Sunday, May 07, 2006


From Denmark, land of Lego and Hama with their inspiring explorations of plastic, came once upon a time a toy of wood: Jeppe, which continues yesterday's theme of Lincoln Log variants.

The most intriguing aspect of Jeppe, in comparison with most other linked-log constuction sets, is that the pieces are tongue-and-groove, which allows one to have wall sections such as window pillars entirely without cross pieces. In some other sets, that is provided for by having window inserts with grooves that hold the log ends in place, or in at least one instance, by having holes in the log ends so that a rod or dowel can be dropped in to hold the stacked ends vertical. Most sets, though, rely on stubby little crosspieces where a wall ends without a supporting corner.

Like Miniature Timbers, Jeppe has masonite roof pieces, this time slick side up and painted red. Similar pieces, which may be roofs in other structures, provide floors, resting in pegs stuck in the bottom layer of logs. No gratuitous extra chimneys to hold the roofs on, instead a tape hinge at the peak holds the roof in place and no chimeys are provided at all. I might need to cut a couple from scrap wood, for esthetic benefit, and for the comfort of the occupants.

Jeppe is also big, with the pieces 20mm high without the tongue, and 15mm thick (about 3/4" x 9/16"). Today's house is roughly 16" by 16" and over 8" high.

But by far the most intriguing aspect of Jeppe is the provision of holes and pegs to fasten pieces together like Erector sets or TinkerToys, as well as wheels and tires for making vehicles. So in addition to cabins, corrals and blockhouses, Jeppe can be used to build trucks and trains and spindly towers, with pieces pegged together or linked by pressing a tongue into a groove at an angle.

Intriguing Block Play.

1 comment:

Eliza said...

I want to come over & play with both the cool log cabin sets.