Alas, last week’s fantasy that we could actually build a toy car and escape the tyranny of creepy dolls proved to be a dud. While our matchbox racing card is quite snappy, it turns out that creepy dolls are skilled roadside mechanics. It is probably because the dolls have acorns for heads, and the racing car requires acorns for its headlights. It sometimes pays to be a specialist.


Photograph of a toy car made from matchboxes
Whizzing away from creepy dolls in our snappy matchbox racing car!
A doll mechanic fixing a toy car
Creepy dolls offer automotive service to broken down matchbox cars, including the installation of acorn headlights.










Creepy dolls? Snappy matchbox racing cars? “Are you doing okay, random librarian?,” you may inquire. Why, yes, yes I am. Let’s review! Special Collections recently acquired a charming set of instructional toy-maker cards created by the illustrator Kate Angus. The cards most likely date to the early 1930s and were meant to provide children with afternoons of fun by crafting toys from common and inexpensive household objects. Since we all could use a bit of whimsy in our lives right now, we would like to invite you to participate in our #JHUMakesToys Challenge!

Interested in becoming a vintage toy-maker? Here’s the scoop:

Follow @jhuspecialcollections to see the challenges as soon as they are released.
Tag @jhuspecialcollections so we can see your photo and add #JHUMakesToys to your caption.
Challenges will be announced weekly on Fridays from April 3 through May 8.
Each week shall be a new chance for internet fame and glory!
Please note that we may share your wonderful creations on Johns Hopkins social media channels.

Since we have unfortunately discovered that creepy dolls make for great mechanics, let’s move from land to sea. Surely, creepy dolls will wish to stay away from water, or are we heading towards a transformative Gremlins situation? We shall be brave and merrily plot a sea-faring diversion with our new challenge: build a matchbox sailing ship!

Instructions for making a toy ship
Let’s go sailing!