Tuesday, July 26, 2011

COLLECTION #18: Building Toys

Welcome to Toy Tuesday! Today my collection is building toys, specifically toys sold in lovely cardboard tubes. Tinker Toys, which were invented in 1914, began selling their wonderful building sets in cardboard tubes from the very beginning, and imitators followed suit. Inexpensive, compact and sturdy, these tubes could be easily stored and carried around, unlike awkward boxes. Even today, Hasbro's Tinker Toys are sold in the same colorful cylindrical containers.

Although their contents are meager, I have a few of these building toys in their 'cans'. I love the graphics, and the way they look on my toy shelf, towering over their neighbor toys.

Notice, the Pixie Build-A-Toy at the left was made by the Steven Mfg. Co, the came company that made most of my kaleidoscopes! They were a fun company, and I love the whimsical artwork they used on all of their products.

More important than the containers, were the toys themselves, which provided hours and hours of creative building fun. I wonder how many architects and industrial designers got their start making structures with Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs? It makes me want to build something!


Jean Hibben said...

My brother and I had a great set of plastic building bricks (pre-lego) that could be melded with the army men set and some of the little metal cars. Despite 6 years difference in our ages, we bonded over those toys.

Stefanie Eskander said...

Surprisingly, Lego blocks are much older than most of us realize: they were developed in the late '40s. I first remember playing with Lego blocks in the early '60s. I swear my older brother had a set, but he thinks I'm nuts. Oh well, SOME BOY that I knew had them!

Goldielover said...

Those Auburn flexible bricks are identical to the ones that were marketed as "Sta-lox" here in Canada, even to the picture on the tube. I still have my childhood set in its tube, surprisingly the tube is still quite full, considering they were one of my very favourite toys that I played with for many years. Sta-lox bricks crop up on eBay regularly - I think they are still popular with scale modelers as well as collectors.