Sunday, 25 May 2014

Bring back the 52!

Never again will Meccano be retailed as the a system toy of its heyday, nor are we going to be able to buy single parts from the local toy shop. Like a lot of the parts themselves, the toy shops of my youth will never be resurrected.

Although the market and expectations have changed, there is one part from the  original range that still has just as much importance today as it had back them, yet for reasons that escape me, it is seldom seen. This part is still in production, it has been seen in a few new sets, and yet it is not given the kudos it deserves. That part is the 5½ x 2½ inch Flanged Plate, Part No.52 or as it is labelled today, A852.

A pair of 52s
It has appeared a couple of times lately, it was included in the Tintin Unicorn and the Rabbids Catapult sets, both now discontinued. It may have appeared in other sets but I can't bring any to mind, off the top of my head. It is still available in what is now called the Super Construction set. This set has been around for a while now, first appearing in 2001 as the Special Edition Anniversary (crane) set. The flanged plate in this set is finished in a very acceptable, crinkle finish, dark grey.

The 52 used to form the basis of every set since it's introduction in 1911 (and the addition of the end flanges in 1913) with the exception of the pocket Meccano set, until the demise of the 'progressive' sets in 1980s. The part has now been in production, in one form or another for over 100 years! Its rigid construction was ideal to use as the basis of small models and I believe could do so again.

We can't just look back at those old models with rose coloured spectacles wishing for a rebirth of the old sets, but what is reasonable is to look forward and campaign for that part to be included in some of the new wave of sets due to be introduced in the coming years.  Not only will that plate re-introduce a starting point for something to be built on, it will also give the rigidity to models that is so obviously missing in the current crop of set models.

          ...Come on Meccano, bring back the 52 
          in more of the smaller sets!

To prove the point, Let's show Meccano what can be built around that plate using current production parts only. That is, Meccano that is available in the sets listed in the product section of the official Meccano website, HERE.

Manuals for all the sets shown can be downloaded from the website and these list the parts available in each set. The number of parts is irrelevant, so long as the part it current. If anybody wants to have a go, you can send me a photograph of what you have built and if I get enough reponse I will post a page of models and we can add to it.

I'm off to have a go and I will post my efforts here, on Rust Bucket, The Spanner II list, Meccano's Community website, Facebook and anywhere else I can find. Come and join in - you never know, Meccano do read stuff posted on the internet - Even this! If you do post stuff head it 'Bring back the 52!' and we can keep pushing, you never know, it might just work and we can have some fun in the mean time!



  1. I do like the crinkle finish dark grey. It not only looks good, but the paint stands up to the rough treatment of sharp nut corners and the occasional scrape from a screwdriver or allen key. Likewise the part 19b 3" pulley.
    Only problem is having bought so many Special Edition Crane outfits because of the great value for money, desirable 'old school' parts, and the excellent case, I now have a dozen 3" pulleys.
    Oh well, there is no such thing as too much meccano.

  2. #2 RE: Hey Meccano!
    I find this omission quite strange as it was the backbone of most models in the past
    I didn`t realise that it wasn`t included in sets any more,me being a traditionalist liking red & green parts.


  3. John,

    What you need now are some of those nice modern tyres that were made by Metallus (and by Ashok) that fit those pulleys...


  4. Ray,

    Since the demise of the progressive sets that part lost its status and is now seldom seen. I know the new owners of Meccano are open to suggestion so let's see if they will listen to a logical argument for its reintroduction into the smaller sets...


  5. I would like to see all parts easier to purchase like lego but I do think this part should be in shops.