BAYKO in India

I currently now have four BAYKO related documents from the Indian market...
...and an email from John Sanders, an antique toy dealer from Canada, has also provided some useful information.
John bought up quite a bit of material from the former toy store, of 100 years standing, Bepin Behary Dass & Grandson in Calcutta, or, more accurately these days, Kolkata. This included a cardboard retail cabinet and a pile of BAYKO literature, so we can be absolutely certain that BAYKO was sold in India.
Their business address was : -
Bepin Behary Dass and Grandson,
63 F & G,
P.O. Box No. 2467,
Sadly, despite a thorough search, I have been unable to find any images of this venerable old business...
I am very grateful to Tomek Morawski who has responded to the request above...
...he kindly sent me the photos shown immediately below - many thanks Tomek.
These two photos were kindly sent, in response to my appeal, by Tomek Morawski.
Tomek Morawski's friend with his excellent wooden tank
A Framed copy of a Bepin Behary Dass window sticker
The first photo [left, above] shows Tomek's friend, who visited Bepin Behary Dass in 1995, where, I assume, he bought the excellent wooden model tank that he is holding.
The second photo [right, above] is a framed example of what looks, to me, like a window sticker or other advert for Bepin Behary Dass, which Tomek's friend must have bought home.
However, thanks to John Sanders, I now own a couple of their catalogues which are set out immediately below.
The two images [below] are of different catalogues from Bepin Behary Dass and Grandson.
According to the more complete of them, these were "Wholesale Price Lists", so it is self evident that B.B.D.&G. were acting as import agents for a substantial range of toys, including BAYKO.
Bepin Behary Das and Grandson undated wholesale catalogue
This [left] is page 8 of the larger of the two catalogues. It has the BAYKO offering right at the top of the left hand column - click anywhere on the image to see a larger version of the BAYKO entry.
Firstly, you will have noticed just how much damage time has done to this catalogue - i.e. the ragged edges.
Secondly, the prices are quote in Indian Rupees.  I've not been able to get a more accurate exchange rate, but I estimate it to be of the order of 7p to 8p, [1s 5d to 1s 7d].
n.b. - there were 16 Annas to every Rupee.
Although the document is undated, the inclusion of set #4 puts it at 1952 or later, but I can't be any more specific than that.
The sets are offered at the quoted prices [suggested retail prices?] "Less 20% discount", but this only offers the retailer a 25% mark up - not realistic - so I don't understand why they're quoted this way.
The table below shows both the quoted and discounted prices : -
Listed Price
Discounted Price
140 x 223 mm = 5.5 x 8.75 inches
This document [right] is much better preserved than the larger version, though still delicate.
In size terms, it is roughly like a taller A5, and, as such, is quite a bit smaller than the other catalogue.
Like its larger counterpart, the catalogue has a 'home made' feel to it, with the internal pages appearing to be typed rather than type-set, but only the printer - Basanta Art Press, 22 Sukea's Lane, (Radhabazar), Calcutta-1 - will know the truth of that.
The BAYKO entry [right], which is towards the bottom of page 14 of the catalogue, was difficult to scan without damaging the catalogue staples, hence the image is a slightly lower quality than usual.
For once, in the retail game, this catalogue is clearly marked, on the front cover [below, right], as dating from 1953.
There are two key differences from the BAYKO entry in the larger counterpart.
Firstly, the price of set #4 [see table below] has been dropped by two rupees.  Sadly, there was no corresponding single price change in the U.K. market, so I've not been able to use that information to date the larger catalogue.
Secondly, and much more interestingly, it carries the legend, "Spare parts available", beneath it. 
To me this would certainly seem to be indicative of a fairly comprehensive BAYKO service on the sub-continent, and that the Indian business must have been a reasonable size - or certainly that bit operated by B.B.D.&G.
I also know for certain that they had a BAYKO Retail Cabinet...
...although, perhaps I shouldn't get too excited, after all, there is no mention of BAYKO conversion sets...
...though, again, the same applied to MECCANO, and for them, there's no mention of spare parts!
