- Age Range: 8 and up
- Grade Level: 3 and up
- Series: Graphic Instructions for 37 World-Famous Designs
- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: Sterling (December 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1402750781
- ISBN-13: 978-1402750786
- Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #563,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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TINKERTOY Building Manual: Graphic Instructions for 37 World-Famous Designs Paperback – December 1, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
This book uses a modern Tinkertoy set with larger rods and hubs. Just for reference: you have a modern set if the orange sticks are the longest and a vintage set if the purple sticks are the longest.
I reviewed the first eleven models in the book, before getting too disheartened to continue. Excluded the first model, making a necklace on a string, exactly one of the following ten models can be constructed as illustrated: the bridge. Of the remaining nine models eight had inaccurate piece lengths, six had inaccurate angles, six had inaccurate connectors. Four models had all three types of errors. The remaining more complex models are more of the same error ridden designs.
While some original Tinkertoy designs allow for slight bending at the joints; attempting many of the designs in this book would break rods. Other designs show parts magically hanging in midair; the dinosaur's nose is one such example. The author's use of connectors exhibits a complete lack of understanding of: which holes are for rod connections, which holes are for free spinning axles, and the angles between holes (multiples of 45 degrees); this leads to many impossible fantasy designs, take the Tee-Pee for example where impossible 70-70-40 degree triangles and other unrealistic angles are illustrated.
As a child of the sixties I played with tinker toys for days on end; even today I recall that vintage Tinkertoys had set relationships between the pieces. Two rods of a shorter length and a next longer rod would form an isosceles right triangle with the longer rod as the hypotenuse. This works because Tinkertoy's wooden hubs have eight evenly spaced holes 45 degrees apart. With a vintage set there are many additional possible triangles, several additional hub types, and very short rods (used for gears and complex models)
After looking through this book I went to an online auction site and bought a few vintage Tinkertoy manuals for my son. After trying to build a few complex vintage models with a modern set I went back online and bought a couple of vintage Tinkertoy sets.
Some of the designs are incorrect and violate the laws of physics such as the "duck" and the "dragster." Wood rods are not flexible and do not bend without breaking. You have to be innovative and change things so that they resemble the drawings in the book. The diagram's rods are colored randomly. They should be consistent and have a legend in the book specifying the length of each rod color.
This is not a step by step building manual like the vintage tinkertoys used to have. You can tell that the author never tried assembling these designs to make sure that they work. He just assumed that because they are licensed by Hasbro they have to work, wrong!
Most of the drawings in the book are just conceptual artistic designs. You have to improvise a lot to make the pieces fit without breaking them.
I also agree that the book should have been spiral bound to make it easier to look at the pages.
In summary, if you like to build things this book will give you some ideas or maybe you don't need it. If you need a step by step instruction manual, skip it.