Richard is also a member of the Solent Meccano club and below are excerpts from their 2016 Newsletters featuring some of Richard's collection of Meccano and some of its history - in this instance plastic of Meccano. Sets displayed during 2017 and 2018 can be seen on Richard Gilbert's Sets shown in 2017 and 2018 page.
From February 2016
Richard spread his collection of plastic Meccano out over four tables dating from its birth in 1965 right through to Junior Meccano in 1993.
Firstly, there were the four original outfits from 1965/70, namely Sets A,B,C and Workbox. The Workbox was made of wood with a slide out lid and holes drilled in it to allow it to be used as a base for models. The Workbox was based on Outfit C and included chain, 20 and 10 tooth sprockets, gears and bridge girders. In 1967 Accessory Sets were introduced namely 12 off bolts and nuts, 12 off bolts long and nuts, Set S – Sprocket Set and Set G – Gears Sets and the Wooden Boxed Gear Set which included bolts, nuts, axles, chain, gears and sprockets. This box only had holes drilled in the base and was thought to have been introduced in 1968.
In 1971 Meccano introduced the new Plastic Sets 100, 200, 300 and 400 and the wooden Workbox; also boxed Accessory Sets 200X and 300X – these sets lasted until 1976.
The 1971 range had several new parts, namely girders, bevel gears, worm gears and eyebolts. The 100 Set was equal to the previous ‘A’ Set, the 200, 300, 400 and Workbox had been revised and the 200X and 300X converted the 200 and 300 Sets to 300 and 400 respectively; these were very nicely presented outfits.
In 1975 the Prima Sets were introduced for pre-school children, namely Sets 1 & 2 and were superseded in 1979 by the ‘Animated Prima Set’. New parts were large and small discs, Prima strips and special road wheels. The Animated Set had bird head, domed and pyramid head and legs with sticker sheets to make faces for animals. Plastic Sets from now onwards shared both Prima and Meccano parts.
In 1977 the 1971 Series was replaced by Sets Playpack, 1, 1A, 2, 2A, 3 and Workbox with new parts such as large and small flange discs, flexible plates and 5½” axles, also with sticker sheets.
The flexible plates and circular discs were introduced to produce more realistic models. The 1A and 2A Sets in red boxes with white writing and English and French text (for the Canadian market) converted the No. 1 & No. 2 Sets into No. 2 and No. 3 Sets respectively.
The Wooden Workbox had the same contents as the No. 3 Outfit but with a different lid design. The Prima Roadwheels (PR6) were in Sets 1 – 3; these Sets continued into late 1978.
Above you can see the 1977 Outfits 1, 1A, 2 and 3 along with the 1979 A1 & A2, the 1980 Boite No. 2 and the 1991 Outfits A & B and to the right is the 1977/78 Beginners Playpack Outfit.
In 1979 the Outfits were called Junior Meccano with lift off lids and polystyrene internal trays. The models that could be built were illustrated on the lids and Set Manuals were included, namely Sets A1, A2 and the Wooden Workbox. The A1 and A2 had virtually the same contents as the previous Outfits 1 & 2, except new Roadwheels (P63) and an added sticker sheet. The lid cover showed the new Roadwheels as blue, however the sets that I have and the manuals show they are black. The contents of the Workbox remained the same as per previous outfits. As with the rest of Binns Road fine Meccano Outfits, these Sets ceased to be produced when Liverpool finally closed its doors in November 1979.
Meccano France were still producing Boite 1, Boite 2 and Boite 3 Sets in 1980 which had the same contents as Outfits 100, 200 and 300 and featured the same box lid models but showed Meccano Junior text and different lid layout design. However, I still need to find Boite No. 1 Outfit!!!!
In 1985 Marc Rebibo took over Meccano France and new sets were produced in 1986 called 1 Star, 2 Star and 3 Star; packed loosely in small boxes with models to be made featured on the back of the box; there were no manuals. I know this is correct because both Sets were still cellophane-sealed when I recently acquired them. You could make some models from the 100 Set with the 1 & 2 Star.
