Tuesday, 20 January 2015

London Toy Fair 2015

A view from the gallery and this is just part of the Fair!

Meccano show the new range...

New models new packaging and a new logo and that is just for starters! We have already mentioned the new model packaged as a Multimodel 3-model set. Well, if you are a collector of modern sets, make sure you grab one while you can as it too will be sold in the new packaging.

Of course, the star of the show is the new Meccano Mecanoid. Today is Press Day and the Meccano stand was awash with film crews trying to get a look at Meccano's latest venture. As we have already covered this in some detail from afar, last week, we will take closer look at Meccanoid on Thursday when we will be back at Olympia for a more sober look at the new range without jostling for position. I have never see so much press interest in Meccano before, the stand was rammed with people all milling about looking at the Meccano and making approving noises.

The models on show are all the work of the new company, these are the first of what we can expect and you will not be disappointed. Having said that. I am sure there will be some who will find something to whinge about - but maybe not...

Slightly larger than the Nano sets?
Segregation of sets has gone. These new sets are not divided in to type (Multimodels, Evolution, Turbo etc) but they all come under the 'Meccano' banner. Sound familiar? There are a lot more smaller, easier to build sets targeted squarely at the toy market with the aim of encouraging new interest and hopefully repeat business. The new 'starter' sets are great. We like the idea of these sets and remind us of the short-lived Nano series of few years ago.

The new sets incorporate parts from the the entire range available plus a few new ones. The nose cone in the rocket set, and the new wheels in some of the others, stand out at first glance. All the new sets have a much greater metal content than some of the sets produced over the past couple of decades.  Gone are the model instructions that require most parts of the set to be used in making every model. Some very simple model instructions are included in most sets to give a progression of difficulty and a means to complete an initial model quickly.  There are several of these 'themed' sets and I will talk about them in more detail after Thursday, when I should be able to get some better pictures as hopefully the stand will be a bit quieter.

The new packaging is a vast improvement on the original. The mass of colour and insignificant brand graphics almost lead to camouflage! All sets will now be supplied with the new tools and although I showed you a couple of them last week, I was not able to show you the third until today.

Long awaited (and requested) hex-driver
It has been a long time coming but now at last Meccano have re-introduced a driver. The driver will be supplied in the larger sets, again, I will try and clarify which ones over the next few days...

And now the big news...

You may have seen the tower bridge model before but now it has been joined by a redesigned Eiffel Tower and empire state building. These models appear to be lit, but again trying to get information today was hard due to the number of people on the stand. It is encouraging the see the four part 52s (5½ x 2½ flanged plate) are attached to the model, now interestingly in zinc finish. I will try and confirm that these will be included in the production set.

Tower bridge
Mr Eiffel's tower
Empire State Building

...and the really big news!

Sorry, not the best shot in the world. I will try and improve on it on Thursday
A really big crane! what's more it contains lots of useful parts including a part 59! Yes buy popular demand, the brass collar has made an appearance once again! This is only possible because the set is aimed at the adult modeller and is the first of a range of bigger sets, providing the sales meet expectation. The sharp-eyed of you will notice the box art is different to the display model as the tower is going to be constructed from the standard ½ inch hole spacing parts including angle girders.    

Spot the collar and note the large blue plastic gear...
This is just a brief round-up of what we saw today at the London Toy Fair. There is lots more to come as the year goes on. Some of which will be shown at the Nuremberg Toy Fair, next week, and the New York Toy Fair in mid February.

Hopefully I will be able to give a lot more detail such as expected release dates and SRP in the next few days.


  1. Hello,

    Great blog! I actually have been working on the new packaging/brand look for Meccano for the last year. I'm glad you like it. :)

    Carry on!

    1. It is good to see a fresh new look that is going to make the sets stand out on the shelf. The existing packaging follows the same old big, bright and colourful look that all the other brands use and as such just blends in with the rest. The existing packaging almost acts as camouflage.

      Bringing the entire brand under one corporate tag, 'Meccano Maker System' is brave but absolutely the right way to go, in our opinion.

      Ralph & Sue.