Doctor Chicken Peck – Keep or Yeet #1

This is a project I have had laying around in my shop for 7+ years. It is based on an old toy I found in the trash bin at the local Kindergarten. I am going to call this toy “Chicken Peck”, because it features pecking chicken. But I have decided to throw this project out, keep the toy, and hope the mere idea inspires you.

Check out this video to see the Chicken Peck in action, and get an idea of what I had planned as the “Doctor Peck”.

The Chicken Peck

This basic toy consists of a handle to hold it, a plate of wood with appropriately spaced holes, and a number of wooden chickens on top. These chickens have their neck mounted on a nail as a pivot point, and a thread running from the inside end of that neck down through the place to a weight, to which all the chicken neck threads are tied.

Methods to make better Chicken Figures

As you can see in the video, I tried using wood carving to make the different Doctors. Which is a decent way to go about it, I think, except that it does not lend itself well to detail. At least that would be the case for me and my skill level.

This is where “a few recognizable details” come into play. With the Doctors, the way they dress would be a much better identifier than their faces. For Harry Potter, a shape with a lightning scar would speak for itself. And in Star Wars, lightsaber color and basic clothing would go a long way to identify a Jedi.

I cannot help but think that it would be a cool thing to 3D print the basic frame for the mechanism. Of course, printing the whole figure would be even better, but I have yet to tackle that to see how well it would work out in terms of looks and recognizability.

More Demanding Mechanisms

Having a figure whack another with something is not that hard. But how about adding more movement? Two arms would be an interesting upgrade to encompass double wielders. But why stop there? You could add wings to people and creatures, and have them flap in sync with their pecking motion.

Frankly, I am not sure whether that would work the way I imagine. There is only so much you can do with levers, threads, and a rather small figure. I find it fun to think about, but if I ever was to give these ideas a try, I would do mock-ups to see whether my imagination holds up to physics in this case.

Steal these Chicken Peck Ideas

Beyond the Doctor Who variation, I find it easy to come up with additional ideas to make more toys based on this concept. I am looking into ways to make some of them a reality, probably using 3D printing, but maybe there are some on this list that will inspire you to take a peck at it yourself.

Franchise Variations

Here is a list of ideas that encompass a single franchise each:

  • Doctor Who
    Well, of course. This is the one I started making. All the Doctors hitting a Dalek with their sonic screwdrivers. Alternatively, you could go full meta and have them hit a wooden door.
  • Star Wars
    With lightsabers aplenty, this one would be a number of characters bashing a central figure with their glow sticks. Depending on your personal attitude, you could have a bunch of Jedi pummeling the Emperor, or alternatively a selection of Sith hitting, say, Master Yoda.
  • Harry Potter
    Have a bunch of characters whack Lord Voldemort with their wands. Again, there should be enough recognizable details here to make the characters recognizable. There are also more than enough, and you can pick and chose those you like best.
  • Lord of the Rings
    Have the Fellowship and a few other characters go up against Sauron at the center. Or maybe the ring. Every such character should have something to hit the dark lord with, and I imagine there is no shortage of recognizable features for any of them.
  • Star Trek
    This idea does not really vibe with me, but it probably fits this list. Have the crew of your favorite ship/station bash their respective adversary with phasers and tricorders. Alternatively, they can just wave their tools at them since they are working remotely, anyway. I imagine Picard and his crew would have Q at the center, while it would be a Borg Queen for Janeway, and a Founder for Sisko.
  • How to Train Your Dragon – this is my favorite idea
    Okay. Hear me out. Wings. Imagine the HTTYD crew, on their dragons, surrounding your favorite antagonist. As they peck away at them, their wings flap, too. Yes, I love this idea. No, I am not sure whether it would work, at least not with a very basic thread-and-lever mechanism. Also, it would require a little more in terms of sculpting. But think about it. Wings!

Of course there’s more, like Pirates of the Caribbean, Game of Thrones, or, dare I add it, Paw Patrol. I just did not want to blow this list out of proportion. You get the gist.

Thematic Variations

There are also a number of ideas that are more variations on a theme than picking a predefined group of characters.

  • Superheros – your favorite comic book characters wielding their signature thing against your favorite comic book villain. Of course this can also count as a franchise if you go only for Avengers vs. Thanos or X-Men vs. Magneto.
  • Spies – while James Bond alone would provide enough characters here, you could mix and match all the appropriate franchises, again, with your favorite villain.
  • Adventurers – pit Indiana Jones, Lara Croft, and Rick O’Connell against something evil and pulpy.

Here, the list could be a lot longer, but also a lot less inspiring than the one above. You could make variations of this that are closer to the chicken thing, with every character similar to the others, by going for a more general theme – Samurai, Knights, Scientists, or IT specialists. Come to think of it, this might make an interesting retirement gift!

Future Plans

Like I said, I have thrown this project out but kept the toy. For one, I like the idea and it looks neat. For another, I hope it eventually inspires me to do something with it. I imagine this time, I will fall back to 3D printing instead of woodcarving. This way, it would probably be easier to finish, and a lot easier to share with you. But we will see.

Until then, why not check out other projects of mine? And join me on Discord!

Thanks for stopping by, and remember to Be Inspired!

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