December 1, 2009

Behold, Then Bid! The Edcom Systems E001 Hexagonal Cognition Crib


It's always the same: you think you're gonna have Crazy Stroller Week, and then suddenly an Absolutely Insane Crib crosses your path.

Hold your horses and clear your loading dock, because an Edcom E001 Hexagonal Cognition Crib is for sale on eBay. Right. Now. The who, hexa-what? you say?



After finally leaving Creative Playthings, the company he co-founded, then sold to CBS, children's development and toy pioneer Frank Caplan created Edcom Systems. Edcom's mission was nothing less than childhood educational revolution; they designed cribs, playpens, and play tables intended to stimulate children's intellects and imaginations by capturing "the learning potential at the crib level" and at every other possible opportunity.


The flagship for their first collection, launched in 1971, was the E001, the Hexagonal Cognition Crib. It was actually a multi-tier, modular play system. Made of rugged structural plastic with plexiglass panels, the $325 base crib could be configured in several ways, and augmented with snap-on toys, including an interactive audio system [i.e., a sound response-activated tape recorder]. The roof, as you can see, was kaleidoscopic plexiglass. The only flaw is that it does not spin.

It was sold in finer department stores and through the Creative Playthings catalogue. I stumbled across the Hexagonal Cognition Crib in a bemused 1971 article from the New York Times. I've never seen or heard of one in real life until now. John, who is selling this pristine example of the E001, says it belonged to his wife as a child, and that it was in use from 1978 until 1982, then it was stored away, neat and complete, paperwork, screws, screwdrivers, and all.

If you're looking for this kind of thing, this is definitely the kind of thing you're looking for. There are less than two days left on the auction. If you're not near Binghamton, you'll have to factor in about $100 for shipping, a small price to get your hands on an extremely rare, hexagonally cognitive piece of children's design history.

1978 CREATIVE PLAYTHINGS HEXAGONAL CONGNITION CRIB RARE, opening bid $10, plus shipping or pickup, auction ends Dec. 4 [ebay via dt reader m.e.]
Previously/Related? The Popular Science Dodecahedral Meditator playhouse, c. 1970


It looks like a giant religious slap-chop, but I'm digging it!

I was born in the mid 70's. I really hope I didn't spend too much time in that as a child.

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