633 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.

Things for Fun
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 series.

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.

Wooden Toys
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.

Flying Toys
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.