This picture comes from the issue of Family Circle I bought the other day for a buck in an antique store:
Toys on wheels kept me busy for a bit but they were kind of limited. You can only roll them around and pretend you're driving them for so long and then they start to get boring. The dog was kind of the same, you pulled him along by a thin plastic leash and he didn't do much aside from follow you where ever you led him.
But those blocks, boy they were the best ever. Our set was shaped exactly like those but ours were painted, or maybe they were soaked in dye or something because the paint never chipped off. Our set came in a white drawstring bag that seemed huge to me at the time. I remember vividly pulling that bag along to where ever I was going to play with those blocks and then once I found a suitable spot, usually on the floor near where ever my mom was in the living room of our apartment in the housing projects in Detroit, I'd carefully open that bag, turn it upside down, and I'd dump those blocks out.
I'd play for hours and hours with those things. I'd make sailing ships out of them, trains, buildings, whatever I could think of. I remember the smaller round cylinder shaped ones were always people and I'd make them talk in different voices. I loved those blocks because they made me use my imagination when I'd play with them. They became anything I wanted and I could see the details of the things I made in my mind. I'll go so far as to say they were my most loved toy of my early childhood.
Electronic toys were just coming into vogue in my youth. Stuff like Lite Brite, the game Operation, slot car sets, and more were on the market and I remember playing with them too but those blocks were the most fun toy I had. I can still to this day remember the colors of the different pieces, the pale green big slabs, the vivid yellow triangles, the dark purple cylinders, the red arches and I can remember the smell and feel of them. I can still see that dingy old white bag they came in. They were one of the toys that I remember always having, so mom must have bought them when I was a baby and they got passed down to me. I'm so glad they did because if I hadn't had them, then I probably wouldn't have half the imagination I had.
I bought a box set of some blocks that were almost identical to the ones I had and I dropped them off at a Toys for Tots drop box. I hope who ever gets them will get hours of enjoyment out of them like I did.