Frank Hornby 150th Anniversary 1863-2013
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The Meccano Ltd. factory in Liverpool

Meccano Ltd. was always looking for new markets and new types of toy, and produced a range of other brands.

These included Hornby Speedboats and Hornby Racing Boats, Meccano Aeroplane Constructor and Meccano Motorcar Constructor sets, and also Kemex chemistry sets and Elektron electricity sets. 

The company also produced Dinky Builder, a simpler alternative to Meccano for younger children that allowed panels to be clipped together without needing nuts and bolts. At one point they even produced a "Dolly Varden" doll's house that could take Dinky Toys diecast dollhouse furniture.

Meccano France (Founded by Hornby with his son Roland) also produced a range of model trains in H0 size (the continental counterpart of 00), under the acH0 name.  

Meccano Ltd's emphasis was always on metal toys, and when a surge of plastic moulded toys began to hit the market after World War 2,  Meccano Ltd struggled to come to terms with their new competitors. Without the driving force of their founder (who had died in 1936) the company was too slow to embrace the new technologies, and the company failed and was bought out by Lines Brothers, who then also went under a few years later.

Meccano France (a separate company), was not affected by Meccano Ltd.'s problems, and they still manufacture Meccano at their factory in Calais.


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