Tinker Toys

Tinkertoy Share your own memories of this toy

This memory was added on: August 26, 2010

Santa would bring me a new set of Tinker Toys every Christmas when I was little. He should have brought my dad a set also because without fail, early every Christmas morning, my dad would manage to get one of the smallest pegs stuck in the side of one wheel so we never were able to make anything after that which would roll. This is why I continuously needed a new set every year. Everything would be fine until my mom left our living room. She told him many times to leave the Tinker Toys alone. It is funny looking back now…. She would leave, daddy would start playing with the Tinker Toys, ooops a piece got stuck, and then a whiny call (and a few tears) would go out to my mom that he did it again! Most of the time, I never even got to play with them first before he had pieces stuck together permanently. My mom would come back into the room and get onto him again, like he was a kid, about playing with the toys and breaking them on Christmas morning…however the toys he broke weren’t his own.

Barbara K.

This memory was added on: November 7, 2009

I actually still have a set of Giant Tinker Toys. My brother and I used to play with them quite a bit. We would make things and try to get our cats to stay in them.As though the cats really appreciated it. My box is beat up and I'm not quite sure that all of the pieces are there . I'm just sad my sons did not get to play with them when they were younger(since my dad gave them to me when they were older), I'm wondering if my neice and nephew would have as much fun with them as we did growing up. Did not realize just how many people had them as kids. But You don't find too many people who still have theirs.

Autumn's Mom

This memory was added on: May 20, 2007

Tinker toys! Almost as good as my Erector set, maybe even better. I never cut myself on the tinker toys. A few years ago, my mom found a huge set at Costco and bought it for my for Christmas. My son and I fight over it sometimes. *grin* I remember trying to build the biggest tower ever, and being SO happy when I got it to 4 feet tall. Of course, I wan't 4 feet tall until after 10 years old, so maybe that's why I was impressed. Now I want to go home and get them out.


This memory was added on: March 5, 2007

i have tinker toys at my house and i still play with them. i rember when in was little i always used to play with them with my brothers in was the only one who used to build these weird cars and other figures all my brothers would always be building, buildings and houses.


This memory was added on: December 27, 2006

We had just about every toy that was on the market in the 60's and 70's and I have many a fond memory of a great childhood and many fantastic childhood memories of Christmases of years gone by. Tinker Toy... one of my favorite of all time, that along with my wooden building blocks and Lincoln Logs. I loved the smell of the Tinker toys wood material. I'd spend hours making all kinds of contraptions. I remember making a windmill device that actually spun when the wind blew on it or a person blew on it.


This memory was added on: December 26, 2006

Giant Tinker Toys were the best toy ever.I just got my 5yr. old daughter a "Cranium" fort set.It's not the same,but she said it's her favorite toy that Santa brought.


This memory was added on: December 8, 2006

I remember sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor with my tinker toys while my mother was cooking supper. I'd make all sorts of contraptions and play with them. and I loved the way they smelled.

even today when I'm in a store and I see tinker toys, my mind goes back to those young innocent years of playing.


This memory was added on: December 2, 2006

I can not believe Tinker Toys are still around I was born in 1976 and they are still around !! how many toys can we say that about?

Matt Ribout

This memory was added on: November 14, 2006

My brothers & I had the large plastic set and spent hours making forts on the upstairs landing. Now my brother & I are trying to find some for his son, especially since he has told him how much fun they are. Best memories. But I can't find the giant tinker toys anywhere! We had the small, wooden ones, too - and they were fun enough, but nothing like the big ones.


This memory was added on: November 14, 2006

I got the Giant Tinkertoys as a young child or Christmas. I loved trying to make a house with them in the back yard. Recently, my parents got them out of their attic and brought them over to my house. Now my kids are playing with them.


This memory was added on: November 8, 2006

My church had a set of Giant Tinkertoys when I was a small boy back in the early 70s. My fondest Christmas memory was finding them under the tree when I was 5. Last week, I found them in the old attic. They need some cleanup and many of the connector pieces are broken. Good sets on eBay seem to fetch $200+.

A few years ago, Hasbro (I think) had a notice online that they were going to bring them back. I put gave them my email address to be notified, but never was. I guess they decided not to go through with it...


This memory was added on: September 29, 2006

Tinker toys are the best! I remember making odd things - and the same things over and over again: tall ships, the Wright Brother's plane (with engine drive that moved both props with a rubber band), windmills that spun in the A/C, and a swing-wing fighter things that lets the wings fold back.

I made my younger brother sort the pieces into piles according to size to make the building process more efficient. I think the colors for sizes went like this, largest to smallest:

Purple Green Red Blue Yellow Orange

We called the orange ones "tiny-ones."

We got another set that had plastic pieces and plastic wheels, etc. There was a little pill-looking plastic piece that was used to interconnect two of the plastic trains like a train car. My brother swallowed one, and it came out in his poop. I have no idea why my mother was worried about that...

Too much tinker toy development work caused the sockets to become loose, and the sticks would not fit in tight... darn!

But the worst was when you got those pesky large thin wooden disks used for wheels (they had no outer sockets) stick on a stick.... two could get jammed on there together and there was no getting them off.

My Wright Brother's plane needed an angle to get the sticks to go back to the tail, so I just forced it a bit... it worked, but ended up bending (smashing) this tips of the sticks.

Do you remember the tinker toy smell? They didn't taste too bad if you licked them as well... the bare wood parts - was that cedar?

The only other building toy that matched the fun of tinker-toys was that plastic "bridge and girder construction set" - that was awesome!


This memory was added on: July 15, 2006

I also had the giant tinker toy set, and i still do. Well i have about half of the set left. My 5 year old boyplays with them more than any other toy,by far. It is a great "old school" toy that encourages imagination. I have also been looking for a new set for him.


This memory was added on: July 14, 2006

I've been looking for a set of giant tinker toys on and off for a couple of years for my kids. My brother & I used to play with them and noone ever knows what I'm talking about when I mention them. Oh, and I ran screaming down the hallway & jumped into the box and ended up with 6 stitches in the back of my mouth at about 6 or 7 years old, but that was the only bad memory... Still can't believe that neither me or my brother know where they disappeared to... Anyway, if ANYONE knows where I can find some, please e-mail me.

Philip Scoggins

This memory was added on: July 8, 2006

I had the Large tinker toys too. We built forts and made guns with rubber bands and shot paper out them. You could build anything! I am looking for a set now for my daughter who is 3 1/2. If anyone knows where i can get them please e-mail me rungor@gmail.com. Thanks. Those were the best toys!


This memory was added on: June 11, 2006

I had the giant Tinker Toys growing up as well. I got them for Christmas in the early '70. I would love to get any information anyone has on the giant Tinker Toy product. I tried looking the company up awhile back with no success. I use to have the original box and directions, but, after much love from my children I am down to one page of the directions and the box did not survive the last space trip. I remember making every giant, house, crane, airplane, etc. picture in the directions.