BAYKO Product Details - 1934 to 1936

The [then] brand new BAYKO Light Constructional Sets #1 to #5 were launched on a grateful British public in time for Christmas, 1934 - just! - after teething problems which bedevilled the early production runs.
Early 1930s model of a Detached House with Garage in brown and cream
All the plastic parts in the BAYKO sets of this production period were manufactured in BAKELITE, still a relatively novel material at the time. They were initially made using BAKELITE in the form of SCARAB POWDERS  [phenol formaldehyde] supplied initially by : -
68, Victoria Street,
London, SW1.
At this time this new plastic technology didn't run to cheap, reliable, mass production of accurate colours.
So-called red bricks and roofs varied from a weak, milk chocolate through to a deep, almost maroon colour. White bricks were pale cream.
Windows [one size only was available] and Doors were in a drab olive brown colour which varied in colour from a dark variant to a mid colour.
Bases were large and uniformly brown.
Different corner moulding detail on early bases
There were early problems with Bases warping as they cooled and also being a little fragile…
…which were addressed by slight moulding changes to the later ones (post 1935).
The changes aren't easy to spot - try looking at the larger image by clicking on the smaller one - but they would appear to have been enough to solve the problem…
…the corner slots on the later ones - left - are larger…
The parts range available at launch was quite limited with only one type of window and one width of brick.
Early canopy piece both sides are shown and also the grooved edge
Particularly noteworthy is this strange early BAYKO, composite, Door / Canopy piece [left], which has : -
A primitive door panelling on one side [left of the image].
A standard, flat, Canopy surface on the other [right of the image].
Grooves down both long sides - for vertical use [bottom of the image].
The more familiar five Rod holes - for horizontal use.
When they turn up at all, many of these early Canopy parts are damaged, which may explain the quick change to the long lived version early in 1935.
Such problems are not really surprising when you remember that BAYKO was the first truly mass-produced plastic toy in history.
The Large Floors, [15 x 23 holes] which were initially include in sets #4 to #6, were dropped, in favour of smaller components matching the total Floor area, and the set contents adjusted, particularly Rods, probably in 1935.
Detatched House with Chaufer Garage in Oak
The much larger #6 “De-Luxe” Set was advertised from 1935 onwards.
These sets had 'Oak' Bricks, White Windows and Mottled Green Roofs - as in the model [right] - but used the standard large brown Bases.
The 'Oak' effect was achieved by the somewhat surprising inclusion of sawdust with the SCARAB POWDERS - add a cheaper ingredient and make a premium product - not bad!
Surprisingly, the #6 “De-Luxe” Set was the largest BAYKO set ever produced, indeed, in terms of the wall area [including Windows and Doors] it was bigger than a post-war set #4 and a MECCANO era set #15 combined! Though, of course, the range of distinct parts was more limited!
Oak set #6 from c1935
More surprising [certainly to me] is the fact that, apart from colour variants, their flagship “De Luxe” set #6 launched just one exciting new BAYKO part…
…the super sexy Binding Strip(!)…
…though even these hit the other standard sets around the same time.
Apart from colour changes, facilitated by plastic technology developments, there were no new BAYKO parts until 1938.
From the launch of this set in 1935 until the war, any sized set could be ordered in this 'Oak' and White colour scheme.
This included the 'New Series' sets and was, I long to say, a shrewd marketing ploy…
…talking to many people who, as children, played with an 'Oak' set, you cannot help but be impressed by the warmth of their affection [one could even say love‽] for this particular BAYKO colour scheme…
…to contradict myself, I know of no such sets having survived, so were they ever taken up‽
The BAYKO conversion sets [#1A to #4A] became available from around February, 1935.
1A Conversion set - 1934 to 1936 - click here for a larger image
These conversion sets allowed the smallest set, ultimately, to be converted into the largest. E.g. a #3A set converts a #3 set into a #4 set…
…except that the colour differences between the #6 “De-Luxe” Set and the smaller ones meant there could be no conversion set #5A at this stage…
…this latter case held until late 1938.
I just thought that the following quote would be a good way to finish off this section : -
“Whilst it is an undisputed fact that the number of constructional toys on the market is legion, there can be no doubt that in 'BAYKO' there has arrived something which should prove popular.” - February 1935, 'Games and Toys', the leading publication for the U.K. toy trade.
There were three distinct versions of BAYKO manual produced by Plimpton covering the earliest years of BAYKO production…
Front cover of both the first 2 versions of the BAYKO manuals
…the first manual [left] was produced in 1934 and covered sets #1 to #5.
Front cover of both the first manuals for sets #1 to #6
When set #6 was introduced the above manual was modified to include these new opportunities by stapling additional pages, an 'appendix' as it were, into the original back of the manual.
Plimpton then introduced a comprehensive manual for sets #1 to #6 [right above] which lasted into the next BAYKO production period.
You may want to know more about the full range of BAYKO manuals, if so…

If you would like information on the price of BAYKO sets during this period, click on one of the links below.
Below here are links to related info : -
Click on any of the links below for related information.

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Latest update - August 11, 2022
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