Saturday, February 10, 2007

Lincoln Logs


I recently saw an ad for a custom built log home. I was reminded not only of the log cabins I have been in over the years, but also of one of my favorite toys as a child. That would be Lincoln Logs.

I got my set in the early 60s, back before the got funky with plastic and had additional options and figures to go with them. They have since gone retro, but they are still more modern than the ones I had.

I don’t recall if they came in a box or a tube, but everything about them was good; the feel, the weight the color the texture and even the taste. When working with them you were only limited by your imagination and how big your supply was. I had one set and I knew of other kids who had two due to duplication of gifts by aunts who didn’t check first. I would have been totally delighted if I were ever to receive two sets back then. Oh the things I could have built…

I was fortunate though, just to have one set while some children never had them at all. I entertained my self endlessly with them and accounted for every piece when I put them away.

I don’t recall now if my toys got passed down to my nephews or if they eventually ended up in a land fill. I doubt my set is still in play today, though if I could get them back I’d certainly spend some time with them again on the floor.

17 Comments:

Blogger Beth said...

Childhood toys such as Lincoln logs promoted creativity and the use of imagination.
And, hey, even Barbie dolls encouraged creative play. I gave the Ken doll the boot and hooked Barbie up with my brother's G.I. Joe. (Poor Ken - couldn't compete...)

5:52 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

And who would ever know if Barbie and Midge ever...you know. That was OK, too.

6:09 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Don't forget about Tinker Toys and Erector Sets, they also expand our creativity as kids.

6:53 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Erector sets were pertty pricy, so I never got one, but I did get the poor kids version which was a thing called girders and panels. It was a plastic thing where you could errect big box buildings. It employed interesting engineering principals. Pretty cool.

7:24 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

I had tinker toys, but no Lincoln logs. However, when I went to visit my sister, my five-years-younger nephew and I always used his set to build a cabin and corral for our itty-bitty cowboys and Indians to fight over.

7:48 AM  
Blogger Jaggy said...

I never got Lincoln Logs myself, but Dad allowed my sister and me to play with his set from when he was little. We played with them, even made catapults that launched the little logs into the large picture windows in the living room. Dad took them away. I miss the Lincoln Logs...

He also let us play with his 1960s Lego space sets and a Ramagon set.

9:12 AM  
Blogger denise said...

When I was little one of my teachers had an original Lincoln logs set, they came in a tube. So did the tinker toy set. I love old toys, I used to work for a toy company, once in a while you'd find an old toy still in the box and out of production, it was neat to see the difference in the new toys and the old. the old ones are better.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember jacks? I was so good at it, what fun. I played on cement,on my knees or butt that is all I remember about the game.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Auntie L said...

Tinker Toys were the 'bomb.' Kind of "thinking kid's" Lincoln Logs(how linear, really) My 3yr old son was gifted some Tinker Toys recently and they are still cool and still made of wood.

Jacks were cool too. Used to have a glow in the dark set that brought hours of endless fun in the many power outages that happened in every winter of my childhood. I am pretty confident that both my age and years of wine consumption would not serve me well for the dexterity and speed it takes to play jacks anymore.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

I love old wooden toys and got as many as I could for my boys when they were little...Lincoln Logs included. My ten-year-old still plays with them and usually displays his latest creation on top of his dresser.

2:09 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Sorry folks, I've been away all day. I find it interesting to return to so many who've enjoyed Lincoln Logs. I never talked with other kids who had them when I was young, so I'm surprised to see that their use was somewhat universal.

Jacks...I was never good at it.

10:57 PM  
Blogger lori hahn said...

I remember endless rainy or snowbound days building fabulous Lincoln Log houses with windows, and doorways. I got all experimental and tried different roofs--creating the materials myself...I never liked Tinker Toys and never had an Erector Set...eventually I graduated to Llegos--when you'd get a box of 5,000 simple pieces and have to be creative if you wanted to build a spaceship or, my personal favorite, a giant ship. I gave them all to my little brother (17 years younger than me) and he never played with them, lost them, and threw them out. Sigh.

7:43 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I never had tinker toys or lego. It's interesting how many building toys there were out there:
blocks, Lincoln Logs, Lego, Erector Sets, Tinker Toys, Girders and Panels. There were probably others I'm overlooking.

Having done many building projects as an adult, they never seem to be quite as satisfying as toy building. I guess it has to do with lack of injuries, equipment failure, and mis-filled lumber orders.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

they also make excellent sling shot ammo...couple that with the excellent targets little brothers make and you've got yourself some Capote worthy childhood memories ;)

3:33 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Lee, it's your mean streak that keeps me coming back to your blog ; )

5:13 AM  
Anonymous walter richards said...

My brother and I played with Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys endlessly. Until my dad brought home his dad's old "erector set".

It was a compilation of metal forms, nuts & bolts, and tools for putting together all sorts of metal buildings and contraptions. Even had an old electric motor that my dad wouldn't let us use, because it was so old it probably would've electricuted us. lol Anyway, that "inheritance" came in a nice wooden box that fit nicely under a bed. Don't know if that was an original box for the set, or handmade. (wonder if my mom still has the set somewhere.)

For a time, we also had a giant version of Tinker Toys. Think of Tinker Toys made with brightly colored PVC piping. That got taken away when we decided it was funner to hit each other with them, than to build. lol

12:48 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Dang, I'm going to have to check out Tinker Toys. I've never had them, nor have they ever been on my radar...

12:53 PM  

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