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Lincoln Logs are a classic American toy that have been around for just over 100 years. As you might expect, they have gone through a few formula changes over the years as well.
Since they have been around for many years some people might think that they are unsafe but is that true?
Nowadays, Lincoln Logs are considered safe for all children over the age of three. Vintage original Lincoln Logs, on the other hand, have a couple of possible hazards that are worth taking a look at such as the chemicals used and the possibility of wood chipping off into a child’s hand.
Modern Lincoln Logs have the protections and safety testing that is characteristic of most modern toys, but the original Lincoln Logs weren’t so rigorously tested or regulated.
So, although new Lincoln Logs are very safe there are some possible dangers associated with children playing with the older ones.
In this article I will go over exactly what the possible dangers of old Lincoln Logs are, and if they’re still worth having around in spite of them.
If you want to get new Lincoln Log sets you can find the most popular ones here.
What Are Old Lincoln Logs Made Of?
Lincoln Logs are truly a classic toy, and they’ve been around since 1916. The original Lincoln Log sets were made entirely of redwood trees. The original sets were actually made entirely of wood, with no plastic, and no accessories or other decorations.
Lincoln Logs almost went out of business when plastic Logs were trialed in the late 1970s. The plastic toys were an absolute flop, and by the end of the decade, the wooden Logs were brought back onto the market.
The brand immediately took off again and has been going strong ever since.
What Are Modern Lincoln Logs Made Of?
Lincoln Logs that are sold today are still made out of 100% wood, but they are no longer made out of pure redwood.
Modern Lincoln Logs are made of a wood composite base. They mostly contain pine and cedar, but also lighter woods to make them safer and also more affordable.
Several Lincoln Log sets also now include plastic accessories instead of wooden ones.
There are accessories that used to also be made of wood and can still be found in some vintage sets.
Part of the reason for the change in formula was the increase in manufacturing output. There are now about 30 million individual Lincoln Logs produced every year, and they are made in a factory in Maine.
Modern Lincoln Logs also have a few other additions that old Lincoln Logs don’t have.
Number one is that they are designed to be splinter safe. Basically, this means that if a young child is playing with them, they won’t get any painful splinters, even if they try to chew on the toys.
Modern Lincoln Logs are also painted with a nontoxic paint that is safe for children to be exposed too.
Are Old Lincoln Logs Safe?
Old Lincoln Logs are mostly considered safe, but there are some possible hazards that you should be aware of before letting children or pets near them.
The first danger with old Lincoln Logs is that they don’t have the anti-splinter coating that the modern sets are covered in. This means that if a baby or toddler got a hold of them, they could get splinters if they did something like try to chew on the toys or rub their hands on them a lot.
The second possible danger is much more ominous. Lead paint was not fully banned until the 1960s in America, and Lincoln Logs have been around for much longer than that.
While it is unlikely, there is a small chance that very old, painted Lincoln Logs can be contaminated with lead paint.
There have been a few scattered cases here and there in the news of lead paint in old Lincoln Logs. If you’re worried about lead paint in any old toys, you can get an at-home test for lead at just about any hardware store.
They can also be ordered online from sites like Amazon.
The other danger of old Lincoln Logs is that because they are made of redwood, they can be toxic to some pets.
Rabbits and hamster, for example, can have serious health complications if they eat woods like cedar or pine.
Are New Lincoln Logs Safe?
New Lincoln Logs are generally safer than the old ones, but they aren’t completely without danger.
It’s important to remember that Lincoln Logs are only recommended for children over the age of three. For anyone younger than that, they are considered a possible chocking hazard.
They are also unsafe to have around some pets. Dogs can choke on them, for example.
Other animals that can be harmed by Lincoln Logs include rabbits and hamsters. Cedar, pine, and many other types of wood are toxic to rabbits, hamsters, and other small animals, and this can cause serious health issues for them.
The exact wood content of Lincoln Logs is hard to find and can vary from batch to batch. As such, there is no guarantee that your Lincoln Logs, even if they are new, won’t contain a wood that is toxic to your pets.
So, while it may be tempting to build little houses for the critters, it’s better to use a wood that you can be sure is safe for them.
Where to Get Lincoln Logs
Whether you want to buy old or new Lincoln Logs, you have plenty of options on where to buy them from.
Here’s a short list of the places where good Lincoln Logs can be bought at.
The manufacturers of Lincoln Logs list quite a few national store chains and online retailers as licensed retailers for Lincoln Log products. These include Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, Amazon, and Michael’s Craft Store.
These stores are great places to find new Lincoln Logs, but not to find antique or vintage Lincoln Log sets.
Antique Stores, Collectors’ Malls, and Used Goods’ Websites
If you’re looking for old or second-hand Lincoln Logs, you’ll have to be a bit creative with your shopping.
Antique stores, shops that specialize in collectables, and online marketplaces like eBay are good places to look for used or vintage Lincoln Logs.
Lincoln Logs are a classic American toy that are sure to provide great fun for all ages.
If you have old Lincoln Logs, however, it’s important to be aware of potential dangers like lead paint and toxicity to animals.
If you’re worried about hazards in old Lincoln Logs, you can easily go shopping for new ones at major retailers or online.