BAYKO Sales Aids

By comparison with MECCANO and LEGO, BAYKO's sales aids were on a modest scale, however, quite a few different ideas emerged over the years.
Illuminated Signs : BAYKO collecting never ceases to amaze me. I'd never heard of such a thing as an Illuminated Sign, in a BAYKO context that is, nor had other collectors I've spoken to, until this 1950s example appeared on eBay late in 2010.
Illuminated BAYKO sign swapping between off and on
Designed for use either in the toy shop window, or as part of an in-store display, this very simple, but effective advert for BAYKO was made by Burnham (Onyx) Ltd. of Sydenham, London S.E. 26. The much-merged company is now based in Redhill.
Illuminated BAYKO Sign - animation showing all 4 sides
The rear enclosure [right] of side walls and top [the latter holds the lamp unit], are aluminium, and are angled inwards reducing the chance of them being glimpsed by shoppers. A pair of lugs on each side wall slots into the top, leaving the structure collapsible, but quite robust.
The illuminated glass display [above, left - slide your mouse over the image to 'switch it on'] is slightly convex and measures 12 inches x 9 inches [300mm x 225mm], which is not far off A4. The printing is actually on the inside of the glass, presumably to make it less vulnerable to scratching. The frame is ¾ inch [18mm] wide, and also made of aluminium, this time folded over a slim wooden frame.
30 years ago, this example was bought at a toy fair in Pudsey, West Yorkshire, but there the provenance stops. I'm also afraid that all Burnham's historical records of the period have been destroyed, so the research has hit a dead end I'm afraid.
If you've any more information about these attractive Illuminated Signs I'd love to hear from you...
Window Adverts : BAYKO window stickers joined those from MECCANO, HORNBY, AIRFIX, TRI-ANG, and many other products, in surrounding the windows and filling any glass in the doors, of toyshops all over the country, if not further afield. The number of entries in this section speaks for itself, clearly demonstrating the importance given to this area by the marketeers of both Plimpton and MECCANO.
These BAYKO adverts could either be printed on a, plastic medium, sometimes transparent, or, more commonly, be paper based.
2 framed BAYKO window stickers - the upper one is actually twice the length of the lower one
Post takeover MECCANO products display advert
1950s BAYKO Window Display Card
The two examples shown here [right] are both from my collection and have been framed to protect them. The third [left] has actually been removed from its frame and has been scanned.
Of the two framed labels [right], the top one dates from the 1950s, and has actually been framed between two perspex sheets.
The lower of the two framed labels hails from the 1960s, after the MECCANO takeover, and has been framed in the conventional way.  The model shown is of interest in that it never appeared in the instruction manuals, but was widely used in the marketing sphere.
The third [left] was a window or wall sticker, but exactly the same image was used for a stand-alone, on-counter Display Card.
They are simple, often surprisingly flimsy, printed paper banners, which would usually have been glued either to the top, side, or bottom edges [probably in that order of preference] of the window or, less frequently, on an internal wall behind the counter or adjacent to a BAYKO display.
The last Window Advert [right] is a plastic based, MECCANO general products advert which has self-adhesive glue on the back and was, therefore, designed to be stuck on the inside of the window, an interior wall, or similar surface and be viewed from inside the shop.
These two shop window signs [below] were both culled from the BAYKO section of a letter, dated September, 1961, which was sent to MECCANO product retailers, announcing the range of display materials which were available.
The first window sign on offer [left below] was actually labelled as a "Window Bill" and was coded as number 71715/02
Self-adhesive window sign, code number 71714/02, which had a transparent background
Window Bill, code number 71715/02
For an idea of its full colour impact, the similar, framed sign [above right] may help to give you an impression.
The second window sign offered [right] was a "Self-Adhesive Window Sticker", with a transparent background, code number 71714/02.
There's no mention of the colour scheme, but I'm a little sceptical of the impact that the transparent background of the sign would generate.
Emphasising the importance of the shop window signage, in the overall scheme of things, there were just three other items, covering other display areas, that were on offer in the September, 1961 news letter.
These images are shown courtesy of Andrew Lance of the Hornby Railways Collectors Association.
Window / Wall Cards : BAYKO Window / Wall Cards are, as you can perhaps tell from the images [below, left and right], clearly printed on card. The artwork is similar to that used at the back of both the wooden and cardboard Retail Cabinets. They are, however, clearly distinct...
BAYKO Window/Wall Card
...the edges of the Window / Wall Cards are 'sealed' rather than bare cut card, which strongly suggests that the edges were intended to be visible, from the public's perspective, rather than enclosed in the Retail Cabinet frame.
