One of the first innovative "edutainment" software titles, The Toy Shop
from Broderbund is also one of the first software of its kind to have a hefty price tag: it retailed for over $75 in most stores.The reason? The many cool toy components included in the hefty box, ranging from rubber bands, wooden cylinders, and model cutouts. The description
at MobyGames explains what it is: "Here's an unusual one: The Toy Shop
is a set of computerized patterns for building your own mechanical models. You use the software to print out the pieces, then assemble them according to a set of instructions that come with the software. There are 20 different models, including trucks and cars with wheels that turn, a crane, an oil pump, a balloon-powered locomotive, a penny-powered clockwork bank, a helicopter powered by a rubber band, a sundial, a carousel, and the Spirit of St. Louis airplane with a working propeller. Designs can be printed on regular computer paper, then glued to card stock, cut out, and assembled."
This ultra-rare PC title has been patched from its original booter version to run from DOS prompt, thanks to Mok. It is not nearly as useful as the original version, though, since I doubt any modern printer can understand printing instructions from a 1986 game made for dot matrix printers ;) Besides, you need to find (i.e. buy) a lot of pieces to make the toys - I have my original The Toy Shop box right here and it is really chock full of stuff. Fortunately, most components should be easy enough to find, although some effort is needed to "customize" them to the software's instructions. As it stands, though, you can still read instructions for many neat toys and marvel at how much fun we could have in 1986 when we made our own toys out of household objects :)