BAYKO Wholesale Packaging

A range of early pre-war packs of spare parts - click here for a larger image
Not surprisingly, comparatively little pre-war BAYKO packaging has survived, so, much has to be deduced from comparatively little.
Pre-war BAYKO price lists priced parts in fixed quantities, e.g. so much for 12 Red or White Bricks.
A few boxed examples matching these quantities and with the prices printed on them, have survived so it is reasonable to assume that parts were meant to be sold in these boxes.
That, perhaps argues that this should count as Retail Packaging, certainly the presentation standard was good enough.
Doubtless, many toyshops would have been flexible and would have split boxes to satisfy customers with limited pocket money...
...this was particularly true, and anticipated, for parts like Arches, which were packed, in sixes, in boxes which were printed as "6d each" [2½p]...
A range of early pre-war packs of spare parts
...similarly for Canopies, Chimneys, Platforms and Steps.
I also have a photo-copy of an early pre-war retail cabinet contents list which details all the box quantities referred to above.
Just one slight word of caution - some boxes, like those for Pillars, could hold at least 12 parts, but the box still says "6 for 1/-" [5p].
This may raise a slight question mark, however, I still think that the printed list is our best bet.
BAYKO 'New Series' spares box
I understand that this boxed approach was also used for the new parts introduced in the Special Sets [#20 - #23]...
...and I'm sure that this box format was certainly used right up to the war, including the provision of new boxes for 'New Series' parts [left].
The box [above, left] has no part name but bears the script "12 for 1/-" [5p], the price for Curved, End and Long Bricks as shown in the final pre-war BAYKO manual, a price point never used at any other time.
The missing part name suggests a plan to price [and box] these [then] new parts as simply and cost-effectively, as possible.
BAYKO Logo taken from a box of Bricks
One final point on the above boxes...
BAYKO Logo taken from a box of Corner Bricks
...why on earth do they carry two completely different BAYKO Logos? [left and right]
W H Y ?
The pre-war Rod boxes shown in the picture [right] show that the same approach was used to supply Rods as well, intuitively I believe this to have been the case from the start.
Pre-war Rod boxes
I doubt if even the most optimistic of retailers ever expected to sell full Rod boxes to the pocket money brigade, so there use as a wholesale storage unit seems clear!
This approach, in slightly different guises, prevailed through most of the life of the BAYKO product. However, Retail Cabinets are usually found with Rods held only with rubber bands, alongside substantial stocks of loose conventional plastic parts so...?
BAYKO spares were generally sold from wooden or cardboard Retail Cabinets, which were designed to be located on the shop counter.
Retailers topped up their stock of BAYKO spare parts by ordering replacements, in fixed quantities, from Plimpton.
Post-war spare parts boxes - click here for a larger image

12 x Flat Roofs, 6 x Large Roofs and 12 x White Domes - in that order - packaged for the retailer

These, for much, if not all, of the post-war Plimpton era, took the form of simple cardboard boxes [left], holding a moderate number [much larger quantities than pre-war] of one particular part.
There can, however, be no doubt that these boxed quantities were expected to be split to serve the young consumers.
Larger parts, such as the various roofs and bases were still ordered in prescribed quantities and wrapped to survive the journey [slide show - left below].
Just for interest, the wrapping tape reads as follows : -
If this sealing tape is broken, or if the package is damaged or wet, sign carrier's sheet strictly in accordance with the actual condition. It is not sufficient to sign "unexamined."
Written complaint must be made to the Carriers and the Senders immediately, otherwise no claim can be entertained.
My apologies if you thought the underlined words above were links - they are not.
Post-war, Rods were still shipped in purpose-made tubes of the right length, designed as a very tight fit.
The tubes used for the Rods were predominately red [below right], however, as the image [further below right] shows, they also existed in white.
I don't know why, but, for some reason, the small white tubes seem to have survived much more frequently than their larger brethren.
Post-war rod boxes