The other obvious difference is that the Window / Wall Card has a pair of holes through which a string can be fastened in order to hang the card either in a window, or against a wall or other surface, such as a cupboard or the edge of a shelving unit.
I've no recollection of seeing these in shops, which is, perhaps, in line with the fact that so few have survived. This card is shown courtesy of Robin Throp.
The slightly smaller 'New Series' card [right] was similarly supplied with a cord allowing it to be hung in a prominent shop location.  In this case, the artwork is based on the label used on all the BAYKO sets of this pre-war period.
New Series hanging display card which would have been hung in a convenient, if not prominent place in the toy shop
It's not possible to be certain that this is a genuine item, rather than a home made one, though I believe it is.  Support comes from the fact that we know that similar BAYKO hanging cards, were used in the 1950s, demonstrating that the concept certainly existed.
Whatever the pedigree, it is certain that cards like this were used by BAYKO, and many other toy manufacturers, as part of their standard marketing provisions - I certainly can remember seeing them!
If you can throw any light on these Window / Wall Cards then I'd love to hear from you...
There is absolutely no doubt about the provenance of this MECCANO era Window / Wall Card, which dates from 1960 or 1961.
Meccano era Hanging sign from 1960 or 1961
As you can see from the image [left], this card is certainly purpose built on thick card, and fitted with two holes which have been reinforced with metal eyelets, as men's shoes so often used to be.
The photo part was used on a regularly advert, for example in 'MECCANO Magazine', and it contains quite a bit of surprisingly small font text [for a poster], which reads : -
Open a Bayko Outfit! . . . there is everything a builder needs . . . bricks of various shapes and sizes, windows, doors, roofs . . . superbly moulded in coloured plastic. Build houses, railway stations, airports - anything you like, working from the simple Bayko plans. Girls, as well as boys, enjoy the fun and fascination of this ideal miniature system.
Four Main Outfits are available (Nos. 11, 12, 13 and 14). These Main Outfits are connected by Accessory Outfits Nos. 11c, 12c and 13c. A No. 11 Outfit can be converted into a No. 12 Outfit by the purchase of Accessory Outfit No. 11c. Then a No. 12c would convert into a No. 13 and so on. Spare parts can be bought separately (in any quantity) so there is practically no limit to the sizes of the models that can be built.
Fliers : This is the usual marketing term for the sort of leaflets intended to be handed out to members of the public in general and potential customers in particular.
The picture to the right shows a variety of fliers including one from 1934 which shows that these were used by BAYKO marketeers right from the earliest days.
Assorted BAYKO fliers and price lists
Unlike the later catalogues supplied with BAYKO sets, many fliers aren't date coded, so we don't know exactly when they were produced.
However, individual designs can be found with a range of different prices.
This strongly suggests that they were given out to would be modellers in large quantities and, subsequently, had to be reprinted regularly.
Comparisons with price data from elsewhere can help narrow down the date of a particular flier.
Display Cards : Cards like these [below] were used by many toy manufacturers for display either on the counter, or as part of a larger promotional display.  Similar to today's A4 size, they were printed on card, with an integral, cardboard hinge at the rear, to enable them to stand up.
1959 Shop Display Card, with BAYKO set prices
Given the ubiquity of this sort of sales material in the toy trade, together with their comparative robustness, it is rather surprising that relatively small numbers of these BAYKO Display Cards have survived through to the present day.
MECCANO era BAYKO Dsplay Card
Display cards made of other materials can also be found, though I don't have one to show you. There was certainly a metal version, with a clear plastic covering, using the same artwork as the Window Advert from the 1950s [above, left].
I'm afraid that I don't know exactly when they were first introduced, but they were certainly in common use throughout the 1950s and '60s - I can be confident about this, because I can remember seeing them!
Following after the metallic Display Cards come the significantly more economical printed card style. The earliest I have to show you [right] dates from April, 1959 [based on the set, and conversion set prices quoted] though it probably continued to be used through until late 1960, following the MECCANO takeover.
There is circumstantial evidence [right] to suggest that the set prices you see were actually printed on a separate sheet which was then stuck over an earlier version, presumably with different prices. If you click anywhere on the small image [right] you can see a larger image, showing two separate sets of decorative lines [upper left].
Top left hand edge of the 1959 Display Card, showing the added printed sheet
The second example [above, left] is very much of the MECCANO era. The relatively uncommon landscape format is interesting, as is the debut of the bowler-hatted HOMEPRIDE Flour Graders, before their 1964 defection into BAYKO-off territory! I take no responsibility for that corny joke, which remains the property of the Museum of Liverpool!
