BAYKO in 'Which?' Magazine - November, 1964
Constructional Toys Report

It's odd for me to include this, as it's none too complimentary about BAYKO...
...still, accuracy above all things!
Is it just me? Until I found my first pre-war BAYKO set, c. 1985, I'm pretty sure I'd never heard the word "Constructional".
Anyway, I'd better get on : -

185 x 242 mm

Front cover of the November, 1964 issue of Which? magazine

7.3 x 9.55 inches
Before I do, a small detail, the dimensions [left] apply to all the pages shown - well it is a printed magazine!
Firstly, there is one very odd feature about this report - its date - November, 1964 - given that normal marketing and production of BAYKO ceased several months earlier, probably in January!
Even if you take into account that BAYKO was still included in the January, 1967 MECCANO products price list - it wasn't being advertised or promoted anywhere that I can find!
There's a second issue, which is one of judgement - the report is with respect to children of 5 and 7 years old, which is probably a bit on the young side for BAYKO. The BAYKO Collectors Club operate an age limit of eight years old in their self-build section at exhibitions.
BAYKO had long since dropped references to "children of all ages" from their literature - though, no doubt BAYKO was bought for kids in that age group. I was living proof of that, in the 1950s, as my first BAYKO set was bought as a Christmas present, when I was Six in 1956.
Still, onwards and upwards - 'Which?' is the widely respected, flagship publication by the independent Consumers' Association in the U.K. Testing products is their 'raison d'être'.
I'm not going to retype the entire 'Which?' Constructional Toys Report / article [life's way too short for that!] but the images [below] show the entire piece. Just click anywhere on any of the images to see a larger version of it - but, be warned, there are only a limited number of mentions of BAYKO, all of which are included in blue below, underneath the image of the page on which they appear.
 
The assessment was split into 3 different sections : -
Building sets
- this is the section which included BAYKO.
Rod and Block sets
- such as BILDIT MASTER.
Engineering sets
- such as MECCANO itself.
 
Assessments used several points of comparison : - "Playing with the toys" was subdivided into : -
Instructions.
Popularity - did they like it?
How they were made - i.e., how it works.
Holding the child's attention.
Fit - how well do the parts go together.
What they made.
Strength - did the parts stand up to use?
Make-believe - did they play with what they'd made?
Number and variety of parts.
Joining in - how they related to the product / each other?
Safety.
Putting away - did it fit back in the box.
Playing with the toys.
Value for money.
 
Pages 336 and 337 of the November, 1964 review of 'constructional toys'.
Page 336
Page 337
Somewhat surprisingly, there isn't a single mention of BAYKO on either of the 2 opening pages!
Page 338 of the November, 1964 review of 'constructional toys'
Page 339 of the November, 1964 review of 'constructional toys'
Page 338
Page 339
A data page mentioning the following : -
The meat of the review : -
Set
#13
What they made.
"Most BAYKO models were never finished."
Price
£1.8s.3d.
Country of manufacture
UK
Number of parts
350
[actually 339]
Material and method
plastic: base holds steel rods for grooved wall panels...
Fit
Fair
Strength
Fairly good
Page 340 of the November, 1964 review of 'constructional toys'
Page 341 of the November, 1964 review of 'constructional toys'
Page 340
Page 341
BAYKO is the left hand column above.
Again, there isn't a single mention of BAYKO on this page.
Models made
18
Times children played with completed models
10
Houses
10
Other buildings
3
Aircraft!!!
2
Page 342 of the November, 1964 review of 'constructional toys'
At the risk of being repetitive, I'm afraid that, once again, there is no mention of BAYKO on this page either...
...and this is the summary page!!!
The only consolation I can draw from the article is that BAYKO was better built than the "Best Buy", BILDIT MASTER and was 3d cheaper!
Seriously though, I think the real problem was the age of the children...
...the truth is that BAYKO really didn't attract the 5 to 7 year-olds of the day.
 
For the record, this toy review was sandwiched between 3 more utilitarian reviews : -
Automatic washing machines.
Carpet underlay.
Wrinkle smoothing lotion.
If you are particularly wondering about the latter subject, I suggest that you seek guidance from a more recent publication, assuming there is one, given the massive development of such products in recent years!
Page 342
Well, that's that I'm afraid - not BAYKO's finest hour!
 
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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