BAYKO in AUSTRALIA

I currently own several BAYKO documents from the Australian market...
...and I have been emailed many more images to enhance the site.
Most of the other documents on this page are courtesy of Graham Harmer - for which many thanks.
I have generally displayed the documents in chronological order, where known, which gives quite a good impression as to how BAYKO was presented to the Australian market over the post-war years.  Sadly I've no pre-war documentation, so can't comment on whether or not BAYKO was available in the 1930s.  If you know anything about the Australian BAYKO market, particularly the pre-war years, then I'd love to hear from you...
 
1948 or 1949 - Early Post-War Flier
Graham harmer's excellent Australian post-war BAYKO flier - exterior - 1948 or 1949
Graham harmer's excellent Australian post-war BAYKO flier - interior - 1948 or 1949
Exterior - Rear is upside down
Interior - Double page
There is a horizontal fold across the middle to create a 4-page format similar to ones produced in the UK.
However, this example, based on the early, diamond pattern Flat Roofs yet with information on BAYKO set #3, must be dated around 1948 or 1949, and predates any UK examples I have seen.
The lack of information about BAYKO sets #3X or #4 further supports that date.
This document is shown here thanks to Graham Harmer.
 
March, 1949 - Plimpton Era Price List

Front page of March, 1949 Australian price list - parts

Rear page of March, 1949 Australian price list - sets and supplementary parts

Rear
Front
The above document is basically a straight copy of the domestic documentation of the same date with prices in Australian £/s/d and, of course, the address of the importer.
The most interesting aspect of this BAYKO Spare Parts Price List is what is not there! The list of 'Supplementary Parts' here [above, right] is significantly shorter than the one for the following year [below, right].
Side Bricks and Windows; Gates and Matching Balustrades; Opening Windows and Small Chimneys are all conspicuous by their absence.
This is in line with the U.K. introduction timetable, where the Side Bricks and Windows were introduced in 1949 and the other three items in 1950.
This leaflet is shown courtesy of Simon Oliver.
 
1950 - Plimpton Era Price List

Front page of 1950 Australian price list - parts

Rear page of 1950 Australian price list - sets and supplementary parts

Rear
Front
The above document is basically a straight copy of the domestic documentation of the same date with prices in Australian £/s/d and, of course, the address of the importer.
A key detail of this BAYKO Spare Parts Price List is the new additions. The list of 'Supplementary Parts' [above, right] here is significantly longer than the one for the previous year [further above, right].
Side Bricks and Windows; Gates and Matching Balustrades; Opening Windows and Small Chimneys make their Australian bow.
This timing is very much in line with the U.K. introduction timetable, where the Side Bricks and Windows were introduced in 1949 and the other three items in 1950.
This leaflet is shown courtesy of Graham Harmer.
 
1951 - Plimpton Era Price List

Front page of 1951 Australian price list - parts

Rear page of 1951 Australian price list - sets and supplementary parts

Rear
Front
The above document is, again, basically a straight copy of the domestic documentation of similar dates with prices in Australian £/s/d and, of course, the address of the importer, which now sits on its own at the bottom of the 'Supplementary Parts' List [above, right].
The first thing to notice here, compared with the previous leaflet is that both conversion set #3X and set #4 have been introduced. The latter was not actually launched in the U.K. until early in 1952, which suggests that the government pressure for maximum focus on export markets had an impact in this regard.
The second interesting detail is more mundane - set prices have gone up!
Yet again this is shown courtesy of Graham Harmer.
 
1952 - Plimpton Era Price List

Front page of 1952 Australian price list - parts and sets

Rear page of 1952 Australian price list - parts

Front
Rear
The original of the above document has seen better days, but I think it has tidied up pretty well.
While this may be a copy of a domestic document, if it is, I've never seen it...
...the layout is unusual, compared to other price lists, in that the parts list is a single list rather than separate standard and supplementary lists.
It is also an unusual size, being significantly longer that other price lists of the same period.
Perhaps this was all to hide the significant price increases!
It too is shown courtesy of Graham Harmer.
Size - 152 mm x 281 mm = 6.0 x 11.1 inches
 
