Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

I need help identifiying this perpetual motion desktoy from the 80's

I had one when I was kid, and I recently saw it in the movie Poltergeist on top of the TV in the parents bedroom. But for the life of me, I can't find any actual pictures of it nor do I know the product's name. All I have is a super quick illustration that I came up with that may help identify this thing. There's 2 plastic rails in which this 'pinwheel" thingy spins back and forth using perpetual motion. Anyone?

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?? clueless... but it does remind me of those hand held gyroscope toys I loved as a kid.. sure you know of what i am referring to .. hold it down while the gyro moves along then pull back up for it to cycle back toward you..and so on...

yeah I remember those too, I still think they make those.

ahhhh.. simpler days.. when children didn't need to be plugged in to be amused and educated at same time..

lol oh ya back when kids had imaginations to use. Now they all have the attention span of puppies.

Does someone have this movie on DVD and can do a screen cap of it from one of many fine DVD running programs?  If it is to dark I could run it through a photo processing program and we can try to get a good pic, then identify.

I remember these. One of a bazillion little desktop amusement devices that used batteries, an electromagnet, and some magnets to create motion. I may have had one of these. Spencer Gifts and every gift shop in malls sold them, and would have a little cluster of 'em on a shelf, rolling, spinning and swinging away.

Sorry, I don't know the exact name.

Also sold alongside battery-powered mobiles. Here's one of the most common model:


I believe this one didn't require any batteries or power. It just relied on perpetual motion. The slant on the part that "pinwheelie thing" sat on, was ever so slight. So nothing but gravity involved.  I'm going to watch poltergeist again this week and snap a picture of it. I spent a good part of the day looking for a better shot or video of it and I found one, but the shot is so dark that you really have to look to see it. The pinwheelie thing is chrome so you can see it flickering on the shots when they show the TV.

It did have magnets, though maybe not a powered one. Magnets in the tips of the wheel and a magnet in the base. The momentum gathered by the wheel rolling toward the middle made sure it rolled past the opposing magnet in the base, but there was enough opposition to give it a push. Thus its next roll always went as far as the last one, instead of it getting less and less momentum with each roll.

Okay this is the best screenshot I could get of it. Not very helpful I know. There's a nice wave machine on the tv as well.

Interesting that the scene on the TV is a 40's movie called a Guy Named Joe. In the early nineties Speilberg re-made this film and titled it, Always. He must have had this in mind even then.

Space Wheel

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