Cascade by Matchbox/Lesney

Welcome to the only site on the net devoted to the worship of this Kinetic Sculpture!

This amazing and enigmatic offering was produced by the Lesney company in the 1970's. I have no idea who invented it or why. This information is shrouded in secrecy! Let us start our exploration with an examination of the product's claims (as espoused on the packaging):


This claim is in red so it must be true. There is indeed action in the movement of the ball bearings on the drums but is it "super"? Theologians continue the debate.


Some scholars speculate that this word refers to the characteristic sound of metal on rubber as the balls travel towards the retrieval area, others suspect something far more sinister. In 1989 a researcher at the University of the Brain in Heidelberg pointed out that "thump-a-drum" in Labahnian (a language spoken only by the indigenous people of the southern part of the island of Catan in the Tasman Sea)can be roughly translated as "controlling a child's mind with plastic, latex, ball bearings and a single 'D' battery". In 1992 another researcher at the Zimbabwe Institute of Mental Things announced that "thump-a-drum" translated into Esperanto, then into German then into Thwack (a rhythmic clicking language spoken by two cousins off the coast of Maine) means "sure I'll try the chicken salad". The debate continues.

"fun for the whole family!"

In 1985 a mysterious letter arrived at Matchbox headquarters. The missive read "There is nothing I enjoy more after a hard day at the llama rendering plant than to gather my family to stare fixedly at those bouncing metal bearings. Fun? You bet!". The cryptic note was signed "Raplph, Yolanda, Stan and Wendy Whole. In late 1989 forensic archeologists uncovered the remains of the Whole family.Their badly decomposed bodies were discovered in the plush toy section of a New Jersey Toys-R-Us. Ralph was found wearing a yellow shirt and a brown sweater. A forensic examination of Yolanda's skull revealed that she wore her hair up. Stan's body was never recovered, but little Wendy's remains indicated that she suffered from a rare genetic disorder (Guffawidic Paralytices) which caused the paralysis of her upper body. She was found with her arms, bent at the elbow, stiff against her body with her hands above shoulder level. Mattell and Kenner deny any responsibility for the murder of this family who were known to work as models in the toy industry in the 1970's.

Cascade - The Multimedia Experience!
(and by 'Multi', I mean 2)

Leaving the Tower!

Click here to hear the sound of 1.5 screaming volts of 'D' battery power red lining the tower elevator!...

Ten Ball Excitement!

Click here to hear the sound of steel on rubber!...

More Ten Ball Excitement yet slightly Later!

Click here to experience the magic that is the Cascade sound!...

Vitally Important Links For Those Who Follow The Bouncing Bearing!

The Matchbox Timeline - Check out the 70's section for the only known mention of Cascade on the web.....until now.

The Rolling Ball Web - For the less orthodox Cascade believers.

Ebay (Pig latin for 'eb') - The auction sight where I discovered this mysterious treasure.

Michael Loescher's Home Page - The less exciting but still quazi-snazzy page of your humble author.

Michael Loescher's E-Mail - Send me your Cascade story and I will share it with the world! (I will protect your identity.)

Story number one from a Cascader in Germany, HERE!

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