I think that in the years I have had them, Ankerstein have been some of the best value of any purchases I have made. Expensive, but big bang for the buck. Durable quality, enduring pleasure.
So why so long an absence here?
A few months ago, Chris Baldwin of The ToyHouse died in a canoing accident.
That couldn't help but take away a chunk of my pleasure in building with Anchor.
I never met him in person, but over several years of emails, I had come to think of him as a friend, not just as the source of most of my Ankerstein, and some other block sets as well. The ToyHouse is apparently still in business - whether for the long run or just until the inventory is drawn down, I don't know.
Either way, please give them some business.
This morning I was talking to the owner of a more local toy shop, and mentioned Ankerstein. I'm afraid I let down the side and failed to give a good pitch as to why he should carry them. He's got a fine, spacious store, full of quality toys and with a supportive customer base. Just the kind of place where Ankerstein should do well, if they can do well anywhere. The Seattle area is good to toy stores, and we have several large and healthy independents. Please go to his web pages and use the contact form to make up for my lost opportunity.
I came home intending to break my long empty streak and build something with Anchor Stones, and actually did. The set #6 image above is my result. A little wobbly in that right-hand tower, but I've been wobblier.
It was great experiencing that wonderful scent of linseed oil again; feeling the satisfaction of the stones - just the right weight, just the right semi-smooth, semi-roughness; having the structure rise easily and elegantly in front of me.
Very good block play.