Build it up, blow it up
What goes up, must come down. And that old addege applies to toys as well. When it comes to building toys, you almost guarantee that any sort of giant structure is going to come down, usually in a most spectacular way. At one point during my childhood I had a toy that was a little different than other building toys – it was meant to come down.
A different type of building block
Whenever I built something awesome out of LEGO bricks I was always kind of bummed when I had to take it apart – or worse yet, if it got dropped. It’s hard to see something you put effort into get destroyed, but the sight of it being destroyed was sometimes just as pleasing. LEGO bricks were great for building up, but were often a pain to take apart. One toy solved that problem by recognizing one simple thing – the fun is in the destruction.
I can’t remember what they are called, so I’m going to call it Demolition Tower (if you know leave a comment!). They are called Building Blasters (thanks Andrew!) and were made by Kenner as they’re stamped “KPT 89″ which I will assume is a date. I would compare them to Construx. The whole concept of the toy was a construction site. The parts were designed like steel girders, cornerstones, and arches. You could build a giant skyscraper complete with all the ladders and catwalks you would see on a real construction site, there was even a little construction worker dude. It didn’t take long to build any one building because that wasn’t the point. The real fun was in watching it come down.
Simple yet effective…and fun!
Although I lost the “detonator,” I remember that it was a suction cup attached to a spring lever. You’d place the lever under a bottom girder and press it down. When the suction cup lost suction – KABLOOEY! The lever would shoot up causing the entire structure to come crashing down. Of course, you never knew exactly when the suction cup was going to give way, so it created a brief moment of suspense.
The girders would fly everywhere and that was that. Then you build another building and do it all over again. Of course, I also used my Demolition Towers Building Blasters with other toys because lets face it, driving a Cobra HISS or Y-Wing fighter into a skyscraper is nothing but awesome.
A good idea that didn’t last
There’s not much to the Demolition Tower Building Blasters and that’s what makes it a honestly fun toy, especially if you had enough parts to build higher and higher. I believe I had two or three sets so one tower could reach as tall as about 3-feet. Despite the fun, I still have a lot of pieces which tells me I probably didn’t play with it for long (I’m sure video games and computers ruined that).
I haven’t looked at any building toys lately other than LEGO sets, but having a toy that is intended to be “destroyed” is a good idea. All too often you’d break toys that weren’t meant to “explode” at all. The Building Blasters were tough little toys that satisfied the urge to build, and the urge to destroy.
Originally posted on Jan 25, 2010