BAYKO Display Units and Shelves

There are actually no less than three separate categories in this section. Click on either of the MECCANO era links immediately below if you want to jump directly to them, otherwise, please read on : -
Display Shelves
In summer 1996, in sunny Southend, I bought several different BAYKO sets [of both the Plimpton and MECCANO eras] and, to me, more importantly, the cardboard shelving unit shown here. [left, below]
Cardboard display shelves
The gentleman I bought it from assured me that, the man he had bought it off assured him, that it was definitely for BAYKO - if you see what I mean! Sadly I have yet to find a printed reference.
He had also been told that the complete shelving unit should be topped by a matching 'headboard' bearing the BAYKO logo. Sadly, of that there was no sign.
It certainly came with several, presumably contemporary, 1950s era mint sets.
The only other corroborative evidence is that the colour of the Display Shelves is certainly similar to that of BAYKO sets.
The all cardboard format is hardly robust, so I suspect that these shelving units were primarily for show, rather that for storage of lots of sets.
I'd like to know how it was used, so if you've any information - even better, a photo? - then I'd love to hear from you.
This unit has survived all this time so perhaps a matching 'headboard' has too - if you know of one then again I'd love to hear from you.
After the MECCANO takeover, I understand that some BAYKO display shelves, built entirely of MECCANO parts, was available, but I have nothing to show you I'm afraid - this is no longer true - read on!!!
If you've got any further information on these shelf units, or even have the matching "headboard"…
Sets Display Units
Either by accident [cock-up theory again] or design [because they would otherwise have had to be too large] these BAYKO Set Display Units excluded set #15, even though it's planned launched just a few months ahead. I suspect this was for necessity, rather than being another example of Mr MECCANO's disjointed thinking.
However, whatever the truth of this, I certainly do know that MECCANO produced some BAYKO Set Display Units which they announced to their retailers, in no less than three stages, in no less than three distinct forms : -
Front of the MECCANO Trade Letter, January, 1962
If you look at the image [left - 1/62] you'll see Mr MECCANO's early thoughts, specifically that the dispenser was to be made of "MECCANO strips" [this is the only known image]. The design was probably changed when it proved unstable under the weight! Click anywhere on the image for a larger image of the Display Unit.
 
The swift arrival of the document [right - 4/62] dated just three months later, may well be indicative of just how unstable the "MECCANO strips" version was - who said that 'health and safety' was a recent concept‽
MECCANO trade bulletin from April, 1962 showing the BAYKO set dispenser PS 23987
 
The script [left] is - "Constructed in MECCANO strips, this Stand is most attractive when dressed with Outfits. For use in window or on sales floor."
 
They're initially offered to retailers at "£7.15.0, (including tax) Carriage Paid". [£7.75]
 
The script [right - PS 23987] is - "new and excitingly attractive Bayko Dispenser and Display Unit" holds "approximately 50" sets, which, requiring a substantial investment, may have restricted the take up to larger toy shops and department stores.
 
As can easily be seen in the various images, this display unit is made from coated wire, and was finished in "scratch-proof silver".
Plastic covered wire MECCANO era  BAYKO Sets Display Unit - empty
 
Thanks to its design, with slightly splayed legs, and the smaller, lighter sets at the top and larger, heavier sets at the bottom, this style should have been reasonably stable.
Plastic covered wire MECCANO era  BAYKO Sets Display Unit - full
 
The price had now changed to "only £5, plus packing and carriage".
 
The final version of the MECCANO era BAYKO Set Display Stand is shown in the two images [left & right]. I say final, but, in reality, these photos are undated, however, as this time they are made from plastic covered wire, which is a cheaper material, I have assumed this to be the later of the two wire based versions.
 
Interestingly, these units were still being offered for sale in 1963, but the price had gone up to the princely sum of "£5/15/-, plus packing and carriage" [£5.75]. This price increase is, I believe, a further indication that this was, indeed, the final version of the MECCANO era BAYKO Sets Display Unit.
 
Here you get the opportunity to see images of both 'naked' and fully dressed units, making any further description unnecessary.
Although their purchase wasn't compulsory [sadly], given that BAYKO was on sale in comfortably over 3,000 outlets, and all three versions are quite attractive, it's a shame that not a single example, of any style, has survived to the present day…
All three styles were topped by a bright, attractive 'Headboard', four sided in the case of the "MECCANO strip" version, otherwise [probably] two sided - I say probably, because, obviously, I can't actually see the reverse side! If you look at the set layout, you'll see that the 'vertical' sets made the display double sided. To me this makes a double sided 'Headboard' the more likely option.
Clearly these BAYKO Set Display Units were aimed at the impulse buyers - otherwise conversion sets would surely have been included.
There are small differences in the physical dimensions of the three styles of Display Units, which were : -
68½ x 21 x 21 inches

◄== Dimensions of the original, MECCANO strip design. ==►

1,740 x 533 x 533mm
65 x 28 x 28 inches
◄== Dimensions of the second, silver covered wire design. ==►
1,651 x 711 x 711mm
67 x 21 x 21 inches
◄== Dimensions of the latest, plastic covered wire design. ==►
1727 x 533 x 533mm
I don't feel comfortable with the significant difference in footprint of the two wire versions [28 x 28 inches c.f. 21 x 21 inches], but that's what the literature says. My instinct tells me that 28 inches is correct, for both, it certainly strikes me as being more logical - and more stable!
Straight out of left field, but I can't help but ponder the health and safety implications of the splayed out legs of the two wire versions. They obviously improve stability, however, they are clearly much more 'trip-over-able' - a word which itself has health and safety and grammatical implications!
Spare Parts Display Units
This topic is discussed fully elsewhere…
That's all the information I have on BAYKO Display Shelves / Units…
 
Below here are links to related info : -
 
Click on any of the links below for related information.
 
 
 
 
 
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