Tuppertoys Busy Blocks (1971)
A little bit before my time…but they were still being made in 1977. I have pictures of me opening these Christmas day as a child, so they were not handed down to me (like so much of the other stuff I loved as a child…maybe not the clothes so much). They were an educational toy designed by Reuben B. Klamer in 1971 for Dart Industries. They taught the alphabet, numbers and, oddly enough, building and construction techniques.
The blocks came in red, blue, yellow and apparently green (by my memory, my set had no green blocks?). Each block also had two sides with diagonal stripes and two sides with puzzle piece shapes on them. Each lettered block contained a green toy figure of a corresponding letter: A had an airplane. B had a boat, C had a camel…all the way down to Z which had a zebra. The blocks also linked together to form patterns or chains. That was the most fun aspect of the toy, building all manner of shapes and designs.
These toys were made to last. Even the “hinge” seemed unbreakable after countless openings. Great quality made it possible for them to be passed down to my two sisters and very soon to my own son…