Sets and the 3 Star Outfit had the same contents as the 1971 No. 200 Set.
I am not sure whether the 3 Star Outfit had a manual as I am still looking for this particular Set.
In 1988 these were replaced by the well known Sets A & B with hinged lids and parts in plastic trays. Set A contents were the same as the earlier Set 100 and Set B the same as the Set 200.
In 1991 Outfit boxes changed size and a different ‘boy & girl’ lid illustration and the contents only by the colour of the short bolts to lightblue and the long bolts to dark blue (above are the 1986/87 1 Star & 2 Star French Outfits) for easier identification on the model leaflets. The Sets continued until 1993.
From March 2016
MECCANO (SPAIN) The agents were: Palouzie-Juguetes, Seneca, 15 Barcelona-6., Spain.
Meccano (England) had imported sets to Spain from at least the early 1920’s. In 1930/1 Meccano (England) came to an agreement with Novedades Poch (who at that time were marketing a copy of Meccano under the name METALING) to produce sets under the Meccano name.
There were 19 Sets in the System - 000, 00, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 plus Accessory Sets: 00a, 0a, 1a, 2a, 3a, 4a, 5a & 6a and also Set B with Motors.
Shown left is:-
No. 1 Outfit dated 66 1 1(Jan ’66)
0a Outfit dated 65 3 0a (Mar ’65)
1a Outfit dated 68 12 1a (Dec. ’68)
2a Outfit dated 63 12 2a (Dec.’63)
Also an Argentinian Outfit 1 from the early 1970’s
They introduced the same sets that Meccano (England) were producing in 1930. Once introduced, however, they did not significantly change the sets, manual models, contents or the colours (Red & Green) until 1964. The only notable change were that during the Spanish Civil War, the No. 7 Set contained no large circular plates or rings as they were imported from England. They did not introduce any of the Meccano (England) developments such as flexible plates, or any of the special sets.
They produced two notable Supermodels in the late 1940’s – Automatic Loom and Printing Press for which they produced special parts. They also published some of the Meccano (England) Super Model Leaflets in the 1930’s.
From May 2016
Richard had an opportunity to show more of his Meccano Outfit collection and this time he showed some outfits from 1954 – 1960 starting with Outfit 00 up to No. 9 – he didn’t show the No. 10 because of space issues.
The main picture shows all of the above Outfits which are in ‘Mint’ to ‘Very Good’ condition and also included from the era are the Gears Outfits A & B. In the middle of the display is an original 1956 Ferris Wheel shop display constructed at Binns Road. He acquired this model from Harry Gower along with one other and Harry had previously travelled to South Devon to pick these models up back in the late 1970’s.
The No. 8 Outfit is absolutely ‘Mint’ and is dated October, 1960 and by this time they had changed the nuts and bolts/small parts tins to green. "I have included this in my 1950’s Sets as I do not have a very good condition late 1950’s No. 8 Set but I think that it is still a very well presented Outfit."
The next photos are close ups of the 1954 2 tier No. 6 Outfit in pristine condition and the 1954 No. 4 Outfit which is also ‘Mint’ .
From September 2016
This time around Richard showed some foreign Meccano Sets and some Kliptiko Outfits by William Bailey of Birmingham from the late 1920’s.
Firstly, Spanish Meccano Outfits from the 1960’s consisting of an Oa dated March 1965, a 1a from December, 1968, 2a from December, 1963 and a No.6 from December 1964. Also a couple of older sets - a 4a dated June 1959 and a 2a dated October 1952.
Then there were 3 Dutch Meccano Outfits – Outfit 000 from 1939, an Outfit 0 from 1938 and an Outfit No. 1 from 1939. Kliptiko Outfits are 2 off No. 2 Sets, a 2a Accessory Outfit and Outfit No. 4.