Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Roy Toy Wood-Links

Back during the depression, Roy Toy was one of many toy makers that sprung up, mostly to keep a business alive and employees employed.

Many of these toys have seen a rebirth in later times, out of nostalgia for classic toys and classic qualities. Some have come and gone again. Roy Toy is one of those that has stayed around and can still be purchased.

I've posted here about Roy Toys before, but it's been awhile, and I haven't posted the uncolored version.

In the meantime, Roy Toy has expanded their uncolored offerings significantly, and moved them from being a you-paint deal, to being "Earth Friendly," without the little plastic containers of paint.

I liked the unpainted ones more for their natural wood charm than for the opportunity to paint, so I never intended to paint mine. Besides being a pleasing natural color, the uncolored pieces lack the little dashed indents that were maybe intended to let the color penetrate more evenly, or maybe to sort of simulate a raw-wood appearance. The colored pieces look like they've been run through an industrial grade hyphenator.

One of my old complaints about Roy Toy was that each set seemed to have its own dimensions between notches, so you couldn't mix and match the pieces very well. In the two structures shown here, the #1 and #3 pieces are interchangeable, but the fort has a #2 that is half the length of a #3, while the cabin has a longer #2 that is sized so its notches align with the end and halfway notch of the #3.

But I apparently exaggerated the problem, and I now making measurements of the more accessible of my sets to see how much compatibility there is. So far, it looks like there is a quite useful amount of compatibility.

Roy Toy now offers some combo sets. I'd like to see what else can be built with those - and I bet the Roy Toy folks would be interested in seeing user designs as well.

My paint-set pieces were raw cut, neither sanded or smoothed, though it looks like maybe the new Earth-Friendly line is. Either way, it seems to me that these present much more opportunity for extending the set with your own pieces, since you wouldn't have to match the colors. Most anyone with a table saw could rip 7/16" thick log strips out of 3/4" boards, so an uncle could do it, and the notches could be done with hand tools - suitable for many children. Making your own round logs for other sets would require a much more sophisticated woodworker. Even with Roy Toy uncolored, I don't think anyone would want to make any quantity, the sets are too inexpensive for it to be worth the time & effort. But a few supplemental pieces might be fun.

Webster doesn't seem as impressed with Roy Toy as I am.

But I had good Block Play.

Edited 18:18 Nov 5, 2009, to correct some misperceptions. Additional corrections pending.

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