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06 April 2008 @ 10:49 am
All knowledge is contained in LJ: Wooden blocks  
Question from a friend. I've tried the US Patent database without much luck -- I get either too many results or none at all.

Once upon about 20 years ago, in a small, independently-owned upscale toy store, I saw a set of children's wooden blocks for sale.

It isn't going to help that I can't recall the exact name under which these blocks were marketed -- it was something along the lines of Wonder Blocks or Impossi-blocks, if my memory isn't failing me completely.

For the most part, they looked exactly like standard pine rectangular-solid blocks, other than some symbols that were wood-burned onto one face of some of the individual blocks. Those particular blocks were altered in one way or another: some had one end heavily weighted; others were simply hollowed-out shells and thus quite lightweight in comparison to the other blocks in the set; there were other variations, but I don't recall the details.

These alterations led to the ability to create what appeared to be gravity-defying structures.

Any ideas, oh LJ? Oh, and please feel free to pass the question along to anyone you know who might know (but if you would, link back here so the answer eventually gets to me?).
Current Mood: curiouscurious
suzilemsuzilem on April 6th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)

I wonder if these people could help you find them?
Janet Miles, CAP-OM: avatarjanetmiles on April 6th, 2008 05:31 pm (UTC)
Wow! I suspect that if anyone can, they can. Thanks!
(Anonymous) on April 8th, 2008 03:23 am (UTC)
Nope. We don't know. But they sound very interesting indeed. There is hardly a year that goes by without some variation on the basic idea of unit blocks and other unit toys - many of them quite interesting - and numbering in the hundreds and hundreds over the years. But this is not one that rings a bell. I think that exploring the patent office is a very good idea.

There is also an English web site that catalogs the history of blocks and other construction toys, but alas, I've lost track of it in the past few years. A careful search on Google might turn it up.

Sandy Galvin
Barclay Blocks
Cymru Llewes: profilecymrullewes on April 9th, 2008 12:50 am (UTC)
Re: Blocks
Ok. That just rocks. I'd've been exceedingly curious if Barclay Blocks did make such and now I don't have to go look. :-)