Talk:Meccano

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Hornby HO train Scalextric slotcars where also made by meccano isn'it ? Ericd 19:08 21 May 2003 (UTC)

Reorganising this article[edit]

I would like to split Meccano (the construction kit) and Meccano Ltd (the company) into two separate sections in the article. Meccano Ltd redirects to this page and it could be a little confusing. Any thoughts? --Bruce1ee 07:33, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

Fair enough the Meccano company was resposible for more than just the construction kit - but I would keep company history in the article where it does impact the kit. GraemeLeggett 10:41, 30 September 2005 (UTC)
I've split the article, but it still needs some work. I also want to expand on the history of Meccano Ltd and add a section on the Meccano Magazine. --Bruce1ee 05:33, 3 October 2005 (UTC)

Splitting this article[edit]

This article has become quite long now and I propose that it be split into 3 separate articles:

If there are no objections, I'd be happy to undertake the split myself. --Bruce1ee 14:24, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Done. --Bruce1ee 14:01, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Empty space?[edit]

I see there is a large expanse of empty white underneath the old Meccano sign at the top of the page. Perhaps another picture could squeeze in under there? Perhaps a layout of some main pieces and connectors recieven in an average kit for examples? Lady BlahDeBlah 14:27, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Another picture can be added below the logo, but it might make the top of the page a little cluttered. A better option might be to move the logo down a little to the right of the TOC, thus filling that white space. --Bruce1ee 15:01, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
OK (10 months later!) I've moved the old Meccano logo down to the right of the TOC. How does that look? --Bruce1ee 14:43, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Celtic Park soccer stadium[edit]

I've reverted (twice) the following addition by anon user 12.17.12.230:

"It was also used, in the most part, to construct Celtic Park soccer stadium, located in the east side of Glasgow, United Kingdom."

Celtic Park soccer stadium may look like a Meccano construction, but Meccano was not used to build it. --Bruce1ee 13:48, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Plastic meccano ?[edit]

There is no mention of plastic meccano.

I had a set in the late 60s - with yellow struts. They had blue plastic bolts. The holes for the plastic bolts were spaced two inches apart with three smaller holes inbetween that could be used to mate it with real mecanno.

However I do not know when it was manufacured or what sets were available.

Arachrah 10:23, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Plastic Meccano is mentioned in "The new Meccano" section, but this is from the 1980s and I'm not sure if it's what you are referring to. What you had might have been a Meccano clone. --Bruce1ee 13:02, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Plastic Meccano was indeed made by Meccano Ltd, launched in August 1965 with the slogan "big pieces for little hands", and the main outfits were lettered A, B, and C (there was also an educational version). In 1971 it was redesigned and renumbered as sets 100, 200, 300, 400. The parts are obviously different, but compatible. There was another facelift in 1977. It was successful right through to the end of UK production, and in fact was one of the only Meccano products still increasing its sales in the last couple of years. The French factory didn't continue it, I don't believe, so it doesn't belong in post-1980 sections. By the way, many of the external links on this page are not the best of selections IMHO... Best regards, Charles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 222.154.179.23 (talk) 11:43, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Hi Charles, thanks for this info. I think it should be added to the article and perhaps also mentioned in Meccano Ltd. Regarding the external links, they do need to be reviewed. I busy with other things at the moment, but feel free to jump in! --Bruce1ee 07:34, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Hi Bruce1ee, I would, but one of the links points to a site that I host, and I understood that it was against Wikipedia etiquette to muck about with such links? Please excuse me, I am completely new to this and don't know the correct 'form'... Charles —Preceding unsigned comment added by 219.89.64.111 (talk) 03:40, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Hi Charles, I don't see you working on this article as being a problem as long as you are not promoting yourself or a company. If you're concerned about what you can or can't do, have a look at Wikipedia:Conflict of interest. Also consider creating yourself a Wikipedia account. Clearly you know Meccano and any improvements you can make to this article will be greatly appreciated. --Bruce1eetalk 08:00, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Hi Bruce1ee, I've finally got around to this overhaul of the links section -- mainly because we've been rated as quality C! I figured it may as well be done properly if at all. The sections have been thinned out considerably with 'fringe' or personal websites removed, as they are all referenced in the "Meccano Web Ring" at the top of the General section. The multiple histories and semi-dead forums have been removed, just one history remains and the only significant user interaction resource, which is the Spanner email list. I suggest that the December 1918 advert from the Popular Science (on Google Books) should be linked in to the main body text as an interesting aside, it's not really a useful link, but I don't know how to do that correctly in WP. The "Resources" section now contains just a limited number of different resources, the most comprehensive of each type on the net. You should probably check that you're ok with these as three of the links point to sites under my control, but they aren't promoting me or a company, nor do they link to any site containing advertising of any type. Charles Tillsbury (talk) 23:14, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Hi Charles, I think your overhaul of the links section is fine. Well done! I'm not sure what you had in mind with the Popular Science advert. Perhaps a paragraph could be added describing Meccano Ltd's early advertising campaigns with a link to this and other adverts. Otherwise that link at the bottom can remain where it is, maybe shortened to something like:
Also any other work you can do on this and related articles will be appreciated. --Bruce1eetalk 08:54, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Bolts[edit]

