in the 70's
"How to Make" was a short series produced
in the late 70ís which assumed the 633 code from the earlier series books
and the "Hobbies" spine label. Most of the earlier 633s had
been subsumed under the "Learnabout" label, so retaining the
"How to make Toys and Games" from the originals, the series
was revived. As you might assume, it showed you
how to make a variety of simple, practical items for fun or to give as
presents. The front cover graphics are classic examples of what passes
for "modern" at the time of printing, but sadly becomes dated
within a very short space of time. This perhaps is part of their charm!
The series came in a fetching pink colour, except for the final book in
the series, curiously enough, "Car Games" in deep blue. One
assumes they couldnít think of a better series to include it in, because
it certainly doesnít qualify as a "How to Make!". Typically
for collectors, the back cover shows editions
intermittently both numbered and not numbered.
Toys and Games
Written by Marjory Purves & photographed by Tim Clark,
this book is pretty unimpressive contents -wise. When compared to the
60's "Toys and Games to Make", it pales into insignificance.
However! highlights inclde some truly awful pipe-cleaner giraffes and
an equally awful "Porky Pig", as featured on the cover.
In common with most other "practical"
toymaking books of the period, this one works on the basis that if the
designs in the books looked tatty, the reader would thereby assume they
were within his or her reach. Or it may just be that author Marjory Purves
wasnít too hot with a pair of scissors! Highlights here included "a
favourite picture" (take a polystyrene tray and stick a picture into
it), "sea shell figures" and "a balloon with shoes"
(figure it out for yourself). The ever-popular "toilet roll holder"
was sadly missing. The inside front and rear covers show small guides
to basic skills such as "cutting a long straight line" (ask
an adult to help you) and cutting holes with a craft knife, where no adult
help is apparently needed. The guide to cleaning your brushes has a (accidental?)
bit of product placement since you can clearly see a bottle of Fairy Liquid
on the sink.
Whilst the projects are only slightly more complicated, the end results
look more attractive, presumably due to Laura Gunstensenís ability. The
"desk tidy" requires 5 plastic washing-up bottles, whereas the
"palace cards" needs sheets of coloured card! The appearance
of a "Gonk" took this author back to the days of his youth.
Tim Clark took the photographs for this and most of the others in the
Written by Alan and Brenda Stockwell, this book
has a number of stimulating projects and ideas for stage presentation,
props, scenery etc. The "Dog Puppet" bears more than a passing
resemblance to Dougal of Magic Roundabout fame. The "Apple head"
requires 1 apple, a felt-tip open and 2 drawing pins, a project even within
reach of Millwall fans. The rear inside cover has a small play for you
to test out your puppets with.
Written by Sylvia Hall and photographed by John
Moyes, these projects seem to be slightly more complicated, judging by
the amount of text and precise measurements given for each doll. A wide
variety of materials are used, including wooden pegs, pipecleaners, cloth,
socks and washing-up bottles. There is even a small section on the history
of toy dolls.
Written by Richard Blizzard, Iím unsure as to when he really made his
name as a designer & builder of wooden toys, but he is certainly the
most famous. As you can imagine, the projects require a fair degree of
woodworking skill and the reader is frequently advised to read the "Learnabout
Woodwork" book. The diagrams are also on the minimal side (there
are no assembly diagrams) and Iíd imagine youíd
need an adult to do most of the work.
Written by Julian Cooper and photographed by Clark and Moyes (they
may have been partners?) this book is quite a comprehensive collection
of flying designs, ranging from paper dart to "flying fish"
and larger wooden models, even an "Elliptichuck"! With sections
on what glues work with what materials, theory of flight and launching
techniques, everything you might need is included.