Thursday, 7 August 2014

The new 15 model set...

...or should that be the 10+5?

Confused? Well we were. I first saw this set at the London Toy Fair in January. You will find details of that visit HERE. Then it was described as a 12 model set. The display model was a helicopter, and to be fair it looked like a good model. Along with the other two models, recently released, they were somewhat overshadowed by the the superb, all new, 3 and 10 model sets. See HERE.

The back of the box for new 15 model set
I managed to get hold of pre-production model and a mock-up box when we broke-down the Meccano stand at Skegness a few weeks ago. The box is just a plain white box with a mock-up of the front of the box-art stuck to the front so we could not see all the 15 models. If I had looked closer, I would have realised that most of the models pictured on the front were from the old black and zinc 10 model set that dates from Spring 2010. I reviewed that set at the time HERE. It was the first of the new generation of Multimodel sets and incorporated some of the new parts that are now included in all the latter sets. The new 15 model set is an extended version of this set. Click on the pictures below to enlarge them making it easer to study the content.

This much of the set is what you got in the old 10 model set
There is a fair bit more in this set
Of the 15 models shown on the box, there are instructions for five new models included in the manual with a further ten available for download (soon) from the website. Of these, five are new and the other five are from the original ten set. This is nothing new. Meccano have been reissuing and upgrading sets for years. The current Super Construction set was first issues as the Anniversary crane set over a decade ago and is still a popular set today. The old 50 model set is an extension of the old 40 model set (affectionately known as the 'Elephant' set). We were talking about this on the Rust Bucket forum this week and we did investigate the possibility of progression between the sets and although it is true between the 40 and 50 sets it does not appear to be the case anywhere else in the original Motion System (later to be renamed Multimodels) sets.

If you think about it, this is what the old progressive sets we all love so much did. The only difference is you can't today buy the 'A' (or later the 'X') set to make one set up to another. We can all bemoan the passing of the old sets of our youth but that was then and this is now, Today's modern world and especially Meccano's Target market have changed. Modern Meccano has changed with the market, we may not like some of it but it is wise to consider the current situation for what it is. If Meccano are to survive they cannot do so by catering for a small number of old fuds like us. They have to sell millions of sets, with very tightly controlled costings, to make it viable globally. We have to look at the current offerings for what they are and maybe reverse our thinking.  Sue and I consider our collection as the centre of our Meccano universe and we add to it without thinking about it. The suppliers have changed. Today, if I want parts, I think of the second hand and replica dealers, and of course, eBay. We buy new sets as they come out (most of the time) out of curiosity to see what might be useful. We are building a collection of building parts, not sets.

The box art aeroplane - a bit odd looking?
I digress. This new 15 model set is showing lots of potential. Venturing past the box-art aeroplane, that looks very strange, the set contains a good selection of parts so it should be possible to build something a little more realistic. This set has its ancestry firmly rooted in the 1990s and even the new models seem to follow that theme of fantasy - Now I wonder what else we can build with these parts...

...It has just occurred to me that you can also build the other five models from the old black 10 model set. The instructions for old 10 model set are are available for download HERE (clicking this link will download a11.2Mb .pdf file of the instruction book to your computer).

To see an alternative model built with the parts in this set, click HERE.


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