Saturday, November 17, 2018

Toy-store with 97 year old new item on the shelf

Unlikely the store know, nor that the brand-owners would like to know it, but it just struck me that the shop had a near-century old new item on the shelf.

The gifting season is nearly upon us with December 5th approaching rapidly, so toy-stores are well-stocked. When browsing the shelves this morning (incidentally for a birthday gift, not on behalf of the holyman), was struck by this box illustration on the shelf.

Very prominently on the front of the vehicle is a triangular plate. Now that is a very recognisable classic Meccano part; the 'flat trunnion' part 126a.

The part 126a was introduced in the September 1921 issue of the Meccano Magazine (top-right of page 3), following on the part 126 'trunnion' introduced in the May issue of the same year.

The naming is a bit odd, as it is most certainly not a trunnion. The part started out as a trunnion-support, but somebody at Meccano got confused apparently and they named the support 'trunnion'.

The 2018 issue 'buggy' does look modern and of course has plastic shaped-parts as well. Nevertheless it is still very much Meccano and still compatible with century-old parts - it even contains a near-century old part. (There's also a strip part number 3 in there I think - that design is actually more than a century old.)

Today's Meccano is a brand owned by a Canadian company with its design-offices for Meccano in California. From what I gather, they are trying hard to be a modern technical toy including robotics and electronics and would not like to emphasise their heritage. With the amount of look-alikes and low-cost 'knock-offs' also on the shelves, I can imagine that it is not an easy task to catch the attention of children (and parents) today. And that's not even mentioning the ubiquitous Danish product with its technical bits.

Nevertheless, they still do have parts on the shelf - have done for a century. Good show, that.


  1. What many digital junkies do not know, nor shared in, is the great fun one can have with those kits. Proven over and over that computers and digital gadgets reduce creativity society seems to flock to them.

    1. The lure of bright screens is overwhelming...
      Still, sometimes it's good to play with something 'real', something that actually goes 'clunk' when it falls off the table :-)