All images from Amazon
Bristle blocks: Our preschool has these, and they were Eli's favorite toy. He and some of the other boys liked them so much that the teachers were unable to move them out of the toy shelf rotation--the boys got too upset. At our parent teacher conference his first year, his teacher said, "Do you have a set of these at home?" Me: "Uh, no." Teacher, who has never recommended we get a specific toy for any of our children before or since: "I REALLY think you should get a set."
So, I looked online and couldn't find a set for less than $30, which... really? Then, that summer a friend of mine found a set in mint condition at a yard sale--for TWO DOLLARS. A set complete with a family and a dog.
I see a variety of choices on Amazon for way less than $30, but you might luck out at a yard sale, too. All of our kids play with these--even the baby can get them to stick together on his own. I think this will be a toy I always keep for visiting children and grandchildren.
YOO HOO! Igloo Books!!! I really, REALLY like your stuff! Hurry up and export some more to the United States, please!