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Meccano toys buying guide

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Meccano Guide -  An Introduction

Meccano is a construction system that consists of reusable metal plates, strips, girders, axles, wheels, and gears. It uses nuts and bolts to connect all the pieces. With a Meccano model set, you can build working mechanical devices and models.

The Meccano toy was invented by Frank Hornby in 1901, manufactured in England from 1908 through 1980. They are now manufactured in China and France. Meccano was originally named “Mechanics Made Easy,” and the Meccano construction toys used mechanical engineering principles. Over the years, metal became a more expensive material for manufacturing, so many of the metal parts have been replaced by plastic.

There are many different Meccano sets to choose from, designed for different ages, interests, and skill levels. Meccano toys are not limited to children; many people who discovered Meccano as children still love to build and design mechanical creations, even as adults.

Whatever Meccano sets you’re looking for, Price Inspector will make it easy to find the right item at the cheapest price. We shop the UK stores to bring you great items at great prices, sure to fit any budget. Our buying guide will give you the confidence that you’re buying the perfect Meccano set.

Vehicles

When you combine a construction set with the principles of mechanical engineering, it’s only natural that different vehicles will results. Many of the popular Meccano building sets are designed to create one specific vehicle, while others can be built in several configurations.

  • The Meccano crane set is a special 100th anniversary set. This deluxe special addition set was released to commemorate 100 years of Meccano toys. It includes 643 pieces and a sturdy storage case. You can create 25 different designs with their detailed instructions and diagrams; you can also build an unlimited number of models—one at a time—using your imagination. The set comes with a 6V motor.
  • Another popular set is the Meccano police bucket. This bucket comes with 100 colourful plastic pieces, and you can build eight different models, up to four at a time. Models range from a helicopter to a motorbike. This is a set for younger children, with a recommended age of 4 and up.
  • The Meccano tractor comes in a few different choices. Vroom the Tractor is a plastic set designed to introduce children to construction toys. The parts are large and easy to assemble, recommended for ages 2 and up. The Design Starter Tractor has 96 parts and is designed for children 8 to 15.
  • The Meccano bike set features metal parts and Meccano’s new bend-in-half flexible parts. You can build 5 different construction models with the included instructions. It is designed for ages 8 and up. This set features a new colour scheme of coral and champagne.
  • Starter Set series features is available in 6 different designs, including a sidecar, helicopter, all-terrain vehicle, excavator, snowmobile, and speed boat. Each design is sold separately. If you buy all six in the set, there is a bonus sailing boat that can be built from the extra parts for all the sets.

Other sets

In addition to the vehicles, there are many different sets offered by Meccano.

  • Build a miniature Eiffel tower with a 241 piece set, designed for children 8 years and up.
  • Meccano City sets are available to build a complete city. Different sets include a Police Bucket, Rescue Bucket, Garbage Truck, and Helicopter. The Rescue Bucket features 190 parts to build 18 different models. It comes with instructions and a sturdy storage bucket. It is designed for children 8 and up. 
  •  The Meccano Build and Play line is designed for younger children as an introduction to construction, as young as 2 years old. These plastic sets include a bug car, tractor, helicopter, side car, and funky car. Other toys in the set include a fire truck, racing car, and digger.
  • Junior Meccano sets are designed for children too old for the Build and Play line but not ready for the traditional sets. These plastic sets are recommended for ages 4 and up. One of the popular toys in this collection is the Easy Construction Box. This kit comes with 100 parts that can build 10 different models. It features and easy-to-carry storage box, tools, and instructions.
  • There are several different sets in the Meccano Mini line. Similar to the Build and Play line, there are Mini sets are designed for children as young as two years old. These are a great introduction to construction toys. Popular items include a bird, bee, and frog.
  • There are also Meccano Mini sets designed for older children. The Mini Robots collection is sold in three different colours of small robots. These metal robots are designed for ages 8 and up. The Mini Tuning Low Ride Car and Pickup sets let children in this age range build and customize their own cars and trucks and are available in different colours.
  • Meccano Spykee is a hot new toy for building enthusiasts 8 years and older. With this set, you build Spykee the WiFi robot. This spy robot moves around, speaks, hears, and sees. He is controlled through the Internet—computer not included—and can be controlled from anywhere throughout the world. Spykee’s video surveillance system lets him detect movement, either setting off an alarm or sending you a picture of what he’s seen. Use Spykee to stay in touch with family and friends using his Web cam and VoIP capabilities. You can even take pictures and videos using Spykee. There are three different robots that can be built from the same set, although only one can be built at a time.
  • Meccano Design sets combine classic Meccano construction with a modern twist. These sets let young builders make two different models using the new flexible spring parts. These steel parts retain their shape after use. Sets include more than 100 pieces and instructions to build two different models, although you can only build one at a time. Different designs include a race car, motor bike, car, off road truck, and quad bike.
  • Some Meccano sets are available with a remote control option, including a robot and different cars. These sets let you build and then control your creation. A popular set is the Light and Sound White Car. With this set, you’ll build a ‘tuning’ street car. This car features lights at the front and rear, music, windshield, spoiler, ‘alloy’ wheels, and blue lights underneath the chassis. The kit contains 354 metal parts, letting you build three different cars.
  • The Meccano Multi Models set includes easy-to-build motorized toys, designed for children ages 8 and up. This popular set lets you build and then rebuild many cool toys, including a helicopter, dragster, and crane. They come with 261 parts, a 3 volt motor, tools, and assembly instructions. Batteries are not included.

Tips to Consider before buying Meccano Toys

  • Read the recommended ages carefully. Some sets are designed for children as young as 2 years old, but the majority of the sets are for ages 8 and up. This is both for safety considerations and for the complexity of the building sets.
  • Make sure you know whether one or more sets can be built at once. Some of the sets only allow one model to be built at any one time, while others can build up to 4 at a time.

  • If you are buying for an adult hobbyist, find out whether the parts in the set are metal, plastic, or a combination. Some collectors or purists want only the more original parts made of metal rather than plastic.
  • Meccano toys are educational, regardless of age level. Younger children will develop fine motor skills and a love of construction with the Build and Play sets, while older children will learn the principles of mechanical design and engineering with the traditional sets.
  • There are also Meccano style sets made by other manufacturers. These vary in price and quality. If you are considering buying one of these sets, read online reviews first.
  • If you are buying hard-to-find sets through online auctions, also search for Erector Sets. Meccano sets are sold under this name in the United States. If you are buying used or collectible sets, find out if all the parts are included and their condition. For a motorized set, ask if the motor works.

Jargon Explained

 

VoIPVoice over Internet Protocol). This telecommunications system uses the Internet to transmit telephone calls.
WiFiWireless Internet connection.

Buying Guide to Meccano toys
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