This toy illustrates the laws of conservation of momentum and energy - I guess you would expect no less from a toy designed by an astrophysicist!
If you drop a rubber ball on the ground, it will bounce. So far, so obvious. However, when you have a number of balls threaded on a rod, the 'bounce' from the bottom ball is transferred to the ball above it, and if that ball is smaller than the ball at the bottom, the ball at the top will bounce higher than the large ball would have done.
This toy takes this idea a few steps further, with four balls threaded on the rod, of decreasing size. Hold the AstroBlaster vertically and drop it onto a hard surface, and the smallest ball will reach heights of up to 5 times the drop height!
Why is it called an AstroBlaster? Well, it is one way of illustrating what happens during the creation of a supernova. An old star, having run out of nuclear fuel, collapses in on itself. A shock wave then spreads outwards from the centre, moving faster and faster as it reaches less dense layers towards the surface.
The shock wave accelerates the outermost thin layer of the collapsed star to very high speeds, creating the 'cosmic rays' that spread throughout our galaxy.
In the same way, the AstroBlaster demonstrates a wave of increasing speed, as the balls get smaller. The top ball ends up shooting in the air at high speed.
The AstroBlaster itself is 15cm high, and comes in a smart blister pack, complete with a pair of safety goggles, which will protect you from the 'cosmic rays'. The three largest balls remain on the rod, but the little red ball comes with 2 spares.