English construction set Buildo
Buildo box lid
As a counterpoint to my first featured set from down under, this splendid building set exudes that kind of rural Englishness that is still the subject of misty-eyed yearning but was, I suspect, mostly a myth. Whereas Arkitekt was proud of being made in Australia, Buildo here is proud of the native architecture it depicts, proclaiming on the box lid that:
’These models … provide amusement and instruction in the design and form of our unrivalled English homes.’
The set comprises printed, and in some cases textured, card parts held to each other and to metal stiffening pieces with metal pins. These are tiny versions of the sort used to hold paper together – pushing through the hole and opening out at the back. There are a few wooden parts too – a chimney pot and porch roof support in this set. Also in common with Arkitekt, the set includes a tool – in this case an awl, presumably for easing the holes in the card parts or to help with the alignment of holes when building.
I have a number 1 set which of course will only build the more simple models, but this page from the manual shows what was possible with larger sets.
Buildo manual page
The set was made by Alldays of Birmingham, who according to a quick internet search seem to have been primarily printers of postcards, posters and souvenir brochures, active from at least 1900 to the 1950s.
My only basis for dating this set (as with so many in my collection) is the image on the box cover as there are no hints in the box or manual text. The dress worn by the lady at the porch suggests Victorian or Edwardian, but if the designer is going for nostalgia then there’s no guarantee it is meant to be contemporary, in which case the set might well be ’20s or ’30s.
If anyone has more information I’ll be delighted to be corrected.
Tags: Buildo, England