Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Color Cubes

I had thought I would limit this blog to architectural construction blocks, such as the Richter's Ankerstein, Unit Blocks, ArchiBlocks, and related construction toys such as Lincoln Logs, Roy Toys, etc.

But I couldn't resist temptation, and today I show another type of "block play," which also provides therapeutic benefits in dealing with mental disability.

Color Cubes are obviously closely related to building blocks, being wooden cubes in the size range of some alphabet blocks. These are about 1 3/32" (27.5mm) across, a common size for color cubes and a size in which alphabet blocks can be found.

The blocks in a set are all the same, with four solid colored sides: red, white, blue, and yellow; and two sides diagonally divided into red+white and yellow+blue. Sometimes green is substituted for the blue. These sets are used to create a wide variety of patterns, either creating simple pictures or more commonly, creating intriguing symmetrical designs.

Commercial sets of color cubes seem to have invariably been made in "square number" sets of 16, 25, 36, 49, 64, and 81. They typically came packaged with sample patterns. The only current commercial offering I know of are Magicubes from Creative Ladder, whose web site even lets you play with an online version [defunct link, sorry, but see: Uncle Goose].

Mine are a mishmash of older, battered incomplete sets, of which I have been lucky enough cubes the same size to be able to do even the larger patterns. Unfortunately I have to struggle to decipher tiny, blurry patterns from images snitched from online auction listings, since I haven't yet managed to get a set with patterns included.

If anyone reading this has sample patterns, and could email me copies, I would be very grateful.

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