Blocks - Akertoys
 
(Adan)  One of our early prototypes was recently back out on the table, and we all had a good time looking at it.  It's a complicated one, lemme tell ya: building blocks!
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This prototyped set is made of pieces of maple, square in section, ranging in size from 1.25"x1.25"x1.25" up to 1.25"x1.25"x7.5".  
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These were a very early project.  We've gotten a LOT more tools and skills since then.  A contemporary set would look much nicer, I feel sure.
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But hey, they're building blocks!  They don't have to be fancy to be a lot of fun.  I enjoyed myself greatly just building this reindeer.  Or spaceship.  I forget what it was, but it was absolutely perfect.
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If we were to make another set like this I would probably want them to be made of beech.  I might also consider tweaking the common dimension up to 1.375", which is apparently a standard (??) building block factor.  What do you think?  Oh, and how should they be packaged?
david
8/19/2010 09:07:25

I think these look fun as-is...any marginal improvements are gravy.

As for packaging...I've seen things like this grouped in a cube with a very thin plastic box holding it together; if you don't like plastic (plastics are the future!) you could use a little mesh/net thingy. Or maybe arrange the blocks in packaging so that they spell something blocky. OH, or have a few different packages with the blocks arranged in a few shelf friendly shapes (blocky dinosaur, blocky Eiffel tower, block Empire State Bldg)

Also, have you considered adding magnets? With your joining skills, you could bury some rare earths inside these things and kick it up a notch!

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Jill
8/19/2010 14:52:58

From my experience as a gift giver, when gifts have lots of pieces, parents want a fast, easy way to gather parts and put the toy away. They also like to keep parts from set A separate from toy B. Please consider a mesh, net or muslin bag sold with the block set -- natural fibers of course.

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8/25/2010 13:27:44

Thanks, guys! Excellent thoughts and suggestions.

David, Jill has actually explored the mesh/net approach for other products; it's going to be the exact right thing for one of these, I'm sure. I like the idea of holding them in a certain shape for eye-catching shelving.

Jill, the natural-fibered bag is a great idea. I need to just grab some material and sit down at the machine. At the moment, Zoe is using my sewing machine as a hiding place in the closet, but Dori's is set up and ready to go :-)

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