HOBBYCO - Catalogue Flier from the Australian Importer
Front Cover
Page 6
Front cover of the HOBBYCO 1951 Catalogue flier for the Australian market
Page 6 of the HOBBYCO 1951 Catalogue flier for the Australian market, including BAYKO entry
This is a beautiful little 16-page catalogue-cum-flier produced by HOBBYCO for their Australian market.
The world's first and finest plastic construction toy features on page 6 [right, above], alongside BRICKPLAYER and part of the MECCANO range.
Click on either of the images above to reveal a larger image of the BAYKO entry, which is worth looking at for 2 reasons : -
Firstly there is clear reference to the availability of a "full range" of BAYKO spare parts - indeed a spare parts list is to be included "with each set".
Secondly, set #4 is clearly listed in all its glory, though it didn't appear in the U.K. market until the following year. Is this a further example of the export lead industrial strategy of the day, or is it the cock-up theory rearing its ugly head again? Perhaps some form of production problems shot holes in this pre-printed timetable. We're unlikely ever to know - but we can speculate!
If you know the answer to this one, or just want to express an opinion, then I'd love to hear from you...
Size - 131 mm x 217 mm = 5.2 x 8.1 inches
 
HOBBYCO - BAYKO Flier from the Australian Importer
Front Cover
Rear Cover
Front cover of the HOBBYCO Bayko flier for the Australian market
Rear cover of the HOBBYCO Bayko flier for the Australian market
Double page interior of the HOBBYCO Bayko flier for the Australian market
Interior Left
Interior Right
I'm afraid this flier isn't dated, but the inclusion of BAYKO set #4 means it is 1952 at the earliest, and, of course, 1959 at the latest!
The layout of the flier is simple enough, a simple vertical fold produces 4 pages.
It's slightly odd that they chose not to reproduce the standard blue box colour on the flier, even though they used blue ink elsewhere on the document...
...but what an excellent document!
Grateful thanks to Graham Harmer for the images shown here.
278 x 204 mm = 10.9 x 8.0 inches
 
LITTLE FOLKS Children's Wear & Toy Shops - Toy Catalogue
Side 1 of the Australian Little Folks Children's Wear & Toy Shops toy catalogue
Side 2 of the Australian Little Folks Children's Wear & Toy Shops toy catalogue
I'm afraid this mini catalogue isn't dated, but the inclusion of BAYKO set #4 means it is 1952 at the earliest, and, of course, 1959 at the latest!
It's printed on extremely flimsy newsprint, which, sadly, has seen better days, in fact it took me two full days to get the images shown in this section ready for display.
The classified ad. sized BAYKO entry can be seen at the bottom left hand corner of side 1 [above] - slide your mouse over the image to highlight it.
To see a more detailed image of the BAYKO section, click on either of the images above.
Folding this single-sheet, twelve-column catalogue is interesting, and tricky to explain, so I've created a brief animation to show how it's done [right]. I've highlighted the BAYKO section to show where it fits in the catalogue.
Animation showing the folding of the Little Folks Catalogue
The script of the BAYKO section reads as follows : -
BAYKO BUILDING SETS from 29/6
Dozens of models with detailed instructions for assembly are shown in the coloured booklet supplied with every set. No. 0 set, 29/9; posted 2/- extra. No. 1 set, 47/6; posted 3/- extra. No. 2 set, 73/9; posted 4/- extra. No. 3 set, £5/19/6; posted 5/6 extra. No. 4 set, £11/9/6; posted 7/6 extra.
I find the graduated postage charges interesting.
Size - 102 mm x 241 mm = 4 inches x 9.5 inches
 
1950s Australian Quality Inspection Slip
1950s Australian BAYKO Quality Inspection Slip
This is the Australian market equivalent of the standard domestic quality Inspection Slip.
Apart from the address, the layout, font, etc, are identical to those used for the domestic market Inspection Slips.
This suggests, indeed in my opinion it confirms, that the inspection process for export product was carried out in the U.K.
Common sense supports this...
...after all, there would have been comparatively little BAYKO expertise in the receiving market, not to mention the logistical issues associated with opening and resealing each set in the receiving market...
...if you remember, most sets were dispatched in a protective brown paper sleeve.
 
This slip is shown courtesy of Angus Jones.
 
