(These are my early projects; check the links below for better information and updated mechanisms.)
The male elephant is a purchased toy figure that has a hinged upper head and fixed lower jaw. An opening was made in the belly and a length of coat hanger wire was placed in the head.
As the disk attached to the motor spins, the yellow arm will move the wire back and forth, moving the elephants head, and slightly lifting his front legs. When struck by the protruding cam on the disk, a snap action switch will stop the action at a predetermined
point so that the head is down when the animation stops. This project of mine was published in OGR magazine June 1997, Run 153, however an updated version of the mechanism for the male elephant can be found with my lion animation project. The same type of Fisher-Price figure was used, so the same process can be applied with these animals.
The female elephant uses an old flexible shaft, from a manicuring device that was part of a hair dryer, attached to motor that reverses polarity when the snap action switches are struck by the arm, causing the head to move back and forth.
The head of the elephant, which was articulated as manufactured, is attached to the opposite end of the shaft, and a small opening was cut in the belly for the shaft to exit her body. A relay is
used to reverse polarity, but be sure the motor can withstand the sudden direction and polarity change. Best to use a design with a continuously operating motor like the mechanism of the male elephant. Another mechanism that achieves the same result in the female elephant can be found in the female elephant with the elephant bath animation or the female lion of the lion animation project.
The crocodile is a dollar store wind-up toy that has its wheels removed, and a pulley with rubber band spins an original wheel shaft that activates his manufactured animation. The tension spring was removed so the
mechanism would rotate freely. The surgery on the delicate mechanism was a little tricky, but worth the effort since the animation was already in place.