prototype disc blaster on top compared to the production model below.
The prototype disc blaster on top compared to the production model below.

I think the coolest videos are the two below.

Attacknid Destroyer Sphere Launcher
Attacknid Destroyer Sphere Launcher

The first shows the prototype for the “Destroyer Sphere Launcher,” which fires little plastic “Powa Spheres.” This is an add-on product that is sold separately from the Attacknid. A quick search showed that the availability of this product is not great. Amazon lists it as unavailable, though I found at least one smaller online retailer that carried it. It’s too bad, because this launcher looks pretty neat.

Mantzel goes into some detail on how the prototype works in the video below.

YouTube player

This second video shows a suction cup dart shooter that never made it from prototype to product. Now I really want to make my own and mount it to my Attacknid.

YouTube player

I hope you enjoyed this unique view into the product development of a toy, and how one inventor’s ideas went from prototypes to products.

2 thoughts on “Inventor Reveals the Secrets Behind His Attacknid Walking Robot Toys

  1. says:

    Neat videos and fun looking toys!

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Andrew Terranova is an electrical engineer, writer and author of How Things Are Made: From Automobiles to Zippers. Andrew is also an electronics and robotics enthusiast and has created and curated robotics exhibits for the Children's Museum of Somerset County, NJ and taught robotics classes for the Kaleidoscope Enrichment in Blairstown, NJ and for a public primary school. Andrew is always looking for ways to engage makers and educators.

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