MECCANO era BAYKO Display Cards and other similar items may well have been designed by Leon Goodman Displays Limited...
The use of these Display Cards and the Showcards [detailed below] are essentially the same, though they carried different titles within the MECCANO administration systems.
3-Dimensional Display Signs : As far as I know there has only ever been one such sign.  It appeared in a letter sent to MECCANO retailers around September, 1961, which detailed all the display materials which were available across their entire product range, including BAYKO. It bore the code 71713/02.
If you would like to know more about this letter...
Plimpton era Retail Packs - known as Accessory Packs at the time
According to the letter, this sign was actually called a "Light Thief Sign", a strange handle indeed, presumably emphasising the sign's 'dayglo' ink work in red against a blue background.
Self supporting, the sign could have sat on a shelf or the counter, or even in the window - perhaps depending on the shopkeeper's view of 'dayglo' ink!
This image is shown courtesy of Andrew Lance of the Hornby Railways Collectors Association.
Plimpton era Retail Packs - known as Accessory Packs at the time
Display Models : These, with supporting flags, are discussed separately elsewhere...
Display Shelving : These too existed are also discussed elsewhere...
Retail Display Packs : These are likewise detailed elsewhere...
Retail Display Racks : These presumably date from the June, 1962, which is when the MECCANO era retail packs were introduced.  Part of the arrangement was the provision, "Free on Loan", of a Display Rack to any retailer who bought at least 10 of each of the 8 different packs.
MECCANO ERA Retail Packs Display Rack
To me, this seems to have been quite an attractive deal, which begs the question - "Why have none of these survived?" - unless you know different!
The official photo [right] shows us all we need to know about using the Display Rack, which seems pretty intuitive to me.
It is made of white-plastic covered wire and designed to sit on a counter, pedestal or broad shelf, to bring it up to adult eye level. It measured : -
1' 11" x 1' 6" x 1' 6"
[584 x 457 x 457mm]
Looking at it, the Display Rack would have been pretty full with the required initial stock of 80 retail Packs on board!
I doubt that a similar Plimpton era Display Pack existed, as the pack headers had no holes, but...
Retail Cabinets : These held the retailer's stock of separate BAYKO spare parts and were made of either wood or cardboard.
MECCANO era Retail Display Cabinet
They were designed to sit on the counter [though many retailers often had different ideas!] where the colourful parts display on the back could attract the customers.
I can remember the eager anticipation I felt on regular Saturday morning trips to The Pram Shop in my home town of Blackburn as the drawers of their cabinet slid open.
These too are discussed in full elsewhere...
Showcard : The use of a 'Showcard' like this is easy to understand. It was printed as a simple piece of card, with a single fold running vertically to give it the specified "3-dimensionsal" look...
...with the slight projection of the low flat roof to the left of the card, perhaps helping.
show card image taken from a September, 1961 letter to retailers
Reference coded 71705/02, this item is described in the September, 1961 letter to retailers showing what display materials were available, as a "3-dimensional Showcard Full Colour", sadly it doesn't specify what those colours were, or, indeed, how the 3-D bit worked!
Showcards like this would have been intended to sit in a prominent position on a display shelf, on the toyshop counter, or perhaps even in the shop window, of toy departments and toy shops, across the country and possibly even further afield.
In truth, the distinction between these Showcards and the Display Cards [detailed above] is essentially just one of terminology, and there usage would have been very similar.
This image is shown courtesy of Andrew Lance of the Hornby Railways Collectors Association.
Shelf Strip : The use of a 'Shelf Strip' [coded 71717/06] like this is easy to understand. It was printed as a simple piece of card, with a single fold running the full length. Move your mouse anywhere over the image [below] to see the fold 'in action'...
MECCANO era BAYKO Showcard, complete with demonstration of the folding
...the folded top flap simply sat, horizontally, i.e. flat on the shelf surface, probably tucked neatly under a pile of BAYKO sets. Meanwhile, the product information sat vertically, drawing the attention of shoppers to the world's first and finest plastic construction toy, in its MECCANO era incarnation.
I'm afraid I can't give you an exact date for this item, as there is no code. However, in the top right hand corner, i.e. on the bit that goes flat on the shelf, there is an admin or, more likely, a printer's reference code "B2" together with the legend "Printed in England". This begs the question as to who printed it, as most of the MECCANO era BAYKO documentation doesn't specify nationality, but is widely believed to have been printed in house.
Shelf Strip
The above item [coded 71701/02] is culled from the letter to MECCANO BAYKO retailers, detailing the available shop display items...
This item is clearly very similar to the above, but is described as being "Yellow Dayglo Lettering on Red Ground". I suspect that this is actually the earlier version, based solely on the comparison of the subscripts within the codes, but I can't be certain.
