Listed below are some of the other notable construction toy systems that were produced during the 20th century. The list is by no means exhaustive, as by some estimates hundreds of such systems have come and gone over the years.
  • Bing's Structator (Germany)
  • BRAL (Milan, Italy)
  • Construction (E.Germany)
  • Constructor
  • Construct-o-Craft
  • Elektromehaniskais konstructors (Russia)
  • Ezy-Bilt (Australia)
  • FAC (Sweden)
  • Lyons
  • Marklin Metall (Germany)
  • Mekanik (Sweden)
  • Mek-Struct (China)
  • Mini Meta-Build (New Delhi, India)
  • Necobo
  • Palikit
  • Pioneer
  • Primus Engineering Outfits (England)
  • Schefflers
  • Sonneberger
  • Steel Engineering (U.S.A.)
  • Structomode
  • TECC (Czeckoslovakia)
  • Tekno (Norway & Denmark)
  • Thale Stahlbau Technik (E. Germany)
  • The Constructioneer
  • The Engineer (Toronto, Canada)
  • TRIX (Germany and England)
  • Trumodel (U.S.A.)
  • Vogue (Melton Mowbray, England)
  • Wisdom/Sagesse (China)

Modern Russian Construction Sets

Hi folks, Doc here. This time I want to show you a selection of modern metal construction sets from Russia and the former Soviet Union. This is just a sampling of the various products that are (or were) available. Four of the five sets shown here are brand new; of these, at least three belong to product lines with similar sets of varying sizes and themes. As you'll see, all five are small sets aimed at young or beginning builders.

While the packaging varies greatly from set to set, they all feature similar parts, including an assortment of stamped steel perforated strips, brackets, and small flanged or flat plates, plus a variety of plastic wheels. Most of the latter are tires and wheels molded into a single unit, although two sets feature rubber tires that fit onto separate wheels. In two sets, the metal parts are nickel plated; in the others, the metal parts are simply anodized. In typical fashion, the tools that are part of each set include a variety of metal wrenches, nut and screw holders, screwdrivers, and in one instance plastic forceps (tweezers)! In all cases, the metal parts are sturdy, medium to heavy weight, and of good quality and finish. All parts use 10mm hole spacing, like Merkur, and many of the flanged plates, strips, and brackets are nearly identical in size and shape to parts in the Merkur system. The fasteners are larger, however, being comparable in size to Meccano or Erector, but with different threads than either of these. Screws are either round or flat headed, and all are slotted. Many of the axle shafts feature threaded ends.

As I mentioned previously, these sets are mostly aimed at the young and/or beginning builder. Still, they have a number of nice features, including good quality parts and a variety of simple to intermediate model designs to choose from. I'll show you some of the most interesting of these models in the Model Gallery soon.


Construction Vehicle set


Tank set


Blue Box set


auTech set

One of these sets is a small, 220-piece set called the Toy Designer "Schoolboy." It was manufactured in Leningrad, USSR by a company with the surprising name The Experimental Factory of Metall Haberdashery & Souvenirs. Whether it was part of a line of similar sets by the same manufacturer or just a one-off I have yet to determine. There is no date on either the box or the manual, but the box is marked with the words Leningrad and Made in the USSR (text on both the box and manual is in Russian and English). Although this particular set is unused and in new condition, these two notations on the box date the set to 1991 or earlier (the Soviet Union was disbanded in late December of that year, the same year that the City of Leningrad had its name changed back to St. Petersburg).


Pre-1991 220-piece set called the Toy Designer "Schoolboy"


Contents of the Toy Designer "Schoolboy" set

As shoen in the phot above, the set consists primarily of nickel plated metal parts, with a handful of plastic parts and four (light blue!) rubber tires. Tools include two metal wrenches, a nut and screw holder, and plastic forceps (tweezers), but no screwdriver. The metal parts are heavy and of good quality and finish. All parts use 10mm hole spacing, like Merkur, and the flanged plates, strips, and brackets are identical in size and shape to the same parts in the Merkur system. The fasteners are larger, however, being comparable in size to Meccano or Erector, but with different threads than either of these. There are no collars in the set; rather, most of the axle shafts feature threaded ends so that wheels can be secured. The set packaging is adequate at best. The box and part inserts are made from thin cardboard, while the box lid is covered by a full color paper label glued over the top and sides. The black and white 20-page instruction manual with two-color cover features 14 different models, plus an illustrated parts inventory.


Contents of the auTech set


Contents of the Tank set


Contents of the "Blue Box" set


Contents of the Construction Vehicle set


Military themed models from the "Blue Box" set


189-piece 14 model auTech set, featuring the armored personnel carrier - box front


auTech set - box rear