Well, this is interesting! Lots of <likes> on Facebook for this brand new departure for Meccano, plus the predictable “why can’t Meccano stick to proper metal stuff and leave the plastic to Lego?”
In fact Meccano has always been willing to diversify into the latest technology. As the years went by they moved from strips to plates and from fabric plates to plastic. They moved from clockwork motors and steam engines to electric motors, from lethal mains to portable battery packs. They experimented with radio, infra-red control, electricity and magnetism and much more. Personally I would still love to see some pneumatics or hydraulics, but you can’t have everything at once!
Surely the guiding ethos of Meccano was to educate children in the technology of their day. If you just want cheap metal construction kits there are plenty of metric systems in discount stores – but even they are incorporating things like solar panels now! One hears plenty of complaints that “the UK doesn’t produce engineers anymore”. It’s not true, of course, but think of the engineers of a previous generation. Many of them credit Meccano with setting them on the road to successful careers. One can but hope that a modern venture like this might inspire the next generation of youngsters to face the challenges of this century rather than the last. And of course if the Company makes enough money from it to keep the traditional parts in production we will all be happy!
Globenewswire says: “Meccano guarantees to keep its heritage and strong DNA, (real metal, highly educational, instilling creativity, technologically advanced and durable) but is introducing a new design language and philosophy, and significantly improved product and consumer experience. All Meccano sets will now include new user friendly instructions with clear building and tool tips, ergonomic and modular tools, and will include refreshed metallic and colored parts, hi-tech fabrics, and electric motors, along with a full range of digital programing.”