BAYKO Product Details - 1949 to 1959
The Peak Period

This period contains not just the peak of BAYKO's popularity but also the seeds of it's ultimate downfall.
Large BAYKO model from the early 1950s
Annual sales regularly topped the 150,000 set mark, with up to 35% of them being exported.
Arguably this period could be split in 2 or more : -
The early 1950s when all BAYKO parts were all made from conventional plastic [left].
The later 1950s when several parts were changed to polystyrene [below, right].
However, the changes were phased over the period and not all pieces were actually changed, so it's easier to regard it as one.
BAYKO model detached house from the later 1950s
Parts were now in a red, white and mid green colour scheme, with small shifts across the period.
The later red polystyrene bricks were a little less bright and the polystyrene windows and doors lighter and slightly brighter.
This later period also saw the introduction of Glazing Strips for windows.
By 1959 Plimpton had developed the widest range of BAYKO parts that was ever available to collectors.
Mint BAYKO set 3
New parts 1950 or 1951
Opening Gate & matching Balustrade.
Opening Windows.
Side Bricks.
Side Windows - Left Hand.
Side Windows - Right Hand.
Small Chimneys.
I suppose, in the interests of accuracy, I should point out that the actual peak was in the last 2 or 3 months before the MECCANO takeover, after the garage Doors launch.
The #4 set was now launched [February, 1952] and included all the newer, more exotic pieces, and was firmly established as every young BAYKO collector's dream. Surprisingly the #3X conversion set was actually launched in July, 1951, based on 'MECCANO Magazine' BAYKO adverts...
The original, small set 3X with it's later, larger counterpart
'With Compliments' style slip which accompanied the inclusion of the Dome and Pinnacles
...or April, 1951, based on the date code of a BAYKO Flier...
...or April, 1951, date coded BAYKO Parts Price List...
...or August, 1951, based on the date of the first set #3X manual...
The earliest Conversion Sets #3X didn't include the exotic roof pieces - Domes & Pinnacle Roofs and Platforms - [top, left]...
...however, it wasn't too long - I don't have an exact date thought they were mentioned in the May, 1952 edition of the set #3X manual - before they were included, along with the 'with compliments' type slip [right].
There is some debate over why the post-war BAYKO set structure changed so significantly from the pre-war structure...
A limited number of new pieces were launched after 1958 : -
New BAYKO parts
The proliferation of TV aerials in the UK, after the launch of ITV, was reflected in the introduction of the BAYKO TV Aerial, the Chimney being modified to take it. I believe both date from 1958. There was certainly a mention of new parts in May's 'MECCANO Magazine'.
To enhance play value with DINKY Cars, etc. a Ramp was produced, which allowed you to 'drive' cars onto the Bases of your models - I don't know the exact date of this, but, again, believe it to be 1958.
A set of Opening [or Garage] Doors added to this play effect a little later, on June 1st, 1959.
Immediately before the MECCANO takeover in 1959, although commercially under pressure from LEGO and the like, the BAYKO parts range was at its peak.
This next section is hedged around by question marks I'm afraid, but I'm now convinced that there is something significant here, even if I can't be certain what!
The colour variant parts alongside their standard counterparts
For the March, 2008 BAYKO Collectors Club meeting I built a large office block - 'BAYKO Buildings' - which, as you can see [right], used a massive number of Side Windows.
BAYKO Buildings, an office block model using a lot of Side Windows
As I sorted through each piece, I noticed that occasional examples were a different [though consistent] colour from the familiar darker green - they were more akin to the green of Plimpton era polystyrene windows - 1957 to 1959.
With the model's deadline looming, I set them aside and did nothing with them for several months - I don't normally get excited about colour variations anyway.
However, I finally got around to looking at them again and was intrigued by what I found. Something approaching five percent of my building stock - including those in the model - were the paler colour. I wondered...
...I looked at my stock of Doors. There was the same colour variant, occurring in a similar proportion. Unsurprisingly that spurred me into action and I went through my stocks of Windows, Large Windows, Curved Windows and Opening Windows...
...with the same result!
I'm afraid I don't have a definitive explanation for you, but, by far the most likely answer is that they were intended to blend with the polystyrene Windows, Large Windows and, later, Doors - though why do it with the styles being replaced as well?
The five percent, maximum, proportion suggests that they were only produced for a few months.
The image [above left] doesn't do full justice to the colour variants, but the lighter parts, which match the polystyrene parts, are to the left - guess where the standard parts are!
The early post-war period was almost littered with manuals, there were so many variants even allowing for the ten years... fact there were no less than thirty different versions in the ten years covered by this period...
If you would like information on the price of BAYKO sets during this period, click on one of the links below.
Below here are links to related info : -
Click on any of the links below for related information.
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