BAYKO Product Details - 1939 to 1941

During this period, BAYKO parts were still made using BAKELITE and scarab powders - urea formaldehyde - but, by this time, plastic technology had advanced, enabling cheap, reliable, mass production of accurate colours to be moulded with greater precision. This innovative range of sets bore the legend 'New Series', and were consistently 'officially' referenced in just that way.
These parts were superseded by 'New Series' parts
This heralds a major period of change for BAYKO, unfortunately, as with so many things, the war severely disrupted this momentum.
'New Series' model
Earlier parts were superseded but still available, individually, throughout this period : -
Left & Right Steps
Large Bases
Full Corner Bricks
Despite these reductions, the range of parts was now significantly larger than earlier in the 1930s, the range of possible models much greater.
As well as the new parts [then] recently launched in the 20s series sets, a further range of new parts was included in the 'New Series' sets : -
End Bricks - replacing Full Corner Bricks. [Easier to manufacture and less vulnerable in use.]
'New Series' new parts
Long Bricks and Large Windows.
The original Small Roofs were renamed Medium Roofs…
  …and a new [smaller!!!] Small Roof was introduced.
Straight Steps replaced the Left Hand Steps, Right Hand Steps and Platforms.
Also significant was the switch from large brown Bases to the new, smaller size, initially made in mottled green.
Because the size of Bases had been changed, the Base Links, and Screws also had to change.  The 'New Series' manuals actually specify the new Screw size as being 5BA…
Even more significant, particularly in terms of the appearance of 'New Series' BAYKO models, the entire range of Windows were [now] based on the more familiar 4-pane 'cruciform' style, rather than the earlier, 8-pane 'Georgian' style.
Wall Capping - discontinued or not?
Wall Capping was no longer included - or was it? They weren't listed on the parts lists but were shown in 'New Series' Set #6 demonstration model cards, and I believe that six of each were included in that set, but not the smaller ones.
They were also mentioned as being included in 'Games and Toys', in September, 1939, and visible in the 'Toy Trader' of the same date.
I've seen, and had reports of, a few #6 sets now, and it looks pretty certain that they were included in set #6.
BAYKO was again available in sets #1 to #6 with conversion sets #1C to #5C also available. E.g. a #4C set converts a #4 set into a #5 set.
New Series Set 2
The 'New Series' set structure [not the parts of course!] were incompatible with the earlier sets, so the earlier conversion sets [1A, 2A, etc.] were still manufactured right up to the war. During this deliberate overlap, 'minimalist' labelling emerged, as wartime austerity kicked in.
The red and white Bricks, red Roofs and pale green Windows and Doors colour scheme was maintained.
However, any set could be ordered in the 'Oak' bricks, White windows, mottled green roof format, until the war and these parts were also available separately.
During this period, most sets were sold in Red boxes, but there are plenty of examples of 'New Series' sets in Blue boxes…
…this was true regularly during the 1930s and 1940s, but I've no idea why.
The curved bay window parts which first appeared in the Special 20 series sets
Although they had previously been included in the 20s series 'special sets', these 'New Series' sets were the first standard sets to include Curved Bricks, and Curved Windows and so this is probably this date when an information slip warning children to use them carefully and reinforcing the correct method of correctly locating the Rods, was included with BAYKO sets for the first time…
I feel the need to stick up for the 'New Series' innovations - I'm a fan!
BAYKO production ceased around the end of 1941 as the factory refocused on supporting the war effort.
For completeness, I should point out that we now know that 'New Series' set production continued, no matter how briefly, after the war…
Page 3 of the 'New Series' manual with the label explaining the lack of Tie-Bars
It's potentially a little too easy to refer to material shortages, around the war, as an assumed trigger for something which happened to BAYKO
…well, here, at least, we have documentary proof that Plimpton really did have to adjust the BAYKO product to take account of material shortages.
This label was stuck over page 3 of a 'New Series' set manual and clearly states that replacement Small and Medium Floors were included instead.
By the look of this slip [right], which is almost identical to the label above, Plimpton slipped it into some, at least, of their sets just before the war finally put an end to BAYKO production.
The 1940 leaflet announcing the switch from Tie Bars to Floors
The label would only work for full sets, so the slip must have been used for conversion sets as there was no manual to stick a label in!
There was also a brief flirtation with Hollow Rods, around 1940, [and possibly post-war] as a response to raw material shortages…
I suspect that the scale of the next, BAYKO manual related, section was caused by the lack of available paper for long print runs, but it could equally, certainly before the war, have been a positive symptom of a 'New Series' launch success story! Either way, there are no less than five versions of the 'New Series' manual, [left, below] three pre-war…
Front Cover of both versions of the New Series manuals
The first page of models from the New Series model cards
…and two post-war versions…
There's also a set of model plan cards [right] which let the manual be thinner…
You may want to know more about the full range of BAYKO manuals, if so…

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Latest update - August 11, 2022
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