A new exhibition has been assembled at Wolverhampton Art Gallery and promises to take the audience on a journey through the history of toy construction kits.

Type=image;ImageID=8872;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=A tower block made using Tri-ang Arkitex;TitleClass=strong;

Type=image;ImageID=8873;ImageClass=right;ImageTitle=Illustrations of girls using building toys;TitleClass=strong;

Type=image;ImageID=8875;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=An interwar house and garage;TitleClass=strong;

Type=image;ImageID=8871;ImageClass=right;ImageTitle=The Meccano Number 1 set;TitleClass=strong;

Type=image;ImageID=8874;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Hilary Page, founder of Kiddicraft;TitleClass=strong;

Type=image;ImageID=8876;ImageClass=right;ImageTitle=The change in interlocking toy bricks;TitleClass=strong;

Assembled Dreams: A History of Building Toys features a range of classic toys collected by the City of Wolverhampton Council's Arts and Heritage service, as well as loans from the author and toy historian Brian Salter.

Together, they tell the story of people's fascination with toy construction kits over the last 170 years.

Featuring more than 2 dozen different construction kits and models spanning more than a century of history, the exhibition charts developments from the wooden blocks used by the German Kindergarten movement in the 1840s right through to Lego Architecture, introduced in 2008.

It also explains how Lego became the largest toy maker in the world - and how the plastic interlocking brick so commonly associated with the Danish manufacturer was actually first devised in the mid 1930s by British toy maker Kiddicraft.

Exclusively, the exhibition also features an impressive model made by students from the West Midlands Construction University Technical College of its new home, currently under construction at the site of the former Springfield Brewery.

Councillor John Reynolds, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: "Building toys have been part of the childhood experience of everyone who has grown up in the industrial age. From the simple efforts of babies to pile blocks one on another to adult hobbyists' drive to build ever more complex models, construction kits play a key role in teaching us about how to build.

"This exhibition will not only be a fascinating trip down memory lane for people young and old, but may also encourage a few visitors to dust off their old Meccano sets and get building."

Assembled Dreams: A History of Building Toys is on display at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Lichfield Street, until Saturday 5 March, 2016.

The gallery is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and entry is free. For more details, please visit Type=links;Linkid=6114;Title=Wolverhampton Arts and Heritage;Target=_blank;.

  • released: Wednesday 27 January, 2016