1. Credited with coining the term “action figure” instead of “doll” (and thereby preventing the shattering of fragile male egos), this line of toys saw major worldwide success for many reasons, least of all the kung fu grip that gave the dolls, sorry, action figures, the power to “hold things”. What very manly franchise am I talking about?
2. Around the mid 1970s, Dave Okada, former VP of preliminary design at Kenner, who had the contract for Star Wars toys, was on a tight deadline. The morning of the presentation to George Lucas, he realised he did not have the right fabric for the costume. In a moment of inspiration, he cut up one of his socks to use as a makeshift solution. What character was the sock-costume for?
3. Known and referred to within the organisation, almost deferentially, as “the system”, it is the basic principle the company is built on. It has been a long-standing rule that any new product the company makes has to be in accordance with the system. What billion-dollar phenomenon am I talking about?
4. What do these things have in common: Dice, chess pawn, spinning top?
5. It is one of the most popular dissection puzzles in the world. A Chinese psychologist termed it “the earliest psychological test in the world”, albeit one made for entertainment rather than analysis. A contributing factor to the popularity of the game in Europe was that although the Catholic Church forbade many forms of recreation on the Sabbath, they made no objection to this particular game. What exceedingly simple yet highly complex puzzle is this?
6. Colin Snedeker, a chemist for Binney & Smith (which is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Hallmark Cards), developed these in response to consumer complaints regarding stained fabrics and walls. What did he develop?
7. Sixteen teams participate in the ______ League each season, with the best three teams of each season along with the host team automatically qualifying for the next season. Some of the names of the participating leagues are Crazy Cat’s Eyes, Jaw Breakers, and Balls of Chaos. Fill in the blank.
8. Fans of this “sport” can be divided into two groups: marks and smarks, words derived from the same term for the prey of conmen. What are they fans of?
9. This is the synopsis of Animal World, a Chinese adventure-action film: Backed into a corner by mounting debts, a youth agrees to submit himself to a high-stakes game of chance in international waters aboard a disused warship. What is the game played on the ship?
10. In a 2010 TED talk, the veteran Saturday Night Live comedian Julia Sweeney describes having “the talk” with her then eight-year-old daughter. When her daughter expressed shock at learning about being touched where “you go to the bathroom???”, Sweeney agreed, observing that the body is an example of “bad zoning”. “Like having a waste treatment plant next to …” what?
- G.I. Joe
- Lego. The “system” refers to the rule that each Lego block must “fit”’ with another
- They were all totems in the movie Inception
- Jigsaw puzzle
- Washable crayons
- Professional wrestling, such as World Wrestling Entertainment. Marks are those who believe it is real, while smarks are those who enjoy it despite knowing it is scripted.
- An amusement park