A few additions to the write-up above, based both on my own memories and from a website or two, regarding this awesome toy, the apparent love child
and Erector Set
- The first Construx set came out in 1983, which featured the gray beams mentioned above. This was followed by the "Space" series, in 1984, which featured white beams and blue panels. Perhaps coolest of all, however, was the introduction of the glow in the dark parts, such as wheels and antennae. Finally, this series also featured a cool variation on the tires, which came in a translucent, clear style. 1985 saw the introduction of both the "Motorized" and "Alien" series of construx, neither of which I had, strangely enough. The Alien series featured black beams and purple-tinted panels. Finally, in 1986, the "Military" series came out, with some pretty ugly green-brown beams, but with the way cool camouflage panels. All sets were in continued production until 1988. In 1989, there was talk about expanding the series, but this fizzled out, for some reason.
- For a short time, in 1986, one was also able to get some oddly coloured bits and pieces for his or her Construx collection, via regional promotion in McDonald's Happy Meals. However, as they came in primary colours, if I remember correctly, they didn't come close to matching anything else in one's set, and thus were usually left out, barring desparate measures.
- In addition to the cubic "knots" as listed above, there were also swivel knots that allowed one to create movable parts that swiveled up and down (or left and right) at about a 270 degree radius.
- One must stress the importance of the plates, or panels mentioned in the original writeup, as they were crucial to making one's creation seem less like a skeleton and more like the Real Life (tm); They also gave the illusion of a more robust vehicle. This was most important when one was trying to intimidate a playmate, during the inevitable demolition derby that ensued. :)
Much of the historical data cited with assistance from the Construx page at thisoldtoy.com