As a kid I had a construction set from this brand. Now it is lost, but I would really like to find it and play with it, right now. Unfortunately, it was probably thrown away years ago, so I won't be able to do this.
Instead, I found this nice set in a flea market several years ago, the pieces are similar, although in the set I was referring to, there were basically building parts with a few cars, people and even some trees. On the contrary, this set includes only school or class furniture and people, but still the style of the manufacturer cannot be mistaken. The wood is very light coloured (light brown) and many pieces have some colour applied in one side, always in basic/plain colours.
Both the set I owned as a kid, and this one I have now belong to a celebrated series called "Construcción Urbis". They were the classic contruction block set, maybe in a smaller size than the usual game (probably to keep the prices as low as possible), and with dedicated sets including particular pieces not available in other sets. The series was divided in several subgroups according to the size of the box: Urbis, Urbis-2, Urbis-3... up to Urbis-5, which included the biggest boxes with the highest amount of pieces. Some sets were also available in bags.
Note for example this curious school class. The blocks have the shapes of desks, chairs an blackboards, and this pieces, of course were especific to this set. There are also some figures included, but they are made of plastic. It would be much more expensive to produce them in wood, but earlier versions of this game had wooden figures, in a less realistic style, and curiously, the teacher was a nun (something not very unusual at the time in Spain). The figures are slightly flat, in the tin soldiers style. My set is probably missing two pupils (at least compared with the picture in the box cover).
Note the nice sculpt of the different furniture: teacher´s desk (with platform), blackboard, pupil´s desk... it is a very interesting construction set, maybe also intended to be a toy for girls?
Among the boxes in this Urbis series and this size, which I think it was the smallest one (17x11 cm), the references were:
- 600 Colegio (School)
- 601 Granja (Farm)
- 602 Fuerte (Fort)
- 603 Garajes (Garages)
- 604 Estación (Train Station)
- 605 Aeropuerto (Airport)
- 606 Zoo
- 607 Castillo (Castle)
And now a few lines about the manufacturer. The company which made this toy is Goula, a Spanish company that is still active, although now it is part of a bigger concern, as it is Diset.
Theirofficial website (http://www.goula.es/content/sobre-goula-15) tells us the story of a family business run since 1942. The brand name comes from the surname of the founder Josep Goula from Vic (near Barcelona).
The business probably derived from a carpenter´s workshop especialized in Christmas decoration goods. Soon they started producing wooden toys for children (around 1950) and since then, they have been participating in the Toy Fair in Nurenberg every year.
Currently their toys still use wood, but sometimes combined with other materials, like cloth or cardboard. The design is still being made in Barcelona, although nothing is said about production...
Goula is part of the Diset group and is the leader manufacturer in wooden toys in Spain. It exports to more than 60 countries. Great! I wonder if they ever thought about reissuing these Urbis sets. Do you think they would have any commercial success nowadays?
FACTS AND FIGURES:
- Name: COLEGIO (Ref. 600)
- Year: Around 1979
- Company: Goula (Spain)