When I was in the fifth grade, our classroom got a Visible Man plastic model, which shows the internal organs of a human body. In hindsight, the missing parts suggested that it was a thrift store purchase by my teacher (our country really should fund education more), but it was enough to get my young science mind going.
I still keep up with scientific plastic models, now with the financial mobility to get them myself. One company, TEDCO ToysÂ has a line of importedÂ see-through models for both biological subjects calledÂ 4D Vision. Looking for something to spice up my non-existent future office, I went for the gorilla model first.
The completed model came out to around a foot tall and long,Â much larger than I expected. IThe internal organs were very solid and brightly painted. It really gave perspective to the large digestive system. The robusticity of the bones is also highlighted in the artistically transparent areas. While most of the abdomen is visible, the head and limbs have clear areas on the left side, with hair and skin rendered on the right. The booklet has pictorial instructions for where the parts go, plus blurbs on each organ. Some facts are more random than others:
There is also a section for writing down your time trials in assembling the gorilla, if you want to turn it into a race. The suggested times are very generous since the model is not complicated.
After the gorilla model, I wanted more so I bought an importedÂ Ein-OÂ BioSigns Red Blood CellÂ after a price drop on Amazon. It was a red translucent red rubber disc assembled from four quarters and a center plug.
Moving on, I went back to 4D Vision with aÂ Human Anatomy Muscle & SkeletonÂ model. This one stood around six inches tall and had many intricate parts. Confusingly, the model came partially assembled, but they had to be disassembled to complete the construction. The fitting of the pieces would be an engineering marvel if it was not so instructionless and hard to manipulate. For example, the right torso could only be closed by joining the right arm and leg simultaneously. Then, the rectus abdominus piece has to be placed to hold the torso together. The problem is that the torsoÂ came with the rectus abdominus already in place, with only a tiny picture in the booklet to hint that it even could be removed. After that process is done, then the torso has to be pried slightly open to fit the right arms and legs. Even after it was completed, the right limbs could spontaneously fall out of the loosening torso without a little glue to keep it together (no more time trials).
While I was obsessed with models, animal toy vendors were having sales to capitalize on the holiday season. I indulged a lot before I stopped myself:
My non-existent future office is going to be sweet.