Tuesday, September 27, 2011


You say "tomato" and I say "Wedgits" ... the box says Switchbotz and I say "Hurrah!"

Longtime friends here know of my enduring affection for Wedgits - I've built with them on the beach, in the woods, in the hospital, in the dark. I like Wedgits.

Today, as I often do, I visited my favorite neighborhood toy store (Seattle's best toy store! I got Melvin there. But not to be confused with my favorite math toy store, also widely considered Seattle's best toy store), and I spotted on a shelf a long way from where Wedgits are usually stacked ... something that looked like ... must be ... yes! Mini-Wedgits! ... but under a different name?

The box said Switchbotz several places, but never a mention of Wedgits - but there was the name "Imagability," the folks behind Wedgits, and close examination of the sample models (in metallic gray & red & blue (not sure if the red or blue was metallic) with the familiar Wedgits logo embossed in each familiar piece. So as far as I was concerned these were my dear old friends under a new alias & in new colors.
New colors are sometimes all it takes. I brought a "Carbonite Series" set home, partly because I had just looked at the "Titanium Series" pieces in real life & seriously NEEDED to see the other new colors in real life, partly because they seemed like "Fall colors" & today was a wonderful Seattle early Fall day, and partly because sometimes some of with Autism Spectrum Disorders need mellower colors.

I am delighted. They are great. Now what would be really fun is if someone would go to my BlockPlay Store, and buy some Switchbotz - except as I write this, Amazon doesn't have any, so neither does my store. But at some point, I am sure Amazon will have some for sale, and then the links in this paragraph will let you buy Switchbots or Wedgits or anything else Amazon has, including gift cards.

I may not make a lot of money off the BlockPlay Store, and if you count the construction sets I buy as a "business cost," then the "business" probably spends at least ten times what it makes. But I enjoy seeing what readers here click on & sometimes buy (I have no way of knowing who is clicking or buying so I don't feel guilty about snooping), and I enjoy seeing if there are enough purchases by the end of the month to bump up the commission rate, or if the cumulative earnings by the end of the month will get me an Amazon credit the next month. And yes, I actually do enjoy getting $10 or $15 or sometimes even $40 to spend on Amazon.com. In fact, I do a little dance and go "Woo hoo! Big bucks!"

But too much on that. Mostly, I wanted you to know that I had fun today, and hope you will have fun from the stuff I blog about.

Oh - and Imagability has a  Switchbotz web page, and a Switchbotz Facebook page - not much on either one as I write, but surely there will be more soon. Maybe we should tell them we want glow-in-the-dark Ghost Wedgits?

Switchbotz or Ghost Wedgits, we have good block play.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Melvin & I were playing dominoes this morning, when Melvin got bored & started building things with the dominoes, so we decided to get out a block set.

Since I've been reading about British railways quite a bit lately, we chose a Lott's Lodomo set, and built the railway Signal Cabin from the instruction sheet.

Earlier this year, I got rather involved in studying Sears Houses & their ilk, long a sideline of my interest in Vernacular Architecture, it finally got primary attention. While you can model such houses from kits, they are a bit tougher to build from blocks, a contributing factor in my quietness in this blog for a while.

For the best starter book on enjoying Sears Houses, I strongly recommend Rosemary Thornton's Sears Homes of Illinois - even if you live further from Illinois than I do in Seattle, this book still has the best information and images for helping you see what the houses in the Sears catalogs can look like today.

I'm not claiming that mill-cut house kits were a kind of Block Play, but maybe they're distant cousins?

For me though, I'll look for catalog houses while I am driving around, but at home my constructions will be closer to Melvin's scale.

Lodomo is great fun, and there's even a fine little book called Building Toys with history & color pictures of the various kinds of Lott's sets, as well as several other types of British building sets.

Good Block Play