1955 - 1956 Oswald-Sealy WHOLESALE Catalogue Price List
Oswald-Sealy wholesale catalogue and price list centre page - leftOswald-Sealy wholesale catalogue and price list centre page - right
Front cover of the Oswald-Sealy wholesale catalogue and price list, Australia 1955-56
Here we have the card front cover [left] of the Oswald-Sealy "Wholesale Catalogue Price List", 1955-56, together with the double page, centre spread [above], printed in standard black and white, on semi gloss paper.
Oswald-Sealy were the BAYKO importers for both Australia and New Zealand...
Firstly, I must emphasise that this is Oswald-Sealy's "Wholesale Catalogue Price List", as distinct from the retail documentation elsewhere in this Australian section. This should be born in mind when making any comparisons with other Australian documentation.
I find it particularly gratifying to see the world's first and finest plastic construction toy in the prime position of the double page centre fold!!!
Whether this prime positioning was purely a matter of chance, [which I doubt] or whether it was related, at least in some part, to BAYKO's status or market position as regards the Australian toy market [more likely], I have no means of knowing for certain. However, it must undoubtedly have helped to encourage new retailers into the BAYKO fold.
Whatever our opinion, remote in both time and geography as we are, we have to concede that the Australian BAYKO market was a success - just look at eBay Australia today.
The content of the two pages is exactly what you would expect, however, there is one particularly interesting detail. The last four words, just above the Signal Box model, are - "Delivery Approximately 4 Months".
To me, this tells us all we need to know about Oswald-Sealy's ordering system. There are inherent infrastructure problems in Australia, or at least there were in the 1950s, but nowhere near intensive enough to cause delays on the four month scale. This extended time lag must have included the impact of shipping from the U.K...
...Oswald-Sealy must simply have been a conduit for BAYKO supply, and held no stock.
This would be highly undesirable, if not actually unacceptable, in the U.K. market, but must have been the norm, at the time, in Australia for the extensive range of imported goods, not just toys.
140 mm x 215 mm = 5.5 x 8.5 inches
 
1961 - MECCANO Australian BAYKO Era Flier
Outside - Front
Outside - Rear
1961 Australian MECCANO era BAYKO flier - front cover
1961 Australian MECCANO era BAYKO flier - back cover
1961 Australian MECCANO era BAYKO flier - inside pages
Inside
The above document, which is printer's coded July, 1961, exactly like its more familiar UK counterpart is very much an advocate of the play value of completed BAYKO models.
There is actually one significant difference between the UK and Australian versions,and that occurs as part of the script on the left hand page of the interior of the Australian version. There is a whole paragraph which has "disappeared" : -
"Spare parts can be bought separately (in any quantity) so there is practically no limit to the sizes of the models that can be built."
To make such a change deliberately must surely indicate differing marketing strategies in the two markets, strongly suggesting that, at least at the time that these fliers went to press, MECCANO did not have a spare parts sales operation in Australia. Do you know differently? If so I'd love to hear from you...
There are actually two artwork errors on this flier, involving the two bungalow models shown...
149 mm x 229 mm = 5.9 x 9 inches
 
February, 1961 - MECCANO 8-Page General Products Price List
The first thing to notice about this document is that it was printed in at least two separate batches.  The images [alternating, right] of the two versions, that I have found so far, seem to differ only in the colour of the paper.
This document takes the form of a single sheet, folded twice, to create a simple, 8-page booklet.
This a relatively standard format for MECCANO general products price lists, which were used throughout the world and for several years.
In this particular case we see the Australian version, date coded February, 1961.

The prices are all shown in Australian £/s/d - Australia has long since moved to dollars.

I particularly like the comment, immediately beneath the word BAYKO - "THE FAMOUS PLASTIC CONSTRUCTION TOY". Thanks to eagle-eyed Robin Throp for noticing this.
We also get a pretty strong signal that this form is closely linked to the relaunch of BAYKO, in Australia, under the MECCANO banner with the comments "NEW PARTS - NEW PACK - NEW MODELS".
If you click anywhere on the image you will be able to read a much larger version of the BAYKO sections, which are located at the bottom of the front pages.
Australian MECANO general products price list, February, 1961
107 mm x 216 mm = 4.2 x 8.5 inches
 
