Early Learning Centre Build ‘N’ Play Construction Kit


I grew up during the 1980’s and as a child one of my favourite toys was this construction kit, which came from the Early Learning Centre. This vintage kit is French built and stamped with the name Jura Castor and originally came with just shy of 100 pieces. Originally sold through ELC, a firm favourite on the British high street and one that my parents probably spent way too much money in (I think they also stocked BRIO trainsets). I think clones of this construction kit are still available today although having seen one, the quality is much poorer.

The kit itself is centered around two large red cubes with one hollow face. These are then perforated with holes to allow wheels, yellow panels and what loosely resemble headlights to be attached. The kit also contains a set of tools with open ended and closed spanners and a hammer. You can configure the kit however you want (I believe some suggestions were included on the box but sadly this has long been lost to me). As a child I spent hours playing with this, and later, when my younger sibling made an appearance, pushing her around on it. I give this toy some credit with initiating me in simple mechanics and possibly explaining why, as a an adult I’m very comfortable repairing, building and upgrading everything in my life from houses to cars.Now I have a child of my own, i have retrieved this brilliant toy from my parents attic, and my little ‘assistant’ is showing great promise in picking up the same skills I did thirty years ago.

6 comments on “Early Learning Centre Build ‘N’ Play Construction Kit”

  1. Dorise Heller says:

    Hello! I grew up with this toy and it was my favorite – I currently have a toddler and would love to find this, since my parents long since gave ours away. If your kids have outgrown it, I’d be interested to discuss possibly purchasing :). Thank you!

  2. Abby says:

    Would you consider selling yours? My sister is searching high and low for this

  3. selien says:

    Hi! Absolutely right! Loved this toy when I was little! Sadly it was given away so no attic toy find. But! I recently found it back at a 2nd hand shop so of course I bought it! It includes the suggestion cards! (cut out of the box) I have about 16 images. If you want I can send you the pictures from it. Greetings!

    1. Martijn says:

      I have my own Build n play set (about 40 years old). Because the cubes were damaged I bought a second hand set in different color. But there are lots of parts I don’t know. Does someone recognize or have a plan?

    2. Cheryl Klymkiw says:

      Hiya , I just found a set in a charity shop and would love the images if you still have them , this box came with 6 cubes so no idea what I can build

    3. N Ashley says:

      Hello Selien
      I have just read your comment on Retro Squirrel where you say you have about 16 images of the ELC Build ‘n play construction kit. If you are not absolutely
      fed up with answering many request for them, I would be very grateful if you could send me a copy of them. My son used to have the set, and I have just
      bought a 2nd hand set which I would love to give to my grand children if I can find pictures to go with it.
      Kind regards Nigel Ashley

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