Wind-Up Toys

A wind-up toy is a toy powered by a spring that is tightened by turning it. After release, the spring tries to get in its original, untightened position, and makes the small toy go as well.

Wind-up toys date far back into history, into the 15th century. Karel Grod, a German inventor, created some of the first wind-up toys, including a metal fly and a mechanical eagle. Also, in 1509, Leonardo da Vinci created a wind-up lion as a greeting for Louis XII in Italy. Wind-up toys were at first for only royalty, and were much more elaborate, with a very complex system of gears and springs. René Descartes also created a life-sized wind-up human girl to prove a theory that all animals were very complex machines. However, as legend goes, the mechanical girl was thrown overboard after a man was frightened by it.

After the much larger, elaborate wind-up machine art declined in interest, wind-up toys were created very cheaply and in very large numbers by the 1800s. Wind-up machines then became known as wind-up toys, and were designed in all different forms to move around.
Source: Wikipedia

Kikkerland WindUps are my favorites, mainly due to their modern and creative range of designs. These cute, amazing toys are fun to watch and work great as gifts too.