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Electronic News & Comment
Engineer's Toy Becomes a Profession
11/30/2011

The Clarksville Elementary School Building Set is one of the engineering-inspired offerings from Paul Flack's Bridge Street Toys.
The Clarksville Elementary School Building Set is one of the engineering-inspired offerings from Paul Flack’s Bridge Street Toys.

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Rob Spiegel
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Re: Toys
Rob Spiegel   11/30/2011 12:06:02 PM
There were great building toys when I was a kid. Like Ann, I had Lincoln Logs, and Tinker Toys. I even found these toys at garage sales for my kids. I also had an erector set as well as a toy that included girders and panels to build buildings. The coolest toys came when I was a bit older -- the Heath kits. Girard I think also had some kits. And I remember the joy of receiving the new Allied catalog. I remember reading it like a magazine. I don't remember Legos when I was a kid.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Toys
Ann R. Thryft   11/30/2011 11:36:57 AM

What great toys! I wish I'd had these when I was a kid in the 50s. I think Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys (the original wooden ones) were about as far as we got. I also built things out of dominos and blocks, and glued together toothpicks with Elmer's to make enormous structures.


Dave Palmer
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Platinum
Re: Not necessarily child's play
Dave Palmer   11/30/2011 10:54:36 AM
Charles, could you clarify what the issues with safety regulations were? It's not obvious to me how injection molding the parts out of polyethylene rather than thermoforming them out of polystyrene sheets affects safety.  In terms of mechanical properties, polystyrene is brittle - but you could always go to high-impact polystyrene if this is a concern.  Or you could thermoform the parts out of polyethylene or another resin.  I would think that for low-volume production of dimensionally simple parts, thermoforming would be a better option.

Charles Murray
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Re: Not necessarily child's play
Charles Murray   11/30/2011 10:27:37 AM
Beth: This is a full-time profession for both. When they first launched the business in 2003, Carol kept her job while Paul did it full-time. In 2005, Carol quit her job to do the toy company on a full-time basis.

Lauren Muskett
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Platinum
Toys
Lauren Muskett   11/30/2011 8:46:44 AM
I think it is great that they keep the parts as realistic as possible and you can see they have a real passion for the toys that they make. I also like that parts are interchangeable to allow children to be creative and come up with their own designs. 

Beth Stackpole
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Blogger
Not necessarily child's play
Beth Stackpole   11/30/2011 7:51:42 AM
Love this story and the fact that they brought back an old favorite. The part about them having to rethink materials and other elements from the `60s era toys due to safety regulations is really interesting. Is this a full-time profession for them or still in the hobbyist stage??

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