Postwar BAYKO Rod boxes - the less common white tubes - click here for a larger image

I have only come across such Plimpton era Rod tubes, in either colour, for sizes up to 8-Brick Rods, which were the standard sizes in post-war sets.
Pre-war, longer Rod boxes almost certainly existed, though I have none to show you. Remember set #6 included 10-Brick Rods.
Post-war, Plimpton certainly advertised up to 12-Brick Rods, on their parts price lists, through to the early 1950s, which is certainly strong evidence that they probably existed, at least at that stage.
However, I am a little more sceptical as to whether or not they did from the mid 1950s onwards - though both Plimpton and MECCANO would still have needed something to ship the longer Rods which were always available direct from them.
I can say with certainty that boxes exist for 10-Brick Rods from the MECCANO era - I own one - so they, at least, probably existed earlier...
...presumably the reason I've never seen any other larger Rod tubes is that they were never a standard stock item as far as Retail Cabinet contents were concerned.
Post-war Rod tubes for 3-Brick up to 6-Brick Rods held 144 rods, the other standard sizes held 72...
...the limited number of pre-war Rod tubes I've come across so far are the same.
This next item is unusual when you consider the state of the business at the time - which was, almost certainly, quite close to the MECCANO takeover, in 1959, or thereabouts. This is based, at least partially, on the frequency with which these items emerge.
The images here [right & left] show BAYKO's whole experiment [?] with the [then] latest packaging technology - as far as I'm aware, anyway.
The first [left] shows a pre-printed, transparent, cellophane bag which originally contained a "Gate and matching Balustrade", a pair of items which would previously have been held together with an elastic band.
The second [right] shows another pre-printed cellophane bag, containing "one only Side Window LEFT" and "one only Side Window RIGHT", which were also previously sold as pairs held together by an elastic band.
This innovation must have been about product presentation, though I'm sure it also sent a massive shudder through the global elastic band market!!!
There may well have been other uses for this technology, though no other obvious candidates spring to mind. If you know of any other examples, then I'd love to hear from you...
Comparatively few of these bags have survived, so, for those who collect such things, they have a scarcity value.
Not long before the MECCANO take-over, Plimpton launched a new part - Garage Doors. I don't know if the method they used for distributing them was the normal one, but you may find it of interest.
MECCANO era wholesale packs - polythene bags
The MECCANO takeover brought with it a much greater degree of automation to the BAYKO packing process.
Based on my observations, the free-flowing parts, such as Bricks, were always packaged in small polythene bags.
The quantities per bag suggest that these were probably intended to be sold as full bags, though, as before, doubtless many retailers would happily split them.
Rather oddly, given the difficulty I would expect in handling them, all roof sections were sold in bagged pairs.
Perhaps a little more surprisingly, small and medium sized Rods were also packed in such bags.
Products more prone to interlock with each other, like Windows, were packed, probably still by hand, in yellow cardboard boxes [right].
MECCANO era wholesale packs - yellow boxes
Rather oddly, the fragile French Windows were bagged, yet the more robust Garage Doors were boxed.
These boxes were much less robust than their Plimpton predecessors but were in small enough quantities to often, if not usually, have been sold as full boxes...
...though I feel certain that items like Arches and Garage Doors, which were packed in sixes, would, assuming common sense prevailed, have been split.
MECCANO era Rod boxes
Longer Rods were similarly packed in yellow cardboard boxes [left], though...
...surprisingly, medium sized Rods were also packed in these boxes...
...I'm afraid I don't know the timing of the use of boxes or poly bags.
Whatever the Rod packaging style, by comparison with the earlier, Plimpton era, MECCANO era Rods were packed in significantly more modest quantities [12s compared with 72s and 144s], therefore, I think we can reasonably conclude that both the bags and the tubes would normally have been sold intact.
Either to use up existing stocks of Plimpton parts or leftover raw materials, there are examples of Plimpton era parts - including Bases and Screwdrivers - wrapped in the new MECCANO packaging...
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