Tinkertoys

Tinker Toy Manual

We’ve been having a lot of fun with Tinkertoys lately. Leo got a set for his 4th birthday and it came at just the right time. Today I found an old “Direction and Idea Book” from 1959 (made by The Toy Tinkers, a Division of A.G. Spalding & Bros. Inc., Evanston, Illinois). The little drawings are hilarious. It tells you, in a humorous way, not to get them wet how you can fix them when they break.

I’ve got three different sets of instructions that I’m posting (each is four pages long — clicking on the images should give you a bigger-than-screensize image that you can build from).

I’ve just added PDFs for all these manuals.  If you enjoy them enough, why not  add a $1 or $2 to our “Tinkertoy Manual Fund” — we’ll post & scan new manuals as we find them!  Or maybe we’ll just buy an ice cream cone!

The full basic manual (and donation link) is below

http://leojames.blogspot.com/2007/11/vintage-tinkertoy-manual.html

The intermediate-level manual is here

http://leojames.blogspot.com/2008/12/tinkertoy-more-instruction-manuals-and.html

and the advanced manual is here

http://leojames.blogspot.com/2008/12/tinkertoy-more-instruction-manuals-and_31.html

(click on photos to link to larger images from the basic manual)

Vintage Tinkertoy Manual page 1Vintage Tinkertoy Manual page 2img_7137.jpg

14 thoughts on “Tinkertoys”

  1. Thank you very much! Took a chance that we’d find something online, and appreciate instructions that I can understand.
    From a grateful mom!

  2. Dear Sir,

    Thank you for all your instructions on your website. I bought some Tinkertoy parts at a house sale, which had torn instructions in black print. There are many projects shown but a portion is missing. The title of the instructions is: “Instructions for the Tinker Toy, The Wonder Builder”
    I would love to obtain a copy of the complete instructions, and would like to send you a copy of what I have now.
    May I ask you to send me an Email address where I can send you copies of a few of these pages.

    Thank you for any help you can give me.

    Best Wishes,

    Steve Lepp
    Verona, NJ

    1. Hi Steve,

      I hope you have fun with your set. What you have sounds like a manual I haven’t see, so I’m afraid I can’t fill in the missing pieces. Happy Building! Kristen

  3. Hi!
    You are awesome. Bought some tinkertoys at thrift store & found your instructions on-line. I’m my grandson’s hero and you are mine!! haha

    Have a great day!!!

  4. Awesome. I passed on the tinker toys to mev4 yr old grandson, but after 4 older boys, the instructions have been misplaced. Can you E-mail me the PDFs?

  5. Thank you so much! From Wooster, OHIO USA This grandpa is making his own tinkertoys after EBay patterns, for the children and this is perfect. I tried to leave a donation but had trouble getting it to open up, so please advise what I was doing wrong. I have a Paypal acct so it should have been no problem.

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