Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Kenner Sky Rail Project Part 9 - Girder and Panel, Block City

The Kenner Sky Rail Restoration Project is technically over. the Capital Miniature Auto Collectors Club held their July meeting. The program featuring building sets used with toy cars was well-researched -- and well-received. For those who are interested, below are the sets that were presented and discussed. Parts 7 and 8 feature the sets my dad, er, volunteered me to bring in, assemble, and give a brief history of. Parts 9 and 10 feature sets other members brought in. It was quite a night! (click on images to enlarge)

Read all the posts about this project here.

Other members brought vintage building sets to the meeting. (click on images to enlarge)

Girder and Panel

The Hydromatic Building Set was first introduced by Kenner in 1961. It featured a battery-powered pump and various types of pipes, valves and joints that you could pump water through. The plumbing was supported by the same girder frames as the other sets.

The example below is the current iteration of this toy. Kenner Toys passed through many hands. First to General Mills (1974-1979), then to Irwin Toys (1979-2004), and now Bridge Street Toys (2004 - ). Bridge Street wisely modified the base of the Hydromatic Set so that it now is molded into a tub to ensure the water stays in the system and not all over the floor!

Block City

I had brought an early example of Tri-State Plastic Molding's Block City. Another member had some of the later iterations. By the late 1960's the sets were shipped in boxes rather than tubes (which meant the roofing material could finally lay flat when used). Color was added to the door and window frame pieces. And the doors and windows were updated from a late 1940's style to a more modern look.

Tri-State also made an unusual set that created an entire downtown area. This set had storefronts, signs and other unique pieces for these structures. Below is the supermarket (without its sign) from that set.

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