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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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??
The question of whether engineers could have foreseen the shortcut maintenance procedures that led to the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 in 1979 will probably linger for as long as there is an engineering profession.
More than 35 years later, the post-mortem on one of the country’s worst engineering disasters appears to be simple. A contractor asked for a change in an original design. The change was approved by engineers, later resulting in a mammoth structural collapse that killed 114 people and injured 216 more.
If you’re an embedded systems engineer whose analog capabilities are getting a little bit rusty, then you’ll want to take note of an upcoming Design News Continuing Education Center class, “Analog Design for the Digital World,” running Monday, Nov. 17 through Friday, Nov. 21.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.