More than a century after their introduction, Meccano’s toy sets are growing up. Sold in the U.S. under the Erector brand, the European company’s kits of perforated metal strips and sheets, gears, and connectors have long allowed both children and adults to assemble miniature versions of everything from skyscrapers to robots. Now, those parts are being produced in human-scale dimensions to create furniture.
Debuted at Maison&Objet in Paris last month, as posted over at Designboom, the Meccano Home collection comprises 20 metal parts that can be assembled Ikea-style into chairs, tables, consoles, storage cabinets, and more, joined with Meccano’s connectors. The parts can be purchased individually or as a set for use indoors and outdoors. Offered in eight colors, they can be mixed and matched for a playful addition to grown-up spaces—just resist the urge to dismantle your coworkers’ desks.
The pieces run about $418 for a 2.5-foot-square table and $268 for a typical dining chair. Despite the lofty prices, Meccano Home is a testament to the longevity of a class of children's toys whose function has remained largely unchanged since their introduction, save material and safety improvements. The original Meccano and Erector sets—along with Legos, Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, and others—have ruled playtime for generations thanks to their simplicity in form and use. Earlier this month, ARCHITECT saw first-hand just how little some of these toys have changed during a tour of the 2,252-piece archive of building toys at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Meccano's colorful new furniture continues that trend—at a much larger scale.