Toys of Yore

My Dad with his childhood erector set
So, the thing is, I went toy shopping yesterday.
#1. What happened to toy stores in the last twenty years?  They used to be all cute and friendly with circus music and miniature trains. Rainbows and ducks and dollies and whatnot. Now they are screaming pits of rage and fire. I even heard one little girl howl at her brother, “I’LL EAT YOUR BRAINS!”
And I totally think she meant it too.
#2. What happened to erector sets? You know, building sets for kids with holes and blocks. The fancy ones might even feature some strings and motors and stuff that goes buzzzzzzzzz. 
I asked the store clerk if they carried erector sets and he looked at me like I was asking for something that’s illegal everywhere but Amsterdam. 
Now I’m looking online and everything is too complicated and dangerous looking. No good. I want something my niece can chew on without any fear. 
So, now I’m thinking; it wouldn’t be that hard to make my own erector set, would it? It could just be wood, right? I know my way around a drill and a power sander. Let’s do this!
Anyone who has experience making they own wooden toys, pipe up and give me some pointers! 🙂


  1. says might have some things right up your alley, even if they’re not a homemade erector set…

  2. says

    Thanks guys! Those tinker toys might be just the thing. I’m glad I asked!

  3. says

    Tinker Toys are AWESOME, second only to legos. You should definitely make some, in really splendid colors.

  4. says

    I wish my SIL were around right now to ask. She’s very specific about the kinds of toys she lets her little girl play with…and most of them are the old fashioned wooden toys. Melissa & Doug is a popular brand, but I don’t know if they make erector sets. For now we just got T a set of wooden blocks by imaginarium. At 19 months old, she’s still more interested in the shape sorters on the top than building anything.

  5. says

    Etsy, Peaches. Hop on Etsy. I wish I could remember the name of the couple right now but they make old-fashioned wooden toys, like the good ol’ days. You could probably find them quite quickly through Etsy.

  6. says

    I gave Aaron, 4, some wooden toys. A train set, to be exact. To this day, I do not know where it ended up, but I just found a plastic piece of broken transformer toy (£30 RRP) in my vacuum cleaner. What did entertain him for hours on end was a white board and some scented markers, though. Whatever happened to being a kid, I am pretty sure we were the last generation to enjoy it.

  7. says

    The picture looks like Tinkertoys to me – Erector sets are generally metal, and you put them together with little bolts and the most awesomely tiny wrenches (that totally don’t get hijacked for jewelry around here, no ma’am). I think Vermont Country Store carries Tinkertoys – they usually have fun old-fashioned toys like Lincoln Logs and Chatty Cathy dolls.

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