Wednesday, 23 January 2013

January 2013 Toy Fair - The all-new Evolution sets...

POS Display

Is this the best news for years?

I think so. What is there not to like? Meccano have added lots of new generic parts to the range and released some sets that make models that look more like the real thing rather than a futuristic fantasy.

The old instruction books for the classic progressively numbers sets are full of models that to our eyes look very dated but in their day they were mainly of contemporary subjects. Of recent years, Meccano have produced some very dubious looking models that I am sure did not appeal to the kids or their dads (who are usually pres-ganged into helping ‘little Johnny’ build the thing) Consequently these models end up on ebay, or the like, and sell for a fraction of their original cost to the part hunters.

The new Evolution range of models feature a selection of smaller parts with holes spaced at ¼ inch. There are also a host of new parts including plastic bevel gears and a very compact universal joint, designed to work with the tri-axle system. OK, I will not take the load of its metal counterpart but the whole idea of these kits is to build smaller models with more detail achieved by using the greater flexibility of the ¼ inch spacing and narrow strips. There are also plenty of plastic components that will add to the growing armoury of modern parts that have been expanding the range for the past decade and a half or more.
Plastic universal joint
Most noteworthy after the gears and universal joint has to be the new mini-strip that has gear teeth moulded at the ‘standard’ 38dp (ish). I can see these being very popular and there are four of them in the Mobile Crane set. There is also a 3 hole, 1 inch plastic mini-strip similar to the existing 5 hole example. Several other parts appear to be new such as the floatation tanks on the rescue helicopter that appear to be AA battery holders.

There are a few bespoke parts creeping in like the rotor blades, which look to be made of rubberised plastic, the handlebar unit on the quad bike and the driving mirrors on the crane. There are a few more you will spot in the pictures. The Mobile crane picture shows a comparison between the new model and the best you can get using conventional Meccano.

Click on the pictures to enlarge:

Quad bike
4x4 buggy
Tow truck
New and old Meccano - Mobile crane

The five new Evolution models are:

Helicopter - orange/white/black                RRP £89.99
Mobile Crane - yellow/black/zinc              RRP £69.99
Tow truck - orange/white/black/zinc          RRP £49.99
4x4 Buggy -red/black/zinc                       RRP £34.99
Quad bike - Yellow/black/zinc                  RRP £29.99

The new range are not expected to reach the shops in the UK until the end of the summer 2013. The on-stand video at the Toy Fair this week is saying they will be available August 2013 – If past experience is anything to go by then September/October is a more realistic date.


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