They Call It "A Creativity Tool for Innovators." We Call It a Really Fun Toy.
One day two samples of something called Roger von Oech's Ball of Whacks showed up in my mail. There was no press release in the package, and no explanatory letter--just two samples. Each ball contains 30 magnetic prisms--a review on the ball's Amazon page says they're rhombic triacontahedrons (I wouldn't know)--which you can reconfigure into all sorts of fun shapes, many resembly Manga spaceships or strange alien creatures. Whether playing with these stimulates productive innovation, I can't say for sure. But the Ball of Whacks does seem to illustrate the power of play, as I explored in TFAIE and related work. And it would make a great present for anyone old enough not to swallow the pieces. Here are some sample creations from Professor Postrel.