View Full Version : Anyone's kids CURRENTLY play with Tinkertoys?

04-11-2007, 12:13 PM
I just got DS (almost 3) his first set of Tinkertoys. After the initial shock of how EXPENSIVE this set was ($35 for 102 piece "Jumbo" set), I have grown to be very frustrated with them.

My son is autistic, so we got this for him to work on fine motor skills and creativity. It is a recommended toy for autistic kids. So, spending the money was not a huge issue.

However, either I got a really bad quality set, or these toys are way too delicate. My son has already broken two of the connecting rods and one of the little wooden endcaps. He's played with the toy three times so far. He builds these very elaborate structures, but it seems like half the dowels are TOO wide in diameter to fit into the holes of the wooden hubs. I even have a hard time with it sometimes. My son has to just use trial and error to find a hole that the rod will fit into if it is too big. This leads to a lot of frustration on his part, and he tries to force the pieces together, thus resulting in splitting the wood.

Ok, I will admit, I never played with Tinkertoys as a child, but is it supposed to be this hard?

Note: He just broke another piece!

Would you contact the company about this? Do you think they'll send a replacement? Or, are we being too rough with the toy? Every time one of these pieces breaks, it's literally 35 cents in the trash. I feel like I'm throwing money away.

04-11-2007, 02:22 PM
We had very similar experiences with our set. When I contacted the manufacturer with my concerns, I was told that since logging restrictions began, quality wood became very expensive and continuing to use it would have put the price of their toys much, much higher. I guess we can thank the environmentalists for this!

04-11-2007, 04:20 PM
My oldest (now 25) had Tinkertoys, and I seem to recall similar problems.

Actually, I had Tinkertoys, and recall a bunch of broken pieces.

04-11-2007, 08:05 PM
Thanks for all the input. You know, they now make them in plastic, and I balked at that with the argument "I don't want a bunch of flimsy plastic pieces...I want durable wood." I bet the plastic ones are stronger. :rolleyes: Live and learn.

Thanks everyone.

04-11-2007, 08:13 PM
I can't answer your question as for now, but I remember playing with Tinkertoys as a kid and having a really rough time with them, as far as getting dowels in the holes and then getting them out again once I squeezed them in.

Lincoln Logs were my building toy of choice. Do they still have those, I wonder, and are they made of wood? I loved those! But sorry about your frustration. I wonder if you Google Tinkertoys, would you perhaps come up with some helpful tips? It would be a shame to not get some good use out of them.