These images are shown courtesy of Andrew Lance and Peter Hilton of the HRCA - thanks gentlemen.
It's not difficult to see the link between Shelf Strips like this and the smaller, price stickers like those below...
Shelf Price Stickers : The use of these is self-explanatory and may well have been the most visible piece of BAYKO marketing in your local toyshop.
Most toy shops probably wouldn't have had the space to do large, spectacular displays of BAYKO sets - I know, unbelievable isn't it!?
1959 BAYKO Shelf Sticker for Set #1, 21/9
Your average toy shop would probably do ne more than simply display their stock of BAYKO sets and conversion sets on their standard shelving...
...and, like many other manufacturers of the day, Plimpton offered their retailers small price stickers to fit on their shelves to attract attention to the world's finest plastic construction toy.
This method of pushing the product was evidently regarded as being effective, as MECCANO continued to use them in the 1960s [below].
1959 BAYKO Shelf Sticker for Set #3, 54/3

1959 BAYKO Shelf Sticker for Set #4, 104/6
The examples which are shown here were made from thin card and measure 5 x 2 inches [127 x 50 mm].
The actual colours shown here are not strictly accurate as both the yellow and red inks were 'dayglo', which just doesn't show up well on today's scanners and computer screens. Non-the-less the colours shown here do catch the something of the brightness [garishness?] of the originals.
The prices shown on the cards only applied from either April, 1959 [based on a dated Retailers Card] or July, 1959 [based on 'MECCANO Magazine' adverts] until some time after the MECCANO takeover. I suggest that publishing deadlines account for this discrepancy and that April start date is correct. When these prices ended is shrouded in the poorly documented MECCANO mystery, bur certainly lasted until May, 1960.
The next shelf card [right] is interesting for several reasons. Firstly, it's the same material, size and colour as the above - clearly part of a longer term marketing policy. Secondly, the set #4 price, pre-dates the above, applying between February, 1955 and January, 1959. Lastly, there's no dot under the "o" of "No" and the bottom loop of the BAYKO "B" is more open - well sometimes there has to be a nerdy bit!
1955 to 1959 set #4 shelf card
If you would like to find out more about the price of BAYKO Sets over the life of the product...
Late 1961 BAYKO Shelf Sticker for set 11

Late 1961 BAYKO Shelf Sticker for set 12

Into the MECCANO era, and the concept is alive and well, though the artwork has been updated, as well as the set numbers and prices.
Late 1961 BAYKO Shelf Sticker for set 13

Late 1961 BAYKO Shelf Sticker for set 14

The late 1961 date is based on the quoted BAYKO set prices which applied during that comparatively limited period.
n.b. - The originals for these come from black and white photocopies, so the colours are mine, though I have matched the ones below...
In my defence, I didn't want to display a set of 'monochrome smudges', when this could easily, and realistically, be avoided, so I spent a couple of hours preparing them...
...I believe the similarity of the typesetting of the two sets of stickers is sufficient to make the colour choice defensible.
MECCANO were obviously very satisfied with the effectiveness of the BAYKO Shelf Sticker concept, because they continued to utilise it after set #15 was launched on the U.K. market in August, 1962.
MECCANO era BAYKO Shelf Sticker for Set #11
Of course there'll always be times when knowing set prices isn't going to help you with dating something like a shelf sticker at all...
MECCANO era BAYKO Shelf Sticker for Set #13
...not least because there are no prices on them!
MECCANO era BAYKO Shelf Sticker for Set #12
The five shelf stickers, including set #15, shown here are all from the MECCANO era, and therefore date from between 1962 and 1964...
MECCANO era BAYKO Shelf Sticker for Set #14
...sadly, as you can see, they contain no helpful price data.
This probably says more about the price volatility which was creeping into the U.K. market place in the early 1960s, and also, perhaps, reflects the parlous state of MECCANO's finances...
MECCANO era BAYKO Shelf Sticker for Set #15
...either way, the retailer clearly had to do the pricing job him or herself.
Just a thought, without detracting from the above comments, perhaps this style would also have been used for the export markets, avoiding having to print the relevant BAYKO set prices in multiple currencies.
For those, like me, who are candidates for visiting Nerd's Corner, the internal MECCANO admin code for these stickers is 71717/06.
I hope you've found this section interesting - it's highly probable that both Plimpton and MECCANO used a variety of other BAYKO Sales Aids over the years : -
If you've more info for me, or display items for my collection, then I'd love to hear from you...
Below here are links to related info : -
Click on any of the links below for related information.
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