BAYKO - The Product

The world's first, and finest, plastic construction toy, BAYKO was invented by Charles Bird Plimpton and produced in Liverpool between 1934 and 1964 - though it was still mentioned in the January, 1967 MECCANO products price list.
Pre-war model of a Detached House
Plimpton Engineering, the original manufacturer of BAYKO, was eventually taken over by MECCANO in September, 1959.
The initial success of BAYKO sets is probably, at least in part, due to its being the world's first [and finest!] mass produced plastic construction toy.
The earliest BAYKO sets were made in BAKELITE, and bore the label : -
BAYKO Light Constructional Sets.
I have a little information on BAKELITE and its inventor…
BAYKO Detached House and Garage Model Built with Flanged Bricks and Matching Parts
The second world war saw major advances in plastic technology and, after some post-war experimentation, perhaps driven by post-war shortages of materials, Plimpton settled on the familiar plastic for most parts.
The mid 1950s saw a gradual change to POLYSTYRENE for part of the range.
MECCANO started with almost all parts in POLYSTYRENE before a retooling, moving the product back to plastic, [c1963] was halted by the final death of BAYKO.
A small sample of 'customised parts' that I've come accross over the years
Unfortunately BAYKO has never had quite the range of parts which LEGO enthusiasts have enjoyed, though far more than other equivalent construction toys.
To solve particular needs, some BAYKO modellers have taken matters into their own hands - or at least they have taken a hacksaw into their own hands!
Some people get hot under the collar at the very thought of treating BAYKO parts in this way, but we all have a number of broken parts, so my view is, “Why not?”
It's easy to see the potential of the simple 'cuts' opportunities [left], which any of us could create - even me!
Surprisingly enough, in the last few years, no less than 3 new ranges of additional BAYKO parts have emerged as enthusiasts have begun to manufacture a substantial range of new parts for sale to their fellow BAYKO collectors : -
Magnificent work by Leo, seen here showing off his superb model of the Empire State Building
Leo Janssen, a printer from Mortsel in Belgium, began by producing a number of self-coloured replica BAYKO parts, in resin.
This was initially to resource his own building needs - just look at his modest little BAYKO model to the left(!) - but grew into a really useful supplementary range for added architectural detail on your next project.
A small sample of the range which Leo has produced
Leo now has a large range of new parts and a particularly helpful range of colour variants of standard parts.
Many modellers find these parts excellent, particularly for creating more contemporary models.
There is no problem using them, Leo's parts fit perfectly with all standard BAYKO parts, and I have used them several times myself.
It's getting more difficult for you to find excuses not to start modelling isn't it? Seriously, why not start now?
Sadly, Leo has since died, and is no longer producing his range.
Brian Salter is a more recent arrival on the scene and now owns the rights to the BAYKO Trademark.
Imaginative use of broken BAYKO parts - Brian Salter's 'Bomb Site'
He produces an increasingly comprehensive range of parts BAYKO 2000 moulded both in neutral plastic and in white metal.
A sample of the range of new parts produced by Brian Salter
Brian's range includes a number of excellent mouldings of Windows, Doors, etc., in different architectural styles.
He also fills in glaring gaps in the original BAYKO range which really should have been produced in the first place!
Brian's parts are, of course, fully compatible with standard BAYKO.
Brian too is a regular BAYKO modeller and I particularly like his imaginative use of broken BAYKO parts in the model on the left.
Gary Birch and Robin Throp have developed the most recent recent offering…
Robin's fantasy using a mix of cut roofs including several from the new range
…by taking the “hacksaw approach”, mentioned above, into the 21st century!
Part of the range of cut roof sections available from Robin and Gary
They have taken damaged and surplus Plimpton era roofs and cut them [to an accuracy of better than one millimetre!] to produce a bespoke, exciting new range of BAYKO roof extensions…
…something BAYKO can really benefit from.
Robin's truly excellent fantasy model [left] gives you a fair idea of just how versatile these newly adapted roofing parts are, and the opportunities they offer.
I think this is an excellent development and can only hope that Robin and Gary will soon turn their minds to the gable and other possibilities of MECCANO era roofing.
Sadly, Robin too has since died.
Thanks to Leo, Brian, Gary and Robin, today's modellers now have the opportunity to really stretch their architectural skills with the largest range of BAYKO parts ever available - why not join them!
Rob Palmer
Rob has now begun to produce, for his own usage,  BAYKO compatible parts, using his 3-D printer - something I have singularly failed to do with mine. I'm not sure, yet, where this will lead us. Watch this space.
Below here are links to related info : -
Click on any of the links below for related information.

The 'Flaming BAYKOMAN' site logo

Latest update - August 11, 2022
The BAYKO name and Logo are the Registered Trade Mark of Transport of Delight.