Father And Son Launch A Toy Train Into The Stratosphere

By Brent McKnight | Published

We all know that spending time with your kids is imperative to helping them grow into fully formed, normally functioning adults, but this is what I call awesome father and son bonding time. Ron Fugelseth and his four-year-old son sent the boy’s favorite toy, a plastic train named Sammy, 18 miles into the stratosphere.

Fugelseth, who works for a digital advertising firm, rigged a weather balloon, HD video camera, and an old cell phone, and let fly. The camera captures Stanley’s journey into the second layer of the atmosphere. At approximately the 18-mile mark, the bubble literally bursts, and the toy choo choo plummets back to Earth, landing 27 miles from the original launch site.

The whole trip ran 80 minutes—an hour to reach the pinnacle, and another 20 minutes to hit the deck. Fugelseth cut all the footage down into this adorable two-and-a-half-minute video for your amusement.

Fugelseth compares his son and Stanley to Calvin and Hobbes, and you can certainly see the child’s excitement and enthusiasm. This isn’t just a passion project for dad, you can tell the younger generation is totally on board. He’s excited for liftoff, and excited to see his little plastic buddy again afterwards. Dad even used Photoshop and After Effects to play with Stanley’s face, bringing train’s eyes and mouth to life in the way he imagines it does for his son.

I’m glad I don’t have kids, because this guy just upped the ante for dads everywhere, and I’m not nearly that inventive.