This year the Half Scale Miniatures Group‘s annual swap had two themes — Toys and Plants. I was especially excited about the toys because I have three kids’ rooms to fill up in the Victorianna. My contribution was a stacking ring toy.
I got the idea for this after stumbling across rubber jump rings on Etsy. They come in lots of different colors and sizes, but it was a challenge to find the right colors in the right sizes. The rings on these toys go in rainbow order, and each ring needs to be slightly bigger than the last.
I spent a long time looking at available sizes of jump rings (also called o-rings). Not only did I need specific sizes in specific colors, but I only needed 40-50 rings of each color and didn’t want to overpay for larger batches, or pay too much for shipping by placing orders with multiple stores. I contacted one or two stores to ask if I could get smaller quantities for a discount and they said no.
In the end I placed an order with MyELEMENTS for blue (6mm), green (5mm), black (4mm), and orange (3mm). Black was the only color I could find anywhere in the 4mm size. I also had a hard time finding 2mm rings, but another store had 1.5mm in red.
Okay, a few problems. That red ring is much too small! I took an orange ring with me to a local craft store and was able to find a red seed bead to use instead of the tiny red rings.
Also, the blue and green were supposed to be one size different, but they looked exactly the same. I put them on a rule to confirm it — the inner diameter is different, but both of these are 6mm wide.
Here’s my first prototype. I wish the red ring matched the others, but since it’s the top ring, it’s okay for it to be a little different. (In fact, Melissa & Doug makes a stacking ring toy with a red ball at the top instead of a red ring.) But it’s obvious that the blue and green rings are the same width.
I emailed the store and it turned out they’d accidentally sent me 6mm green rings instead of 5mm. Replacement green rings arrived in the mail a few days later. Crisis averted!