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Storyblocks Swan and Crow

1980?  Further Chinese story-blocks #2.  This second set of story blocks in the same format, with the same nice wooden box, features WC; WSC; FG; "The Raven and the Swan"; "The Cat and the Fox"; and "The War Horse and the Ass."

You have seen above, in the "#1 Picture Cubes" from China that there are two versions.  As for the second in this series, there are three different formats, and we have two or three of each format.  I will list and picture the formats and then indicate what copies we have of each.  It might help to point out that, first, this toy has been a favorite of mine to invite students to play with in end-of-semester parties, and students have shown their inclinations by taking up the challenge of arranging the pictures or preferring not to do just that.  Secondly, this has been a favorite toy for others and me! to pick up as it appears in auctions like Ebay.  So there are in the collection seven copies of this delightful toy.

 

One form, perhaps the earliest, has no Chinese characters on the lid and no number.  We have two copies.  I was surprised to find this second set for the first time in the toy department in a Singapore department store.  It cost $3.35!  The designs in this version are more symmetrical and a little less wild than those in the first sets.  The craftsmanship is again fine.  A second set found somewhere is lacking one cube. 

 

  A second form adds Chinese characters along the bottom line along with "WB 245" and "Made in China," both of which were already in the first form.  Both come from an unknown source. 

 

 

A third form adds a Chinese title at the top of the cover and a circled "2".  All three are from unknown sources.