Wonderful Wood 1: Cool station wagon
This vintage station wagon was manufactured in the 60's or 70's by Community Playthings, the venerable Bruderhof business producing superb play and learning toys since the 1950's.
A company rep was kind enough to provide background. This version of the toy was apparently discontinued in the early 80's.
It's a big, sturdy vehicle designed for daily use in a classroom or family setting where kids can ride on, line up or bump their rides with no worries about this baby coming apart.
The wagon weighs in at over 5 lbs. and measures 18-1/4"L x 6-3/4"W x 5-1/4"H. It's equipped with metal headlights and tailights, rubber wheels with moon caps (actually they're the cap nuts on the axle ends!), bumpers and a huge cargo space. The wagon's 5/4 maple sides (the rest of the parts are are 4/4) are secured forever with screws, nails and staples… it's pretty much bomb-proof.
The company's commitment to avoiding overt detailing in it's products in favor of basic shapes affirms the goal of letting the child's imagination create the substance and direction of play. With only the stamped "Community/Rifton, NY" logo on the sides for embellishment, this vehicle could be the family wagon, a transport for a school or house of worship, or a child's dream ride for cruising the open road. No texting while driving, please.
Unlike real-world vehicles, toys can do roll-overs with out harming anyone (just illustrating the construction of the bottom of the wagon...)
Perhaps in the old days the driver would get some roadside assistance from Playskool's Otto Jack for tire changes... at your service!
As it happens I have a sibling at the Bruderhof, who's family has been active in all aspects of Community Playthings production through the years. The community represents a great legacy of building inspiring toys for young people and continues to inspire me also.