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There was a time that a big piece of brightly colored plastic with some lights on it, gently rocking back and forth, could make us so happy. Coin operated rides are something you grow out of, though, so it has been a long time ago that I enjoyed riding on one of these. Luckily, it turns out that building one is definitely a joyous activity! [MOC] To Space and Back for 50 Cents! by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr The motivation behind this build was the LEGO Ideas "Moments in Space" contest. The objective was to build a small creation in the theme of space. It had to be in the same vein as those small promotional sets you get for free when you spend enough in the LEGO Store or at Shop at Home. I tried to follow this guideline as well as I could, really trying to design a promotional set. One thing I wanted to include, was some kind of mechanical play function. I recently acquired the nutcracker promotional set, and I found myself really enjoying fiddling around with it, endlessly actuating the lever: motion just fascinates me. My mind immediately jumped to the concept of a coin operated kiddie ride, as it moves so hypnotically and since it fills me with warm memories. I started by creating a mechanism that creates a smooth and somewhat realistic motion with a compact mechanism, to keep the build somewhat in proportion with minifigs. In the end, I'm pretty happy with how nice the motion looks, and I'm sure I would play with this endlessly! This motion is made possible with a bar mechanism attached to the sun-shaped dial. I spent most of my time tweaking the positions of the joints to make the motion as realistic as possible. I also used friction pins in the hinges so you can leave it in any position and it will stay in place, so you have more options for display. [MOC] To Space and Back for 50 Cents! - On the Operation of Rockets by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr I also tried to make it as displayable as possible by first of all making it look like an actual kiddie ride such that it should be right at home in a Town layout outside some big store or in a mall. So the rocket got a shape that would be appealing to children nicely fat and round with an interesting shape of the nose (for those who were wondering, the rounded tip of the nose cone is one of those pieces that are the lower half of a balloon), nice lights, a steering wheel that does absolutely nothing but makes all of the difference to children, the typical slanted coin slot and stairs at the back to at least give some explication how that kid got up there. To make it more attractive, I made the base entirely in the space theme. The mechanism isn't actuated by some obvious crank, but by what looks like a sun, which totally blends into the base. All other planets in our solar system have been included as well, with colors and sizes as close as I could get them and a fun little combination of parts to create Saturn. With all of those touches, I hope it looks convincing enough that children would beg their parents for a coin to have a ride on this thing! [MOC] To Space and Back for 50 Cents! - Please, Mummy, Please, Please! by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr That's it! I hope you like it and brought back some wonderful childhood memories! It certainly brought back the same level of enthusiasm for space as when I was a child. Maybe the Falcon heavy launch had something to do with that as well... Anyway, check out all of the contest entries for more spacey fun in a tiny package! ________ The LDD file for this build can be found here.