Great Aunt Carolyn was recently cleaning out for a move and she still had a complete set of Bookville. Bookville is one of the toys we designed. The concept was hard covered books that opened into houses and other building to create a town. We handcrafted a complete village out of wood and sold the idea several times. A small toy company produced it in 1985 and it was from this run that Aunt Carolyn sent over the five different designs.
Each book opened, a front panel was slid into slots and its was filed with accessories, including two little people, a vehicle and furniture. Here is the Country Home with the Country Sedan parked in the the driveway.
The entire set, which was produces by Lakeside in 1985 included a firehouse, barn, gas station, grocery store and a house. If you had all five you could create a village street.
The entire play set came out for the first time with grandson Taylor, now 3 years old, visiting. He had a great time playing with the set and spent quality time creating scenarios and telling stories.
Our disappointment with Bookville and the American Toy industry is its fixation on cheap is better and plastic is king. Every toy we designed, after being sold to various toy companies and processed through in in house design teams, came out looking like every other toy on the shelf. Bookville was priced at under $5, and disappeared as a concept because of poor construction quality. Taylor did have a lot of fun playing with the set which told me the idea was sound. I just kept the glue gun handy to repair it.