Video encyclopedia

Construction sets

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Meccano is a model construction system created in 1898 by Frank Hornby in Liverpool, United Kingdom. The system consists of reusable metal strips, plates, angle girders, wheels, axles and gears, and plastic parts that are connected together using nuts, bolts and set screws. It enables the building of working models and mechanical devices. Meccano maintains a manufacturing facility in Calais, France.


Lego clone

A Lego clone is a line or brand of children's construction blocks which is mechanically compatible with Lego brand blocks, but is produced by another manufacturer. The blocks were originally patented by The Lego Group in 1961 as "toy building bricks", and the company has since remained dominant in this market. Some competitors have moved to take advantage of Lego brand recognition by advertising their own products as compatible with Lego, with statements such as "compatible with leading building bricks".

Technology and industry, Hobbies

Nintendo Labo

Nintendo Labo is a gaming and construction toy platform developed by Nintendo and used as an extension for the Nintendo Switch video game console, which was released in April 2018. The platform uses kits that include cardboard cut-outs and other materials that are to be assembled in combination with the Nintendo Switch console display and Joy-Con controllers to create "Toy-Con" that can interact with game software and vice versa. Nintendo designed Labo as a way to teach principles of engineering, physics, and basic programming.


Lego Duplo

Duplo is a product range of the construction toy Lego, designed for children aged 1½ to 5 years old. Duplo bricks are twice the length, height and width of traditional Lego bricks, making them easier to handle and less likely to be swallowed by younger children. Despite their size, they are still compatible with traditional Lego bricks. Initially launched in 1969, the Duplo range has gone on to include sets with figures, cars, houses and trains.


Lincoln Logs

Lincoln Logs is a U.S. children's toy consisting of notched miniature logs, used to build small forts and buildings. They were invented by John Lloyd Wright, second son of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Lincoln Logs were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1999. As of 2014 Lincoln Logs are manufactured by K'NEX Industries Inc. In late 2017 K'NEX, having filed for bankruptcy, was bought out by Basic Fun, Inc. of Florida.



Cobi is a Polish toy company with its headquarters in Warsaw, Poland. Cobi's most prominent toys are building blocks with an interlocking stud and tube system similar to Lego blocks. Cobi blocks are sold primarily in Poland and central Europe.


Lego Harry Potter

Lego Harry Potter is a Lego theme based on the films of the Harry Potter series. Lego models of important scenes, vehicles and characters were made for the first six films and all the books released. The first sets appeared in 2001, to coincide with the release of the first film Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Subsequent sets were released alongside the new films, until Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The line then went dormant for three years, with sets being released in 2010 and 2011. In 2018 it was announced that more sets based on the Harry Potter franchise would be released, including sets based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and its sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.


House of cards

A house of cards is a structure created by stacking playing cards on top of each other. "House of cards" is also an expression that dates back to 1645 meaning a structure or argument built on a shaky foundation or one that will collapse if a necessary element is removed. Structures built by layering in this way, such as Stonehenge, are referred to as "house of cards architecture", which dates back to the Cyclopean and Megalithic ages. The origin of the phrase is debated to be from the 18th century England but some believe that it has an American base.



The Tinkertoy Construction Set is a toy construction set for children. It was created in 1914—six years after the Frank Hornby's Meccano sets—by Charles H. Pajeau, who formed the Toy Tinker Company in Evanston, Illinois to manufacture them. Pajeau, a stonemason, designed the toy after seeing children play with sticks and empty spools of thread. Pajeu partnered with Robert Pettit and Gordon Tinker to market a toy that would allow and inspire children to use their imaginations. After an initially slow start, over a million were sold.


Froebel Gifts

The Froebel gifts are play materials for young children designed by Friedrich Fröbel for the original Kindergarten at Bad Blankenburg. Playing with Froebel gifts, singing, dancing and growing plants were each important aspects of this child-centered approach to education created by Friedrich Fröbel.


Neodymium magnet toys

Neodymium magnets, usually small spheres, have been manufactured as educational toys, stress relief products, and an artistic medium.

Business and economy, Hobbies


K'Nex is a construction toy system invented by Joel Glickman. Introduced to the U.S. in 1992, K'Nex is currently designed and produced by K'Nex Industries Inc. of Hatfield, Pennsylvania. K'Nex is in the same genre as Lego, Fischertechnik, and Meccano.


Sand sculpture

Sand art is the practice of modelling sand into an artistic form, such as a sand brushing, sand sculpture, sandpainting, or sand bottles. A sandcastle is a type of sand sculpture resembling a miniature building, often a castle, originating in Hawaii, though some reports suggest the art form originated in Japan.



KRE-O is a line of construction toys manufactured by South Korea-based Oxford and marketed by Hasbro. Kre-O was released in stores in Fall 2011, although Hasbro started shipping out the first Transformers sets in early June 2011. The name "Kre-O" comes from the Latin word "creo", which means "I create".



Construx is a brand of plastic building toys introduced by Fisher-Price in 1983. Unlike other building toys such as Lego, Construx feature beam-like pieces of varying lengths that snapped on to cubical connector knots in order to build large shapes. These are relatively secure even though no nuts or bolts were used. Panels allowed assembly of flat surfaces. Hinges, motors, wheels, and other movable parts expand the number of different shapes that can be built, and make moving creations possible. Construx was discontinued in 1988, briefly revived by Mattel in 1997, and then discontinued again. But Mattel resurrected the Construx name as Mega Construx in 2017.