BAYKO PRICES

The BAYKO prices in this article are from various sources. Many come from advertising material, but most come from the 'MECCANO Magazine', [MM] and generally I have taken date changes from there. Annoyingly, post MECCANO's take-over there are gaps between ad's so I've assumed that prices stayed the same until MM announced new ones.
 
The earliest information I have is from an advertising flier from 1934 or early 1935. It isn't dated, but refers to sets #1 - #5, so must pre-date set #6 launch in 1935.
 
Set Number
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
Prices from the flier
7/6
10/6
15/-
21/-
30/-
For the younger reader!
£0.375
£0.525
£0.75
£1.05
£1.50
 
Adverts in MM in the run up to Christmas in 1935, '36 and '37 all show the same prices as the above, but now include the "De-Luxe" Set #6.
 
Set Number
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
MM 1935 to '37
7/6
10/6
15/-
21/-
30/-
42/-
Decimal Equivalent
£0.375
£0.525
£0.75
£1.05
£1.50
£2.10
 
To today's eyes these look deliciously cheap but remember, with its 2 guinea price tag, an average weekly wage would just about buy #6 Set - before tax! We should be careful with such comparisons, but that equates to £300+ today - so stop whinging about today's prices!!!
 
Information on the prices of early conversion sets is limited, but a 'New Series' era flier, c. 1939, says that earlier conversion sets were still available at these prices.
 
Set Number
#1A
#2A
#3A
#4A
#5A
Prices from the 1939 flier
4/6
6/6
8/-
12/6
15/-
Decimal Equivalent
£0.225
£0.325
£0.40
£0.625
£0.75
 
The 'New Series' set prices have one strange anomaly. The mains set prices were higher than their predecessors, possibly related to the investment in new moulds for the substantially increased range of parts…
 
Set Number
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
Prices from the 1939 flier
7/6
11/6
16/6
23/6
33/-
48/-
Decimal Equivalent
£0.375
£0.575
£0.825
£1.175
£1.65
£2.40
 
…but if that is the case, why were new conversion sets cheaper than older ones?
 
Set Number
#1C
#2C
#3C
#4C
#5C
Prices from the 1939 flier
4/-
6/-
7/6
10/6
15/-
Decimal Equivalent
£0.20
£0.30
£0.375
£0.525
£0.75
 
If you've any more information on prices, particularly on the Ornamental Addition Sets and the Series 20 Sets, I'd love to hear from you. Unfortunately I don't so must move on.
 
Early post-war is another gap I'm afraid, which is a shame given the speed of changes going on at the time. However, I've recently learned that initial post-war plans were for Sets #0 - 5. This begs a question - would the extra set have been intermediate between sets #3 and #4 or an even better offering than a #4? It's perhaps not surprising changes occurred as the #3X [£3] set didn't arrive until August 1951. The #4 set [£5/18/6] was even later, in February '52. Given that C.B. Plimpton died in December 1949, did the new regime overturn his plans? That's just speculation - let's move on.
 
There are too many combinations to display post-war information in a table as I have for the pre-war prices, so I've used a graph. It means you won't see exact prices, but will get an clear perspective on how prices moved over the decades concerned.
 
Graph showing the published post-war set prices
 
You'll notice I've linked the Plimpton and MECCANO era sets [0&11, 1&12, etc.] under the same heading as there is an obvious correlation between the two.
 
To me there are several interesting things you can see at a glance : -
1.
Given we're looking at 15 years, it surprises me, an unreconstructed inflation junky, just how stable prices were - unchanged for 5 years in the mid '50's!
2.
After milking the early enthusiasm for set #4, Plimpton backed off to a more reasonable price - or was the original price was so high they had to reassess!
3.
1959 looks odd. The explanation is that in February '59 MM announced price increases of some 9%. In March they reverted to the earlier, lower prices, then in April and May ad's appeared, but without price lists! They then announced more modest rises, 4.5%, which saw them through to the take-over.
4.
There was a very visible, 25%+ price reduction after the take-over. Whatever else you may think of MECCANO, they got that right!
5.
When launched in '62, set #15 was 18% cheaper than the original #6 set, despite [or because of?] the lapse of 27 years.
 
Graph showing the published post-war BAYKO conversion set prices
 
I thought I'd finish off with a small table showing a few of the key individual BAYKO parts as their prices changed over the years.
 
Part Description
1939
1946
1953
1958
1963
Arch
-/6
-/9
-/11¼
-/10½
-/11
Bases
1/-
1/6
1/10½
1/9
2/-
Bricks
27 for 1/-
15 for 1/-
12 for 1/3
12 for 1/2
12 for 1/2
Canopies
-/2
-/3
-/3¾
-/3½
-/3½
Large Roof
2/6
3/6
4/4½
4/1
4/4
Rods - 3-Brick (for 12)
-/1½
-/3
-/3¾
-/3½
-/3½
 
There are a 2 points of interest here : -
1.
The prices in the early '50's are the highest over the 24 years covered.
2.
Ignoring 1953, the prices of extra parts rose steadily over the period yet set prices declined. Were sets becoming better value or were sales of extra parts growing in significance as a major profit stream?
 
Hope that wasn't too dry, at least it's stopped you moaning about the way BAYKO prices are increasing today!
 
Below here are links to related info : -
 
Click on any of the links below for related information.
 
 
   
 
   
     
 
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