BAYKO Sales and Marketing

I am indebted to Geof Lilleker for help with some of this information. Like most other such product launches of the day, BAYKO's initial marketing strategy was to use the services of a third party, well known and respected in the trade…
MECCANO MAGAZINE's first BAYKO Christmas advert
…Plimpton worked through : -
1934 flier - the earliest I know of
Berwick's Toy Company Limited,
South Hunter Street,
Liverpool, 1,
However, Fred Rogerson of Berwicks persuaded C.B. Plimpton [BAYKO's inventor] to bring the marketing in house…
…and so Fred joined Plimpton, probably in 1938
…I suspect Berwicks were less than happy!
I don't know if there was a direct link, but Berwicks didn't attend the annual British Industry Fair in the following February…
…still, you can see their point…
…does it also, perhaps, show how significant BAYKO had become?
Presumably it is also around this time that R.L. [Lester] Cooper was hired to service London and the home counties, as announced later, in the September, 1939 issue of 'Toy Trader', the leading publication for the U.K.'s toy trade.
He did this from : -
22, Kempsford Gardens,
London S.W.5.
Telephone - Flaxman 7224
Never heard of Flaxman…?
…it's Chelsea!
Games and Toys 'Sole Supplier' announcement
The split from Berwick's was announced formally [Left] to the trade in 'Games & Toys' in May, 1939.
In the same announcement Plimpton also asked for overseas agents - unfortunate timing to put it mildly!
Strangely, an advert in 'Toy Trader' in September, 1939 made no specific reference to either of these changes, it simply printed the Plimpton address.
This was followed in the June, 1939 edition, by a brief article…
Although BAYKO's sales and marketing activities were generally dormant during the war, trade awareness was maintained via monthly, 'classified advert style' reminders in 'Games & Toys'
After the break for the war, Fred Rogerson returned to Plimpton's, in 1946, and so did Lester Cooper, who again became BAYKO's key man for London and the home counties.
MECCANO MAGAZINE advert - May 1949
Early post-war set 0 with the unusual shape and size of the box
Eventually, together with their five other sales reps, they serviced some 3,500 toy stores and other retail outlets…
…indeed, they achieved pretty well 100% coverage of U.K. toyshops as well as the toy departments of all the major U.K. department stores.
Personal experience in Blackburn, during various holidays across the U.K. in seaside resorts, or whilst enduring the dreaded family shopping excursions, suggests that this was the case - I certainly don't remember ever finding a toyshop without stocks of the world's first, and finest, plastic construction toy.
By the middle of the 1950s, Plimpton were selling more than 150,000 BAYKO sets a year, but were beginning to come under increasing pressure from a wide range of other architectural toys, with the timing of the the launch of LEGO, in 1959, in the U.K., perhaps the most significant.
At its peak, BAYKO's export market reached 35% of total production - served either directly from the U.K. or via local import agents…
Adverts, produced by C. Vernon & Sons of Rodney Street, Liverpool were common in the 1950s.
Plimpton used a number of different printers to produce their various types of documentation over the life of the product…
After the MECCANO takeover, marketing in the 1960s was handled by MECCANO's own people - though not always particularly efficiently if their first flier is anything to go on!
There is comparatively little other marketing information available, but, thanks to an item in 'Games and Toys', December, 1961, I think we can make some useful deductions…
MECCANO also supported BAYKO with two excellent initiatives in the 'MECCANO Magazine'.
First page of 'The TOYMAN' article from the November, 1961 edition of the MECCANO MAGAZINE - the models are to the left of the photo - click here for a larger image of the photo
Firstly - the ‘Toyman’ articles : -
Architest article from MECCANO MAGAZINE, September, 1963
These often featured BAYKO buildings, drawing children's attention to the wider play possibilities of BAYKO models beyond their construction. I never felt that Plimpton pushed this aspect hard enough - e.g. the late arrival of Ramps and Garage Doors.
Left, is an example from November, 1961
Secondly the ‘Architect’ articles : -
These began 6 months before BAYKO's death, running from July, 1963 to May, 1964 - the last being a month or so after production had stopped! An example can be seen to the right.
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.