1961 Walther & Stevenson's Catalogue
Walther and Stevenson general product list with BAYKO on the front page
This document [left], a catalogue, probably dating from 1961, or possibly a year either side, is a single sheet folded twice to produce six pages, each with two columns of print.
Walther & Stevenson, with shops in Sydney and Chatswood, have listed what looks to me like the entire range of MECCANO products and the TRIANG Model Railways range together with a range of paddling pools and associated toys by DRICLAD.
In the image [right] is the front page of the catalogue, with BAYKO extremely well placed at the bottom of the left hand column.
Sets #11 to #14 and the conversion sets #11C to #13C are included, which dates the leaflet before August, 1962.
For the record, I understand that Walther & Stevenson closed their doors sometime in the 1970s.
166 mm x 227 mm = 6.5 x 8.9 inches
 
1961 - 1962 MECCANO Era Typed Spare Parts Price List
This simple MECCANO era BAYKO document [right] could have been typed by anybody, however...
...there are other known examples of similarly typed MECCANO era BAYKO documentation, authenticated by the Museum of Liverpool Life, so I have no difficulty in accepting that this is genuine, and am very grateful to Graham Harmer for the image.
To see the typed documents I'm referring to...
The heading of the document proclaims its validity for the "Season 1961-1962", and there is a reference code which suggests it was printed on May 3rd, 1961.

The prices are all shown in Australian £/s/d - Australia has long since moved to dollars.

An interesting piece of trivia is that the left hand column, which would have been referred to as the Part Number in traditional BAYKO circles, is here referred to as the "SALES No.".
Over the years my skill in tidying up images has improved considerably, never-the-less, the image of this much used sheet took over three hours work...
...but I think it has come up quite well.
Australian Typed MECANO BAYKO Spare Parts price list,  1961/19622
216 mm x 343 mm = 8.5 x 13.5 inches
 
February, 1962 - MECCANO 8-Page General Products Price List
Australian MECANO general products price list, February, 1962
This document [left] takes the form of two sheets, folded, and stapled to create a simple, 8-page booklet.
This a relatively standard format for MECCANO general products price lists, which were used throughout the world and for several years.
In particular case we see the Australian version, date coded February, 1962.

The prices are all shown in Australian £/s/d - Australia has long since moved to dollars.

The same comment as above, immediately beneath the word BAYKO appears again - "THE FAMOUS PLASTIC CONSTRUCTION TOY".
It is, again, interesting to note that set #14C and set #15 are included, a full six months ahead of the published U.K. launch.
If you click anywhere on the image you will be able to read a much larger version of the BAYKO section, which is again located at the foot of the front page.
139 mm x 212 mm = 4.2 x 8.3 inches
 
1962 - 2 Different MECCANO Era Fliers
1962 Australian general BAYKO flier
1962 Australian BAYKO flier with Australian price information
These 2 1962 MECCANO era BAYKO fliers are straight copies of the U.K. equivalents...
...the one on the left bears the legend "Australia, 1962" [top right]...
...the one on the right has its prices in Australian £/s/d.
These are again shown courtesy of Graham Harmer.
 
1963 - BAYKO in the MECCANO Catalogue
Front Cover of the Australian version of the 1963 MECCANO Catalogue
BAYKO Prices in the Australian version of the 1963 MECCANO Catalogue
Left hand BAYKO Page from the Australian version of the 1963 MECCANO Catalogue
Right hand BAYKO Page from the Australian version of the 1963 MECCANO Catalogue
This is a direct copy of the standard UK equivalent...
...with Australia instead of UK on the front cover...
...and an Australian price list in Australian £/s/d.
161 x 106 mm = 5.9 x 4.2 inches
 
March, 1963 - MECCANO 4-Page General Products Price List
This document [right] reverts to the simpler form of a single sheet, folded, to create a simple, 4-page booklet.
This a relatively standard format for MECCANO general products price lists, which were used throughout the world and for several years.
In particular case we see the Australian version, date coded March, 1963.

The prices are all shown in Australian £/s/d - Australia has long since moved to dollars.

