Street Use

Uganda Wire-Truck Toy

I really like this toy truck made by a kid in Uganda. It’s a wonderful design. Note the steering wheel that also serves as a push stick. I like the airy wire cage — a cool way to make a big truck with little material. Less is more, as Buckminster Fuller would say. This picture was taken by Bob Jones, a high school teacher in England who was on a learning trip to Uganda. The trip was, he says, “an investigatory project exploring the ideas of Citizenship and development in Uganda.”

Uganda Toy

Posted on October 11, 2006 at 1:50 am | comments

  • I used to see a lot of those in Lesotho and Swaziland, too, and at first I was quite impressed by their ingenuity…turns out for all their shoestring/junkyard appeal, they’re actually made from kits the schools provide, so you’ll see perfectly identical little toy wire trucks EVERYWHERE.

    The kids I knew, worked with, played with and hung out with in those SubSaharan places do show marvelous ingenuity in improvising toys, tools, musical instruments etc. from time to time, especially when it comes to improvising soccer-ball surrogates…but in general I tended to find a strong cultural bias against innovation and invention. If a state-sponsored class teaches how to make a certain type of table, that will often become the ONLY kind of table a person can buy in town, or in the next town over, etc. for quite some time.

  • Lauriekl

    There is a Sesame Street segment where Grover goes somewhere in Africa, and a bunch of kids are playing with their wire trucks and cars. It looked like each one was different – I didn’t realize they came from a kit. I love the idea of a little truck being steered from a steering wheel on a pole.