Saturday, 2 November 2013

The Old!

Dinky Builder garage
Meccano made several other products over the years. Some became household names such as Dinky Toys and Hornby Trains, to name but two. One that passed me by as a child was Dinky Builder. A friend of ours gave us a shoebox full of Meccano, some time ago, and in that was a selection of Dinky builder bits. Up until that point I had not actually handled it.
Tatty but complete

Recently I saw a small set for sale on eBay and placed a bid. A few days later and the 'congratulations' e-mail arrived from eBay, the little set was mine. A few more days later, It arrived complete with an instruction booklet and a pin removal tool. 

It first appeared before the war and was then reintroduced post war for a short period. It had neither the realism of Bayko nor the charm of Meccano, yet it was a sort of cross between the two. I can understand why this stuff was not a great success. The parts, although nicely made, are easily damaged making it almost impossible to push the jointing rods through the lugs. Indeed, the little model I have built here required a great deal of force to push the rods through the joining lugs of both parts, mainly due to misalignment. The end result is not the most pleasing of models/toys, and a struggle to complete.

This is the whole range of parts
There were few parts in the range and no new parts were ever added. You were suposed to be able to buy extra parts but if you could I was not aware of them as a kid. I think Meccano must have got the marketing wrong with thid one. In trying to make it apeal to girls they put off the boys. I remember seing adverts for it in whatever magazine/comic I was reading at the time but just passed them by without a second thought as I was of the opinion that it was for girls and never gave it another thought until recently.

Only two sets were available post war; a number 1 and a number 2. There was a conversion set 1a that, just like the meccano progressive sets, converted the small set into the larger one. My set is a bit of fun and something different. I will keep my eye out for any more going cheap as I want to have a go at a bigger model and see if the aesthetics improve with scale. More on this product can be found on Alan's Esplen's Meccano website HERE.


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