Coinstruction! Coinstruction Coinstruction!

What is Coinstruction?

Coinstruction is a toy made by Educational Insights that consists of 6 different types of connectors that are used to attach coins to each other.   Though they will fit many kinds of coins, US pennies appear to be the most common coin used.

Who is Coinstruction for?

Kids at heart.   Bio-Chem majors.   Parents who want to help build their children's spatial intelligence.

So what?   I mean, what can I do with these?

You can make various shapes and designs in 2 and 3 dimensions.   It's hard to explain, but they're really fun to play with.   Look below to see a few example things i've made.

Can I get the plans for the Robot/SpaceShuttle/Dragon from John Perkins?

At the moment I (John Perkins) am unsure as to the copyright status of the plans included with various Coinstruction sets.   I think freely distributing the various sets of plans would only serve to increase sales of Coinstruction, thus benefitting Educational Insights (the manufacturer).   The problem is that I have not yet succeeded in contacting them, so I don't know how they feel about it.   On the one hand they might be fairly casual about it- 'Make copies, distribute the plans, fine with us.' On the other hand they might be real defensive- 'Our copyright.   You distribute, we sue.'   If I get permission from them, I will post the plans here.
An update...   I haven't succeeded in contacting Educational Insights, but I have received my first request for plans.   No, that's not entirely true.   I received my first request for plans at a time when I have a working scanner.   I don't foresee any problems- i'm advertising their product for them in a positive manner, free of charge.

  Plans  


What are the 6 different kinds of pieces?

These are the names I use for the 6 kinds:
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"I" pieces.   Connect 2 coins in a straight line (180 degree angle).

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"L" pieces.   Connect 2 coins at a 90 degree angle.

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"T" pieces.   Connect 3 coins in a T shape with angles of 90/90/180 degrees.

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"V" pieces.   Connect 2 coins at a 120 degree angle.   However, due to manufacturing issues, most sets contain pieces at a 240 degree angle.

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"X" pieces.   Connect 4 coins at 90 degree angles.

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"Y" pieces.   Connect 3 coins at 120 degree angles.

Where can I get Coinstruction?

I know of 4 places:

Manufacturer:

Educational Insights.   Buy it directly from them.   The advantage here is that you can probably order from them no matter where in the world you live.   This disadvantage is that they appear to have not updated their web site in months, so placing an order or contacting an actual human being may be difficult.

Educational / Toy Stores.

What you're looking for here is a toy store or 'learning store' that carries mainly educational stuff.   Not something like 'Toys R Us;' something like 'The Knowledge Store.'   You can tell the difference (in types of store) by the type of toys they carry.
I've seen Coinstruction at 3 stores in southern California.
The first of these I don't remember the name of, but it's in the mall in Claremont just off the 10 freeway.   It's something like 'The Knowledge Store' or 'The Learning Store,' but it's definitely the only specifically educational toy store in the mall.
The second store is World Discoveries in Redlands, CA.
World Discoveries ' web site.   You can order Coinstruction from their site.   Under "Shop By Category," click on "building toys."
Driving Directions.   From anywhere to their store in Redlands.   Yahoo Map.
Show me a picture .   Image of the shopping center in Redlands where World Discoveries is.

Ebay.

The online auction site.   Yes, I was and still am nervous about sending my money to someone before I get the product.   I have made 4 purchases from Ebay so far and have yet to have trouble, so the system seems to work well.   The advantage here is that you can get stuff at a very good price.   I bought 2 of the boxes that would have cost $35 each at the mall for $5 each.

Show me some of the things you can make with Coinstruction.  

(click on any of the pictures in this section to see a larger version)
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A triangle of pennies.

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An "H" shape made out of T pieces.

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An "X" shape made out of L pieces.

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A triangle of hexagons made out of Y pieces.     How do I make it?

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A ball made out of V pieces.     How do I make it?

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A large hexagon made out of I pieces.     How do I make it?
Email John Perkins if you have any questions!