"For many years bolts were slotted, but since the 1900s, these are Allen (hex-headed) and zinc electroplated steel" - they were still slotted in the 1960s - don't know when the change was made so can't make a correction myself, also the reference to Allen (repeated in another place) is surely wrong - Allen heads have a hex socket which takes an Allen key. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.6.254.67 (talk) 17:07, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Well spotted. I've corrected the quoted sentence. Allen head bolts were introduced in 1989 as stated earlier in the section. --Bruce1eetalk 05:42, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

The New Meccano[edit]

"Many parts were introduced since the Liverpool factory closed under the French-and-Japanese running of the company. These included plastic parts, gears, electric motors and battery boxes." Can anybody think of a way of improving this? There were a small number of plastic parts during the late Binns Road era, there were of course many gears (albeit not plastic) and at least two motors including one with built-in epicycliptic gearbox. I'd also add that the article says nothing about clockwork motors of which again there were at least two. MarkMLl (talk) 12:02, 2 August 2008 (UTC)


And there was a water powered motor, made in about 1920 for a couple of years. It had a pipe in the top to the tap and drain pipe at the bottom to the sink. Im 57 and i only saw one for real last week, at an auction, and it changed hands for £1200. It was clearly marked 'Meccano' with a logo identical to the Car Constructor kits of the 1920's 82.21.204.60 (talk) 11:52, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

References/Links[edit]

A lot of the links on this page are of variable quality. Particularly in the "Resources" section, i.e.:

"The Meccano Restoration Archive" appears to be a dead link. "Meccanoscene" and "Meccanopedia" are shells containing very little if any information or updates. "Photos of toy steam engines..." is not really a Meccano link, although there is a tiny amount of content. "Meccano Kinematics" and "Alan's Meccano Pages" are not really unusual in their content, and are accessible like most other links through the Web Ring, which is reasonably at the top in "General".

It seems to me that "Resources" should contain information on Meccano that can be read or downloaded, and as such Spanner, the "Meccano parts" (should really be called the "Online Parts Museum"), "Electronics in Meccano" and "VirtualMEC" are good links within this section. There could also be a link inserted to a recently created store of over two hundred Meccano manuals in PDF format for download (the "Meccano Manual Museum"), currently at http://www.nzmeccano.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=24 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 219.89.64.111 (talk) 03:38, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Hi Charles, You're correct, the external links section is in need of a revamp. But as I said in my posts above, feel free to improve on this section yourself – just keep Wikipedia:External links in mind. --Bruce1eetalk 08:03, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Deliberate errors in the manuals?[edit]

I've tagged the following statement, which was added to the Capabilities section, with {{verify source}}:

It has been said that the instructions sometimes contained deliberate errors to challenge the ingenuity of its users.[1]

  1. ^ "James May's Top Toys". 2008-12-17. UKTV. Dave.  Missing or empty |series= (help)

