July 18, 2009

Creative Stranglings: CP Indoor Gym House [Of Strangulation] On eBay

cp_slide_ebay.jpg

Wow, you don't see these on eBay very often. Nowadays, the company known as Creative Playthings makes nothing but slides and playground sets. But back when Creative Playthings was Creative Playthings, this was about it.

The Indoor Gym House was introduced in 1962 and was sold through at least 1980. It was a simple, little flatpack wood & masonite set you assembled at home. There's a little cube to climb into, and a little slide that you reach from a little two-step ladder.

On the models built before 1980, there's also a little gap at the top of the ladder where, if you're a toddler, you can wedge your head in and strangle yourself to death. Or get permanent brain damage. And if you're a 2-year-old in California in 1982, two years after Creative Playthings and the CPSC first issued a recall and began a ladder replacement program, you can still find a Gym House with an original ladder, wedge your head in there and die.

cp_slide_cpsc.jpg

Except for the photo above, which shows the deadly gap, the CPSC notice doesn't say how to identify a safe replacement ladder. A 1980 Washington Post article says that the original gap between the top rung and the bottom of the platform was 5-6 inches, and that the replacement ladder expanded the gap to 7.5 inches to prevent entrapment.

So even from the visible lower rung and bolt in the eBay photo above, I can't tell. In the absence of photos and a tape measure, it'd be safer to assume it is in "original deadly condition."

Yikes: "Gives small children a thrill while you do other things": CREATIVE PLAYTHINGS CHILD'S WOOD SLIDE, currently $24+19 s/h, auction ends July 20 [ebay]
Creative Playthings Renews Efforts To Replace Indoor Gym House Ladders After California Death, originally issued Mar. 15, 1982 [cpsc.gov]

7 Comments

Awesomely, our local play cafe has one of these. The kids are nuts for it. I had one growing up and loved it too.

7.5", for what I remember from my playground designing days, is a bit odd. I seem to recall the entrapment rule being less than 4" or more than 9," though a typical stair riser is 7.5." Take it away ASTM standards....

current CPSC playground standards cite neck entrapment risk for openings between 3.5 and 9 inches. The same handbook says that toddler height differentials should be no more than 7-in.

I can't find it, but the CPSC published their first playground equipment standards in 1981, right in the midst of the CP recall/replacement. [There were 400,000 Gym Houses in the recall, not a small number.]

I think the long and short of it is that even with the 1980 fix, there's no way to make this 47-year-old design conform to the current safety standards in place for the target age group [1.5-3yo]. Doesn't mean it's not awesome fun.

We had one of these when I was a little kid. I somehow survived the ordeal.

I have one of these just sitting in my basement. It was mine when I was a kid (early 80's) and planned to set it up for my daughter, but just no time.

Never knew where it came from

I am very interested in getting one of these for my son. I had one as a child and of course my mom sold it as my brother and I outgrew it. Why, I don't know, she kept a lot of other things. If you are interested in selling yours I would be thrilled to buy it. My son is only 14 months old so even if you're not ready now, when you are please let me know. Thanks.
Amy

I have one and understand they go for a lot now. What would you offer? I have the replacement ladder.

I'm interested in buying this slide. What are you asking for it? Do you live near PA?

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