Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bayko in the snow

I keep enjoying Bayko, and during recent snow have been enjoying thinking about photographing a construction in real snow -- not something to contemplate with wood blocks or Ankerstein.

I'll need to disassemble this quickly and dry off all the metal parts to avoid rust, but still ...

Christmas is coming, and Bayko has a nice Christmas look which is very much enhanced by fresh snow on the roof.

Good Block Play.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Lego Crazy Action Contraptions

I am a big fan of Klutz books, from potholders to melty beads to games. But a long time favorite was their Lego Action Contraptions. Now it is out in a new edition and is a prime candidate for a Chistmas gift.

Why Lego doesn't do a nice project set with their Technik parts, something along the lines of fischertechnik Universal? Not that I think it wiuld be better than fischertechnik, but some folks might, and others would enjoy having the alternative.

At least with these Klutz books, we have a taste of how suitable the Lego line is for this type of construction. For anyone that enjoys these projects, and wants to go further, I recommend fischertechnik highly.

There are lots of other excellent construction toys to be found in the Block Play Store -- courtesy of, and I appreciate your doing a little holiday shopping there, or anywhere on Amazon via that entry. I get a little something that makes a small but appreciated contribution towards the cost of my blogging.

An especially good deal might be an Amazon Gift Card -- good for anything on

Quite good for Good Block Play.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Bayko 1

The other day I built and blogged my first Bayko structure, but didn't manage to say much about it. Today I returned to Bayko, to build the larger structure shown above. If anything, I enjoyed this project even more than my first.

I've known about Bayko for years, and was aware of the attractiveness of the structures, and the intriguing style of assembly (right).But it took me until this last summer to actually get some. Partially because it is hard to find in the US - it may never have been sold here, or only in the smallest quantities. My set came from Canada - -whether bought there new or brought over (or sent as a gift) from the UK, I couldn't guess.

There is a wonderfully extensive web site of information at -- including full sets of manual images.

At left is a typical plan entry, from my own 1952 manual, showing the parts list, view, and plan. Note that the plan shows the stacking order of pieces top down from bottom up, which can be disconcerting at first. The cryptic abbreviations quickly become clear, and construction is not difficult -- nor is it boring.

All of the constructions, large or small, are built up on bases into which the support rods are inserted (illustration above right). There is only one size of base -- for larger structures, multiple bases are connected together with base links screwed to the bases. I am short a couple of screws (long time readers already knew that -- but this time I mean that literally not figuratively). What size of screw? I can't seem to find out online.

But even a couple of screws short, Bayko is Good Block Play.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


A small construction using an old British Bayko set.

I got this set a few months ago, after having coveted one for years. They seem never to have been imported in the US.

Unfortunately, as is so often the case, the "complete" set wasn't, and many pieces were broken, so it took me until last night to actually get up gumption to try building something.

Quite different from anything I have built with before.


I'll be coming back to it, for building and for blogging.

A nice variation in block play.