The source says "there were frequently errors in the instruction manuals to trip small children up!", but it says nothing about them being deliberate, and I don't believe Meccano Ltd would deliberately introduce errors. --Bruce1eetalk 06:40, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

The source is actually the television programme referred to in the link, which I watched last night. May clearly says "deliberately" in an aside while the models are being made. Hence the tag is unnecessary. The source is the programme, not the URL. Also, "It has been said" is somewhat weaker an assertion than the fact itself, and is certainly verifiable, as above. --Rodhullandemu 12:48, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

There is no other reference to the allegation of deliberate mistakes, and in fact this has been denied by Meccanomen who used to work at Binns Road on the manuals. Not many manuals have significant mistakes in them, and certainly no more than there are unintentional errors in more modern model plans. It seems more than likely that this allegation was picked as a particularly entertaining statement for the programme and emphasised May's point of view. IMHO the current wording of "it has been said" is as strong as we can reasonably go and gives the correct level of confidence.Tillsbury (talk) 21:51, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Capabilities[edit]

In the Capabilities section of the article, mention is made of a "rumour" that a differential analyser made from Meccano was used in preparation for Operation Chastise. I've recently been engaged in email communication with the museum where this differential analyser is held, and with the author of some relevant online materials, as a result of which it is clear that this "rumour" is no more than that. To see what I mean, I've just completed a fairly major overhaul of the differential analyser article to reflect this, backed up with refs, and you might like to have a look. This being the case, I propose to move mention of this rumour from the text of the Meccano article into a ref, leaving mention of the machine itself in the article. However, I'm currently awaiting further information from Royal Air Force Museum London, so I'll hold off until that's sewn up. In the meantime, comments anyone? Nortonius (talk) 17:22, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

I have no objection to your proposed changes, you've obviously researched the subject thoroughly. Thanks. —Bruce1eetalk 06:20, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Ok, thanks for the response - no further info from the RAF Museum, or comments from other editors, so:  Done. In the event, it amounted to a pretty major re-write, and I've added much info to the article, but tried to keep it brief. Hopefully it's ok! Nortonius (talk) 01:07, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Eitech / Giant Plastic Mechano[edit]

There is a brand called 'Eitech' which seems to be a Mechano (small scale, metal) clone. I haven't tried it but it looks like it would be compatible with Mechano. It's a Marbel brand I think (it's in the Marbel toys catalogue, anyway).

Has anyone seen a kind of giant scale plastic mechano? I had the small plastic mechano when I was a kid (late 70's/80's). My son has something similar but it's much bigger (the bolts are longer than your index finger, longest struts about the length of your upper arm, wheels like a circle form with both hands. I believe the intended model is a robot. Any one know what the brand/vendor might be? If I can find the box I'll add a note here.

I recall something that seems to be as described in [1], referred to as "Bolt n' Play Building Set". A version currently on the market is [2] —Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.97.163.220 (talk) 23:52, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

86.150.96.49 (talk) 20:25, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Spykee robot stair climbing claim[edit]

The article claims that the plastic Mechano robot named Spykee can climb stairs". As far as I can tell this is not true. A quick internet search reveals that sellers and promoters of the Spykee robot often casually mention its stair climbing ability, but user forums by people that have bought the robot clearly state it does not climb stairs. Its design would indicate it cannot climb stairs and there is no footage of the robot climbing stairs on youtube. It may well be that the robot can climb scale stairs of about an inch high, but this is not made clear and the implication is that the robot can climb domestic stairs. I intend to edit this to "the Spykee robot cannot climb stairs contrary to what is often claimed" if there is no response to this item. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikev (talkcontribs) 19:45, 3 March 2011 (UTC) Change made. Wikev (talk) 21:52, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

[edit]

The

banner has been added to this page but I'm not sure which parts it refers to. Generally, the page doesn't read like an advert to me. Roly (talk) 11:17, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

I agree, it doesn't read like an advert to me either. The banner was added here in November 2011 by Crossmr with an edit summary "parts of this read very promotionally". —Bruce1eetalk 12:08, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

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