Saturday, May 2, 2015

Hasbro Wood Tinker Toys Still For Kids Today!

Photo: honeyflorida

Hasbro WoodTinker Toys Still For Kids Today!

by Charles Pogue


When I was growing up, Hasbro wood Tinkertoys were a favored toy. Sometimes I watch my grandchildren with their newfangled toys, like the Wii or other computer games.

While I know those things have both some educational and motor skill development benefits, I feel sorry for the kids in a way, too. The reason for that is that sometimes they have become so used to the electronic world, and have so many of the games and gadgets accommodating technology, they miss some of the non-electric classic toys and games that we had when I was growing up back in the 1950s.

When we went to my grandma's house we would pull out either her Bingogame, and it didn't have any moving parts except the ones we moved ourselves, or we would play Checkerson her old round metal checker board. When we got tired of regular checkers we flipped the board over, got out the marbles, and played Chinese Checkers.I recently saw a movie in which the character played by a young actor about 9 or 10 years old said he had never heard of the game called checkers. It would be a shame if some of the old standards should disappear.

One of the old standard toys that I had as a child was a set of wooden Hasbro Tinkertoys. Hasbro have been around since 1914. The inventor of Tinker toys got the idea when he saw kids playing with empty wooden thread spools and pencils (I remember doing that myself).

In keeping up a little bit with progress, Tinker toys now come in either wood or plastic. The two most important pieces in a Tinker toy set are the round spools about two inches in diameter with holes punched in them, and the wooden sticks to insert into the holes. The discs also have a hole in the center, which unlike the holes in the side, goes all the way through. That helps accommodate more complex constructions.

The Tinker toy was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame nearly fifteen years ago, and the Tinker toy brand is currently owned by the Hasbro Corporation. Unfortunately, the original carton of these building toys, pictured here, is getting difficult to find, and is sometimes only available from individuals who own it as a collectible item.

In February 2012, K’NEX Brands announced their partnership with Hasbro to create a modern, revitalized line of the classic Tinkertoy brand. Since then, Tinkertoy sets for building animals, vehicles, and trains have been introduced. These days there are a wide variety of sets to choose from. They come in wood, plastic, and some even glow in the dark.

TINKERTOY Building Manual: Graphic Instructions for 37 World-Famous Designs
Since Tinkertoys were introduced in 1913, the building and construction toy has been enjoyed by thousands of young builders. A favorite for nearly a centure, this century mark, this classic favorite was recently freshened up with brighter, more user-friendly plastic part (the rods and spools are still in familiar wood).

This guide and interactive CD-ROM withlots of cool projects makes playtime even more fun and creative. Easy-to-follow pictures and screen images show kids how to put together an airplane, ferris wheel, dinosaur, necklace, and swing set. For the first time, this book provides in-depth instructions for specific projects to make Tinkertoys even more fun!

Maybe it's time to get back to yesteryear by giving old-fashioned toys to our youngsters. Who knows? They might even become engineers or inventors!


  1. My grandmother kept a set of these in her closet for when we would come visit. They kept us all busy building imaginative inventions while the adults talked or played Texas 42 dominoes.

    1. Hi. Thank you for commenting. Imagination building toys are a great idea for kepping children occupied.

  2. Really amazing blog!!! I enjoyed the complete article? enormous

    1. Hi Cassandra. Thank you for the comments. I visited your blog link and enjoyed reading your article, too.