The rupee prices are set out below : -
Listed Price
Discounted Price
Bepin Behary Dass and Grandson's 1953 wholesale price list
Bepin Behary Dass and Grangson 1953 wholesale catalogue, front cover
I thought I would include an additional image [left] of the front cover of the smaller B.B.D.&G. catalogue.
I have no idea how typical of Indian catalogues of the period this one is, but there is certainly, to me at least, something quite evocative about it...
... isn't the rocking horse superb?
The beige colour of the paper is pretty well the original - although slightly stained - and it has not been foxed or faded to any great extent.
If you click anywhere on the image of the front cover, you will see a larger version of the image.
Finally, I can't help but wonder how the "and Grandson" is getting on!
310 x 206 mm
8.1 x 12.25 inches
The remaining Indian market related documentation I have received from John Sanders takes the form of a letter to Bepin Behary Dass and Grandson from Plimpton, together with a single export Flier inclusion. The letter, in particular, links into several other areas, that, rather than 'hide' it here, I have created a separate page for it, with links from the various relevant sections, including this one.
The breadth of the impact of the letter alone, or rather of its contents, is sufficient to justify this approach anyway - in my opinion.
Envelope for the Bepin Behary Das 1956 Letter
The envelope itself [right] contains some interesting information...
...did you know there was such a thing as "Second Class Air-Mail"...
...apparently there was in January, 1956.
If you move your mouse over the image of the envelope you will see an unexpected Indian Post Office franking on the rear, which indicates that the letter took just a week to arrive.
If you click anywhere on the envelope image you can see larger images of both the front and rear, so that you will be able to see the two frankings more clearly.
So now lets move on to the contents of the envelope : -
Top folded BAYKO flier 1956 - outside
As an inclusion in the B.B.D.&G. envelope, there was a single copy of a BAYKO General Export Flier [left and right], of a style which previously had been unknown to me until early 2015...
Top folded BAYKO flier 1956 - inside
...BAYKO's answer to the 'wait ages for a bus...' cliche, perhaps!!!
The first version of this Flier I came across was actually specifically printed for the Canadian market...
The version shown here is either a copy of the standard U.K. version, printed without prices during a period of price change, for example - which was indeed the case at the time - or was a 'General Export' version, being offered to B.B.D.&G. We cannot tell any more as there is only an direct reference to the inclusion anywhere in the letter...
..."Showcards, leaflets etc., can be supplied on request, free of charge".
If you slide your mouse over the exterior image [left] the image will be inverted, or click on either for a larger version.
Page 1 of the 1956 Bepin Behary Das & Grandson letter
That just leaves the two page letter itself which is only 'generically' dated "January, 1956", rather than a specific day.
Page 2 of the 1956 Bepin Behary Das & Grandson letter
Page 1 [left] forms part of a, presumably, general communication of price reductions, yes, that's right, price reductions, "With Effect From 1st February 1956".
Page 2 [right] includes a wealth of information on the new BAYKO Set and Spare Parts Cabinets prices, plus details,  unknown in any other document, as far as I'm aware, of the standard order quantities for BAYKO Sets, and their export packaging details...
If you wish to read the letter, then click anywhere on either of these two images to launch a larger version.
I'm afraid, at this stage, that's all the information I have, but it's nice to know that BAYKO was available in India, though, after the 300% import duty imposed on all foreign imports, in 1953, by Nehru's government, the writing must certainly have been on the wall for BAYKO in the world's largest democracy.
Of course there are few places on the planet with a longer history of U.K. ex-pats in residence, so it's not difficult to predict a market, among them at least, for the world's first and finest plastic construction toy.
If you can help with further details, about BAYKO in India, or, perhaps, just indications of similar large stores where BAYKO may have been sold, then I'd love to hear from you...
You might find it interesting to also look at the 1955-56 Oswald-Sealy "Wholesale Catalogue Price List", for an additional perspective on wholesale export documentation, in this case for Australia...
Below here are links to related info : -
The following 24+ 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.
The 'Flaming BAYKOMAN' site logo