BAYKO - MECCANO Era Summary

The primary purpose of this section is to provide a quick, chronological summary of the impact of MECCANO on the world 's first, and finest, plastic construction toy.
1959
MECCANO took over Plimpton in September or thereabouts…
1960
MECCANO completely retooled BAYKO. The process took many months and BAYKO almost disappeared from the shops over that period, indeed MECCANO MAGAZINE only heralded the rebirth in its September edition and also tells us that product didn't begin to reach the shops until November!
The range of parts from the Plimpton era which were dropped by MECCANO

The range of new BAYKO parts which were introduced by MECCANO in 1960
All of the more ornate and / or dated, Plimpton era components were summarily dropped - see the photo [left] for more details. This particularly impacted on the roofing parts, to such an extent that, apart from the Bay Window Cover, only the humble Canopy survived - though even that was retooled!
The range of 4 styles of Turret, which had been rather neglected through all but their earliest years, similarly died.
4 sizes of 4-piece roofing sets [2 pale beige Roof Ends and 2 light green 'tiled' surfaces] replaced the bulky, red, 1-piece range. This change yielded huge savings in both packaging and transport.
Windows - standard, Large and Curved - were restyled and produced in yellow, but there was no new version of either the Opening Window or the Side Windows.
The brick colour scheme was changed to an orange-red & beige.
Some bricks were moulded with central grooves [for Rods] on the reverse. Both modellers and environmentalists regard this as a positive move…
Mirroring the Plimpton era sets #0 to #3, BAYKO sets #11 to #14, were produced [following, sequentially after MECCANO's own sets #1 to #10.]
1962
In August, 1962, MECCANO launched a range of new BAYKO parts both separately and in set #15 [and #14c conversion set] : -
3 sizes of Pantile Roof [B to D].
The range of new BAYKO parts introduced by MECCANO in August, 1962
2 styles of Roof Ends, Boarded and Waney Edge, both available in 4 sizes.
A 3-piece Dormer Window set [matching the earlier MECCANO era Roof D]. The Window [4 Bricks long] could be used separately.
2 other window types - French Windows (opening) and a large Picture (or Shop) Window.
A strange piece called a Display Shelf
1963
Late in 1963 MECCANO began to retool bricks to the "Flanged" or "Minimalist" style : -
'Flanged Bricks'
These and other components returned to the red and white colour scheme.
Several other parts were retooled to the new style.
The decision to pull the plug on BAYKO must have been made during this retooling, as it was never completed.
Only the two smaller Roof Ends [A & B] were retooled; there are no known retooled examples of the two larger sizes [C & D].
Curved Bricks, Pillars, Arches and Garage Doors were also produced to match the "Flanged" parts.
1964
Lines Brothers took over the entire MECCANO operation.
The Plimpton Engineering Company Ltd., was formally dissolved on January, 1st, 1964
…so presumably full scale BAYKO production ceased in, or before January, 1964.
Or so I thought until I looked in more detail at a late, 'Flanged Brick' set #12, dated April 11th, 1964
There is also the fact that BAYKO was mentioned in the 1967 MECCANO general products price list and there is even a BAYKO spare parts list dated 1967! These strongly suggest that, while BAYKO died as a fully market-supported brand in 1964, it was 'milked', by Lines Brothers, for a further three years.
You might be interested to know that the managing director of the MECCANO Company resigned shortly after the 1964 dissolution of Plimpton Engineering so…
 
Never-the-less, BAYKO was still being listed in the MECCANO price list, dated July, 1966 - they even put up the price of the residual stock!
Unbelievably, they put the prices up again in the MECCANO price list dated January, 1967!!
For completeness, Lines Brothers, called in the official receivers in 1971, and its remaining constituent parts were sold off.
Export
BAYKO had been exported to at least 24 countries during the Plimpton era and I think we can safely assume this continued under MECCANO's management. Indeed, given their broader market base, it is highly probable that the list of export markets increased.
 
 
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