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Artifact: A Little Project

Findings from the streets, files, and hard drives of New York.

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Hits at last week’s American International Toy Fair included prefab forts and a stuffed turtle–slash–astronomical projector. This tiny, pimped-out Escalade was not on display; below, its creator, Bill McIntyre—who runs the Atomocom company out of a Carroll Gardens walk-in closet—explains why he abandoned his attempt to make a car for “miniature, imaginary urban neighborhoods.” (Two of McIntyre’s completed prototypes found buyers at the fair.)

This was going to be a toy for kids who want to live the rap-star dream. But I didn’t have the parts or model skills to make it as cool as I wanted it to be. The goal was for the trunk to open on a light show inside the car, but I had trouble getting it to operate smoothly. I wanted lights from the inside of the car to flash in time to music—the image I had in mind was the Weird Al Yankovic song “White & Nerdy,” although that’s not what I would market to the toy companies.

I used an RC New Bright Escalade that was on sale for $11 at Toys ’R’ Us, because there’s a lot of room to wire inside it. The Escalade is a popular car with the kids, although it’s somewhat on the wane. It’s kind of the last generation’s rap-star vehicle of choice, but it was cheaper than finding a Dodge Challenger. Doesn’t 50 Cent have a Dodge Challenger station wagon?


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