All about the World of Meccano and Meccano Kids Play
Meccano is like LEGO for adults. First released all the way back in 1901, Meccano sets feature metal and plastic pieces including plates, rods and gears which can all be used to build structures or machines. All Meccano sets feature 4mm holes at ½ inch spacing so that every part is interchangeable. The best thing about Meccano is that it can essentially be used for small scale mechanical engineering projects. It teaches children research, engineering, problem-solving, and mathematical skills. While Meccano is not nearly as popular today as it was through the 20th century, many kids still love to play with the sets to build simple or very complex machinery. Meccano is also wildly popular with adults who grew up with the toys, as the time, patience and effort required for building some of the more complex creations are still great for exercising the mind, not to mention that you get a great sense of satisfaction upon completing the project.
A Brief History of Meccano
A man named Frank Hornby from Liverpool England created the first Meccano set in 1901. Called “Mechanics Made Easy”, the set was designed to be an educational toy for kids interested in mechanical engineering. Mechanics Made Easy featured levers, pulleys, and all sorts of other mechanical parts which could be used to build and create machines of any size. The toys quickly grew in popularity, which led Hornby to set up a manufacturing shop in Liverpool. He changed the name to “Meccano”, trademarked it, and watched as his profits soared. While early Meccano sets were kind of flimsy, Hornby learned many innovative metalworking techniques and the Meccano sets started to become sturdier and able to withstand more punishment.
Meccano reached peak popularity in the 30s. Brand new sets were being released with more parts than ever, and even though production had to be shut down during WWII, profits were still soaring. In the early 1960’s, though, Meccano Ltd was undergoing various financial problems and the company was sold. Meccano would change hands a few more times before finally returning to Meccano SN, the French parent company, in the mid 2000’s.
Exercise Your Young Child’s Brain with Meccano Kids Play
While the original Meccano sets are designed for older children or adults to enjoy, they are not really designed for younger-aged kids. That is why Meccano released their “Meccano Kids Play” line of toys. Featuring oversized plastic parts, Meccano Kids Play allows your young child to build and put together their own toys using a little plastic screwdriver. Most of the Kids Play products are cars, trucks, and other vehicles. Minor assembly is required, but building their own toy will give your child a sense of satisfaction and help him learn the construction and problem-solving skills that older kids get with the more advanced Meccano sets.
Buy Your Meccano Sets Today While Meccano sets are not sold as widely today as they were back in the mid-20th century, it is still possible to find them in a variety of specialty toy stores. Whether you want one of the classic sets or a Meccano Kids Play set, you can bet that there is a toy store in Australia who will be able to help you out.