BAYKO - Surprising Boxes

This is one of the most inexplicable, and certainly the most unpredictable, aspects of BAYKO anomalies, and will probably continue to be so. A quick caveat before we continue. Several people have demonstrated that they can make reproduction boxes, thankfully many, though sadly not all, have been made with, non-prototypical shallow lids which easily distinguishes them.
Blue boxed 'New Seies' Set 3
Most standard pre-war BAYKO sets and the supporting cast of conversion sets were sold in red boxes…
…but not all!
Set #6 was in a Brown, 'coffin style' box - different, but not surprising. However, there are similarly styled versions of both set #4 and set #5 - both are clearly identifiable, and very desirable.
However, for some contrary reason that I can't really explain, some pre-war BAYKO sets were produced in Blue boxes [left].
We might explain away the use of Blue for some 'New Series' BAYKO sets as being related to war-affected material shortages…
…but there are also examples of earlier sets in Blue.
There is one further explanation, for sets comprising the brown, cream and dark green colour combination - and you've done well if you have one of these : -
If you think your pre-war set is a different size from others you have seen, you may have picked up a very early set. The easy way to check is that the set labels bear the legend, “PATENT APP No 32235/33”. In addition, the Canopies included normally have Rod grooves down the long sides, and even a Large Floor [15 x 23 holes].
Green boxed 1950s BAYKO Set 3
Strangely, after the war the situation is almost reversed. Most of the time, most of the sets and conversion sets were produced in Blue boxes…
…but there are many examples of sets and conversion sets in Red boxes.
This variability certainly continued until at least October, 1950, so it remains likely that material shortage is again the front-runner in terms of a credible explanation.
Less easy to explain away are the occasional 1950s era BAYKO boxes [right] which turn up in a dull shade of green, [I only know of set #3 in this context, but…‽] for which, I'm afraid, I have no certain explanation.
I really think that this was too late for the material shortage explanation to be relevant…
…so was it, perhaps, a marketing experiment…
…or even production targeted at the Irish market‽
Whatever the Green box explanation, I've also heard tell of [but not seen] a few larger 1950s BAYKO sets in 'old gold' coloured boxes but know absolutely nothing of their origins - a special promotion perhaps?
Similarly, occasional examples of wooded boxes emerge. I've seen enough of these to suggest that, if nothing else, the BAYKO labels are genuine, but as to the wooden boxes themselves, I'm afraid I know nothing of their origins. 'Dad boxes is my only suggestion.
Even Odder Boxes!
Thanks to Angus Jones of New Zealand for initiating this section.
Slide show comprising 5 photos of the unusual Stapled Box form Australia via New Zealand
The photos [right] show a set 0X box, which has been stapled rather than glued, and is made from thicker cardboard than normal.
There is clear evidence to confirm that this was how this box was actually sold - the price sticker [sixteen shillings and nine pence] from David Jones Department Store [locker?] in Sydney.
My original guess, given the geographical clue, was that this may have been part of a damaged consignment which was fixed with flat-pack boxes, perhaps dispatched from the U.K. half way around the planet…
…I'm now older and wiser - well, perhaps I now know a little better anyway - as you will see if you read on.
Sets 0, 1X, 2 and 2 x 2X in Stapled Boxes
Robin Throp told me that he had come across stapled boxes in the U.K., so perhaps the explanation is simply the use of a different supplier.
Peter Crook went even further and brought quite a collection of stapled boxes to the June, 2007 BAYKO Collectors Club meeting at Lane End.
Many more have since appeared. For the record, both blue and red stapled boxes have emerged in similar numbers.
All of the 5 boxes shown here [left] - which include Sets #0, #1X, #2 and #2X [2 off] - are from the late 1940s or early 1950s. This, I believe, strongly supports the theory that this was all part of Plimpton's response to the post-war material shortages. Stapled boxes were obviously a lot more wide spread than I first thought.
One final point, if you click on the image / slide show [above, left] you will see a larger version on which you can clearly see that several of the staples are 'vertical' rather than the 'horizontal' orientation you would expect - just think about how you would do it with an ordinary office stapler and you'll understand what I mean. Personally, I think this is strongly suggestive of mechanisation. Thanks to eagle-eyed Robin Throp for noticing this.
Even Odder Trays!
I almost feel that I should start the final entry on this page with an apology! The main reason being that I have no definitive answer as to what Plimpton were trying to achieve with it!  But, of course, as an advocate of the cock-up theory of life, that's not going to stop me having a go!
I found this early post-war, BAYKO #2 set in an eBay job lot, and thus, sadly, the provenance ended before it began.
Sadly, the box lid section has seen the proverbial, better days, but the key point of interest lies below, as it were, in the tray - which, unlike any other BAYKO set I've ever come across, is in two complimentary parts.
Viewed from above, we have an apparently standard, strawboard tray, mechanically formed, [the machine made creasing is definitive] and stapled, but that's where this set begins to deviate. Only two of the four corners are stapled - I suspect this partial stapling [right, upper] was done to allow more flexibility for the subsequent 'fitting'. The fact that the two ends are stapled on the same side tells us that, either the staple guns were fired individually, or there were guns at all four corners with two disabled in some way - otherwise diagonally opposite corners would have been stapled.
This tray shows no visible indications of any internal card partitioning ever having been present, making it an early post-war offering. The key parameter here is the internal height of the strawboard tray, [2.5 inches - 63.5 mm] exactly right [right, middle photo] to accommodate the BAYKO #2 set's Medium Roof [2.25 inches - 57.2 mm].
However - sometimes I just love the however - in addition, as you can see, there is a second tray, into which the above strawboard tray has been 'fitted', snugly [hence the benefit of the aforementioned flexibility], and which perfectly matches the set box lid in colour, material, etc. The height/depth of this coloured tray [11516 inches - 49.2 mm] is NOT ENOUGH to allow for the BAYKO #2 set's Medium Roof.
As I said at the beginning, none of this is definitive, but I believe this composite #2 set box is Kosher. If pressed, I'd guess that the lower, red tray was ordered [or made!] to the wrong height. The slick[?] solution - don't ditch these undersized units, install the secondary strawboard tray inside it to house the Medium Roof, yet retain the aesthetic benefits of the colour of the 'wrong tray', which is all that's visible when you fit the lid. [See right lower photo.] This batch, probably the first, given the error, is unique among BAYKO sets with separate lids - the lid does not fully cover the tray.
I'd be interested to know if you've ever come across any other BAYKO sets like this one, and to hear any alternative explanations you may have as to either how and why they occurred…
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