If you click anywhere on the image you will be able to read a much larger version of the BAYKO section, which is located just below centre of the front page.
Australian MECANO general products price list, March, 1963
139 mm x 291 mm = 5.5 x 11.5 inches
 
1964 - MECCANO Era Price List
1964 MECCANO catalogue, front cover
1964 MECCANO catalogue, BAYKO page
1964 MECCANO catalogue, price list
As can clearly be seen from the front cover [top left], BAYKO, just as in the UK, was only part of the contents of the broader MECCANO product range in Australia.
The BAYKO page [top right] is typical of MECCANO era literature.
The price list [left] shows the prices of sets and conversion sets in Australian £/s/d.

It's worth remembering that BAYKO had already been removed from the UK market, or at least from most sales literature, when this catalogue was published!!!

This was the first Australian market document that I acquired...
...though this is also shown courtesy of Graham Harmer.
219 x 170 mm = 8.65 x 6.7 inches
 
May, 1964 - MECCANO 4-Page General Products Price List
This document [right] again takes the form of a single sheet, folded, to create a simple, 4-page booklet.
This a relatively standard format for MECCANO general products price lists, which were used throughout the world and for several years.
In particular case we see the Australian version, date coded May, 1964.

The prices are all shown in Australian £/s/d - Australia has long since moved to dollars.

If you click anywhere on the image you will be able to read a much larger version of the BAYKO section, which is located plum centre of the front page.
Australian MECANO general products price list, May, 1964
139 mm x 291 mm = 5.5 x 11.5 inches
 
1965 - MECCANO 4-Page General Products Price List
Australian MECANO general products price list, 1965
This document [left] yet again takes the form of a single sheet, folded, to create a simple, 4-page booklet.
This a relatively standard format for MECCANO general products price lists, which were used throughout the world and for several years.
In particular case we see the Australian version, dated 1965.
It is, perhaps, worth remembering that, although still operating as a separate company, by this date MECCANO was part of the Lines Brothers Group.

The prices are all shown in Australian £/s/d - Australia has long since moved to dollars.

If you click anywhere on the image you will be able to read a much larger version of the BAYKO section, which is located just below centre of the front page.
146 mm x 281 mm = 5.75 x 11.1 inches
 
June, 1966 - MECCANO 4-Page General Products Price List
Front
Page 3 - including BAYKO
June, 1966 Australian MECCANO General Products Price List - front cover
June, 1966 Australian MECCANO General Products Price List - Page 3, including BAYKO
The above document, which is dated June, 1966, is another in the standard MECCANO 4-page general products price list series, however, by this time BAYKO has been relegated to page 3, towards the bottom of the right hand column [above, right].
The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted that this document follows shortly after Australian decimalization, Valentines Day, 1966, and is the only document I have where the BAYKO is priced in Australian dollars.
A final interesting detail is that this document was printed by...
..."The Harbour" Press, Sydney...
...to date, it is the only BAYKO document I've seen which was printed outside the UK.

146 mm x 284 mm = 5.75 x 11.2 inches

 
February, 1967 - MECCANO 4-Page General Products Price List
"The case of the BAYKO that didn't bark in the night", as Sherlock Holmes, or, more correctly, Doctor John Watson, is unlikely to have said.
If you wonder what on earth I'm talking about, it's simple...
...there's no mention of BAYKO in this Australian, MECCANO General Products Price List...
...and that gives us some useful information.
The document [right] is clearly dated February, 1967, which, when taken in conjunction with the June, 1966 version above, points clearly to the date when BAYKO was no longer available - for export at least.  I suggest that 1966 year end was probably the most likely date, though, of course, I cannot provide specific proof of that.
This fits in with the presumed strategy of letting BAYKO die, while milking it, though it was still included in the U.K. equivalent 1967 document.
A final interesting detail is that this document was again printed by "The Harbour" Press, Sydney".
June, 1966 Australian MECCANO General Products Price List - Page 3, including BAYKO
146 mm x 282 mm = 5.75 x 11.1 inches
 
That's it, I'm afraid - I'd always like to be able to show more - but I think that gives a substantial look at the BAYKO market in Australia.  If you have any more information or documentation on BAYKO in Australia, then I'd love to hear from you...
 
As a final comment, in common with most other companies, Plimpton had to take steps to protect their product and their market position, from a legal perspective, as best they could...
 
Below here are links to related info : -
 
The following 25+ other countries are known to have been export markets for BAYKO : -
   
   
Click on highlighted country names above for more info.
 
Click on any of the links below for related information.
 
     
 
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