Modern Russian Construction Sets
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
Blue Box set
Pre-1991 220-piece set called the Toy Designer "Schoolboy" was manufactured in Leningrad, USSR by a company with the unlikely name The Experimental Factory of Metall Haberdashery & Souvenirs.
Contents of the auTech set
Contents of the Tank set
Contents of the "Blue Box" set
Contents of the Construction Vehicle set
Contents of the Toy Designer "Schoolboy" 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