Dinky Builder

Dinky Builder

Updated 2 June 2022

Dinky Builder was introduced by Meccano in 1934. It is similar to French Assemblo, which was introduced in 1930, but the two systems are not compatible because dimensions are different. Meccano was marketed as a toy for boys, but Dinky Builder was marketed as a toy for both boys and girls.

Dinky Builder parts are stamped Meccano. It is not clear why this was done because Dinky Builder is not compatible with Meccano. Models are assembled using rods to form hinged joints, with hinge axes in the planes of parts. Nuts and bolts are not used. Completed models are usually rigid. The rods are 12 swg (0.104 inch, 2½ mm) diameter, and either 1 1/16, 2 5/16, 3½ or 4⅞ inches long to suit edge lengths. Wheels are 1½ inch diameter. They push on to the ends of rods and can rotate. A tool was provided for assembly and dismantling. The system works reasonably well when parts are in good condition but second hand parts are often distorted. This has to be corrected before they can be used. A drift and a pair of half round nose pliers are useful.

Before WW2 parts used a red/green colour scheme. A few parts with doors and windows printed on one side were included. There were four progressive sets, numbered 0 to 3, and conversion sets were available. Parts are squares, rectangles, or equilateral triangles. Edges of parts are ½ inch, 1 inch, or 2 inches long. A few ½ inch wide rectangles were included in Set 3. Instructions in manuals are sometimes difficult to follow.

Post war parts used a blue/yellow colour scheme. A few parts with doors and windows printed on one side of were included. These were on the opposite sides of parts, relative to hinges, to those in pre-war sets. There were two sets, numbered 1 and 2, and a conversion Set 1A was available. Parts are squares, rectangles, or equilateral triangles. Edges of parts are either 1 inch or 2 inches long. Around 1950 sets had split rods, connected at one end, not plain rods. These make assembly and dismantling easier, but models are less rigid. Instructions in manuals are usually easy to follow.

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Outfit 1A M 142 Dinky Builder 1A 2


Icosahedron M 143 Icosahedron 2


Octahedron


Cube


Tetrahedron

Stella Octangula M 150 Stella Octangula 2

Lorry M 147 Lorry 2

Folly M 148 Folly 2

Tramcar M 153 Tramcar B

Tug Boat M 154 Tug Boat 3

30 May 22 E 2

Cubotahedron M 171 Dinky Builder Cuboctahedron A


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