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Erector Set Turns 100 239

Posted by timothy
from the dirty-puns-obvious-and-therefore-redundant dept.
GospelHead821 writes: "It's been one hundred years since the first Erector Set was patented in Europe under the name of Meccano (It is sold under this name in Europe to this day). Unfortunately for Erector, the advent of plastic Lego bricks in 1958 spelled misfortune for the more complex, metal frame construction kit. Erector fans should keep an eye out, though! The Brio Corp. may be looking to reintroduce the Erector Set to the United States sometime soon. I remember playing with an old Erector Set when I was a kid, but I haven't seen one in quite a while. Here's hoping it makes a comeback. As versatile as Legos are, there's just something unconvincing about a Martian Destroyer Robot made out of plastic." My ranking is Capsula > Erector > Tinker Toys > Lincoln Logs > Lego.
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Erector Set Turns 100

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  • Meccano still around (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mwongozi (176765) <slashthree@david ... g ['glo' in gap]> on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @07:07PM (#2408653) Homepage
    Meccano is still pretty popular here in the UK. I never even realised that it had a different name anywhere else.

    There's a good web page here [zetnet.co.uk] which has some plans for some cool models (dinosaurs, airplanes, diggers, etc.), and some photos of some pretty weird things made out of Meccano, too. :)

  • here's a link (Score:3, Informative)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @07:51PM (#2408719) Homepage Journal
    meccano [meccano.fr]

    you have to view the french pages, al other under contrustion, but you can see some pretty nifty stuff.
    disclaimer:I hated erector sets as a kid. I prefered building radios.
  • Erectors in USSR (Score:4, Informative)

    by dvk (118711) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @07:51PM (#2408721) Homepage
    In USSR there were no Legos when I grew up (late 70s-80s), but Erector equivalents were VERY popular, and my favorites.

    Hmm... after seing comments (and reading an article a while ago about Engineering vs. Lego/Erector use by kids in England) I feel that this theory has some confirming data in fUSSR - the popularity of such toys might be among the factor explaining the fact that many more people chose engineering/technical specialties, and that many fUSSR immigrants in USA easily find themselves a career in programming even if they had no previous education/experience in any related field.

    All I can say is - my future kid(s) will definitely get to play with Erector set equivalents, be they boys or girls (ok, gotta post quick while wife is not watching - she'd rather see a daughter playing with dolls :)))

    Cheers, Daniel

  • Rivetron rules (Score:2, Informative)

    by kallisti (20737) <rmidthun@yahoo.com> on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @08:05PM (#2408764) Homepage
    Too bad some stupid kid choked to death on the Rivetron rivets and they had a recall. When my Mom got the recall letter, she refused to send it back since she knew it was on of our favorites.

    I'm concerned about the general demise of building toys, they're mostly what I had as a kid: Lego, Brix Blox (a cheap Lego knockoff), Girder and Panel (bridges and buildings), Tinkertoy, Erector (newer plastic version), Erector (MUCH cooler 1940's version with metal pieces and a 120V AC motor!, found at an auction for a steal), Micronauts (a bit of a stretch, but the city expansion definitely qualifies), Lincoln Logs (what's so bad about cabins?), probably others. Now, almost all of these are gone...

  • Robotix (Score:3, Informative)

    by mrdisco99 (113602) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @08:20PM (#2408799)

    My ranking is Capsula > Erector > Tinker Toys > Lincoln Logs > Lego.

    You forgot Robotix!

    Unique features: slotted connectors for cable management, dinosaur jaws, astronaut action figure, weighted piece for adjusting center of gravity, rough terrain wheels
  • Meccano vs. Erector (Score:4, Informative)

    by Animats (122034) on Wednesday October 10, 2001 @12:37AM (#2409430) Homepage
    Meccano and Erector weren't the same thing. Erector sets [pandys.com] came from A. C. Gilbert, had stamped and punched beams that looked like trusses, and were scaled in English units. Meccano came from England, had flat punched beams with holes and had nonstandard sizes. (To this day, Meccano has nonstandard bolts.)

    Both A.C. Gilbert and Meccano of England are defunct, but a company in France bought both names and sells Meccano under both names. The Erector system is dead, except as a collectable.

  • by Ella the Cat (133841) on Wednesday October 10, 2001 @04:27AM (#2409866) Homepage Journal

    To this day, Meccano has nonstandard bolts.)

    11/32 inch BSW (British Standard Whitworth)

    http://www.boltscience.com/pages/screw4.htm

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