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The possibility buy of a second-hand Mecanno set nearly 40 years in the past has led to a lifelong obsession that has seen Roger from Oxfordshire amass an astonishing assortment of constructing units, trains units, OXO advertising and marketing paraphernalia, kids’s annuals and racing automotive mannequin kits.

The uncommon and engaging assortment of good-as-new toys manufactured many years in the past is insured with Adrian Flux for an eye-watering £400,000. 

Toy assortment began with Nineteen Sixties Meccano No. 5 set


All images taken and offered by Elizabeth Donovan.

Roger defined how the obsession started: “My son is 40 now, however when he was about two, a colleague at work noticed an advert within the native paper for some Lego which he needed to purchase, but it surely got here with a Meccano set which he didn’t need. 

“I purchased it from him. It was a Nineteen Sixties Meccano No. 5 set and I feel I paid a fiver for it. That evening, I took it with me after I went babysitting and I made a mannequin with it. It took me again to when, as a younger lad, I had a Meccano No. 9 set. 

“After making that mannequin, I realised that I nonetheless loved the problem offered by Meccano. I regarded out for extra second-hand units to purchase and I haven’t stopped since!”

These days, the 71-year-old collects prepare units too. He defined: “Accumulating mannequin trains stemmed from shopping for job plenty of Meccano, at auctions and privately. Very often they got here with Hornby ‘O’ and ‘HO’ gauge trains combined in with them.”

Meccano, prepare units, race automotive kits – an assortment of “boys’ toys”

Roger describes his assortment as “boys’ toys”. In addition to an enormous assortment of Meccano, he additionally owns greater than 500 different building units of “all kinds of sizes and shapes”. Enjoying along with his building units is one thing of a busman’s vacation, as he labored as an architect earlier than retirement.  

For the previous 20 years, he has focused on accumulating HO, gauge 1 and Z gauge prepare units manufactured by the German toy firm, Marklin. His assortment additionally boasts units manufactured by Trix, Tri-ang, JEP, Hamo,VB, Hornby, and others.

Most of the building units and prepare units are boxed and in mint situation. He purchased them to play with somewhat than to gather however they’ve little or no, if any, harm.

His assortment was largely acquired via non-public advertisements, at toy gala’s, and bidding at native auctions, however – maintaining with the instances – these days he buys on eBay and at on-line auctions. 

Marklin trains and a Pyfyly building set are Roger’s favourites


All images taken and offered by Elizabeth Donovan.

Requested which merchandise is his favorite within the assortment, Roger stated: “I like all of them or I wouldn’t have purchased them! Apart from the Marklin trains, I do somewhat like a French building set referred to as Pyfyly.  It makes use of skinny strips of laminated bamboo and linen elements to make lovely furnishings for doll’s homes.”

Totally different elements of his assortment enchantment to completely different folks: “Most individuals normally benefit from the gadgets that they’ve some nostalgic connection to, most of the time as a result of they’d them once they have been a toddler.

Fairly a couple of of his building units and prepare units are one-offs or had a really brief manufacturing run. One of many rarest can also be essentially the most extremely valued. 

“It’s a Markin HO English “compound” locomotive in-built Germany simply earlier than the beginning of World Struggle II in 1939. For apparent causes, only a few of those fashions have been manufactured!”

“I even have a number of the earliest Meccano elements ever made. The strips have been rolled tinplate somewhat than flat metallic. They date from the very first years of the twentieth century.”

“When you’ve bought the bug, it’s tough to shake off”


All images taken and offered by Elizabeth Donovan.

Roger doesn’t purchase an excessive amount of nowadays as he has many of the fashions that he desires, however he admits that “when you’ve bought the bug it’s tough to shake off”. However there are nonetheless odd gadgets he’s on the lookout for to fill gaps in varied collections.

He has a big show cupboard by which he reveals a number of the Marklin gadgets, however most of his assortment is securely saved away.

“Although it’s locked away, I typically open it up to take a look. Earlier than COVID, very often I’d be requested to placed on specialist shows at exhibitions, open days and the like, which concerned plenty of enjoyable searching via looking for particular gadgets.”

Complementing his collections of trains and building units, Roger owns an in depth show of OXO advertising and marketing merchandise which happened consequently of shopping for Meccano, as typically the nuts, bolts and different small elements have been saved in OXO tins.

He additionally has a group of Rupert Bear and Blue Peter annuals and a rising variety of 1:12 Tamiya racing automotive mannequin kits from the Nineteen Eighties.

Roger doesn’t assume he’s an obsessive collector, however admits his long-suffering spouse would most likely assume he’s.

First-class safety on your obsession

In lots of instances, different insurance coverage suppliers gained’t cowl uncommon gadgets or collections on your property insurance coverage as they’re thought-about too uncommon. That’s the place we are available.

Whether or not your obsession is your “Forever Home”, its uncommon options, or the uncommon gadgets and antiquities you may have collected inside it, you will want non-standard household insurance to maintain all of them protected.

Name the nation’s main specialist family insurance coverage supplier, Adrian Flux, on 0333 250 1148 for a swift and hassle-free quote – 79.5% of all prospects receiving a web-based quote in July 2020 might have obtained a less expensive quote over the telephone, based mostly on the data they offered.

This text was revealed by: Frazer Ansell by title: Mecanno and Marklin prepare units result in lifelong toy obsession .

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