Do you remember Toys That Work?

12 April 2013
imports_CCGB_set-of-10-cards-2-_48160.jpg Do you remember Toys That Work?
David Boxall tries his hand at making his own vintage cardboard toys! ...
Do you remember Toys That Work? Images
This 'postcard-size' set consists of ten cards collected together in a very colourful pack. The cards all show photographs of simple working toys.
The cards invite you to 'make your own toys that work, it's fun to make it yourself'. On the reverse side of the card are the illustrated instructions showing how the toys can be made easily from materials around the home. Most of the cards show two toys, which can be made, while the remainder present only one toy, as these require more illustrations on the reverse side of the card.

My favourite work card is 'Climbing Claude', who is able to ascend a piece of string – with a little help from you. A list of items required for the toy is given on the front of the card. You will need:

• Piece of thick card (body) –  3 ½'' x 2''
• Two pieces of card (arms) –  2 ½'' x 1 ¼''
• Two pieces of card (legs) –  3'' x 1 ¼''
• Seven brass paper fasteners
• Elastic band
• 4ft of thin cotton
• 12'' of cotton
• Scissors
• Coloured paints

Working through a series of simple instructions with illustrations, the reverse side of the card gives eight sequential things to do. The last point suggests that a second climber is made, and the corresponding illustration shows two Climbing Claudes having a race. Some of the toys to make are slightly more complicated than others. The Kaleidoscope, for example, requires accurate measuring and cutting out.

You will need:

• Stiff card 12'' long x 6 ½'' wide
• Tin foil 12'' long x 6 wide
• Piece of card 3 ½'' square
• Piece of card 3'' square
• Two pieces of cellophane 3'' square
• Glue and sellotape
• White paint
• Transparent coloured beads
• Pencil, scissors, good penknife

Once again, the reverse side of the card shows eight simple stages to work through, together with clear instructions. Each stage is accompanied by an illustration.

The pack of work cards is aimed at the 8-12 age group, as stated on the cover. The 'Health & Safety' advice is refreshingly brief and appears on the back cover of the pack: 'Care should be taken and guidance given to young children when using certain tools necessary for some projects in this pack'. There are a further eleven Project Card Titles listed on the back cover. These range from 'Dressing Up Clothes' to 'Fun with Arts and Crafts', or 'Space Station'.

The 'Toys that Work' cards were released by Spear's Games, as a Spear's Project Card set. It was developed by Nu Products A.G. 1970, and was published in the United Kingdom by Key Facts (U.K.) Ltd.

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