Listed below are some of the other notable construction toy systems that were produced during the 20th century. The list is by no means exhaustive, as by some estimates hundreds of such systems have come and gone over the years.
  • Bing's Structator (Germany)
  • BRAL (Milan, Italy)
  • Buildo
  • Construction (E.Germany)
  • Constructor
  • Construct-o-Craft
  • Elektromehaniskais konstructors (Russia)
  • Ezy-Bilt (Australia)
  • FAC (Sweden)
  • Lyons
  • Marklin Metall (Germany)
  • Mekanik (Sweden)
  • Mek-Struct (China)
  • Mini Meta-Build (New Delhi, India)
  • Necobo
  • Palikit
  • Pioneer
  • Primus Engineering Outfits (England)
  • Schefflers
  • Sonneberger
  • Steel Engineering (U.S.A.)
  • Structomode
  • TECC (Czeckoslovakia)
  • Tekno (Norway & Denmark)
  • Thale Stahlbau Technik (E. Germany)
  • The Constructioneer
  • The Engineer (Toronto, Canada)
  • TRIX (Germany and England)
  • Trumodel (U.S.A.)
  • Vogue (Melton Mowbray, England)
  • Wisdom / Sagesse (China)

Metal Construction Toy Systems

During the 20th century, many different metal construction toy systems were developed and produced around the world. Some systems, like A.C. Gilbert's Erector® and Frank Hornby's Meccano® are famous to this day. Both of these names live on today in a line of new products, as do a handful of other names like Merkur, Ami-Lac, Entech, Exacto, Metallus, and Stokys. However, the vast majority of systems have long since ceased production and most of these have faded into the mists of time. Here at Girders & Gears, our mission is to help the wonderful world of metal construction toys to live on, both new systems and old. Some of these, like the aforementioned Erector, Meccano, and Merkur, we cover in extensive detail through a series of pictorial features, articles, how-to tips, and our now famous Model Gallery.

To begin your exploration, just select a system from the list at left. Please note: The information presented within each of the topic areas below has been compiled from a variety of sources. While we have tried to present accurate information, some errors may be present. Also, our coverage of each topic is not exhaustive. If you discover any errors or ommissions, please write and let us know.

  Featured Systems - Click an icon below for more information


AMB
(USA)

Ami-Lac
(Italy)

Constructioneer

(USA)

Dan Dare
(England)

Eitech
(Germany)
Gilbert Erector
Gilbert Erector
(USA)
Exacto
Exacto
(Argentina)

Lynncraft
(USA)

Meccano
(England and France)

Merkur

(Czech Republic)

Metalcraft
(USA)

Mignon
(Germany)

Modern Morecraft

(USA)

Norelco

(USA)

Russian Sets

(Russia/USSR)

Stabil
(Germany)

Steel Tec
(USA/China)

Stokys
(Switzerland)

Temsi
(Netherlands)

Vogue
(England)
RELATED ITEMS:
Armator
(Germany)

Gilbert Kaster Kits

(USA)

Specifications for Selected Systems
(values in mm)
Boss Tap: s = single; d = double. I.D. = inner diameter; O.D. = outer diameter
N/B (Nut/Bolt) Type: S = square; H = hexagonal; C = cheese head; R = round; T = tapered cheese

System Thread Boss Gear Hole Boss Axle N/B Nut Bolt
  Nut/Bolt Boss Tap Pitch Pitch I.D. I.D. O.D. Type Size Head
AMB 8-32 6-32 s 30 12.7 4.2 4.14 3.96 SC 6.5 6.5
Ami-Lac 5/32W 5/32W s 38 12.7 4.1 4.00 3.91 HT 8.1 6.9
Constructioneer 8-32 6-32 s 16 11.1 4.7 4.17 3.96 HR 8.6 7.6
Erector - Type I 8-32 6-32 s 16 12.7 4.3 4.00 3.96 SR 9.5 7.5
Erector - Type II 8-32 6-32 s 24 12.7 4.3 4.06 3.96 SR --- ---
Erector - Type III* 8-32 6-32 s --- 12.7 4.2 4.21 4.04 SR 6.5 7.1
Erector - Type III** 8-32 6-32 s --- 12.7 4.2 4.22 4.04 HR 8.5 7.5
Exacto 5/32W 5/32W d 38 12.7 4.2 --- --- SC --- ---
Lynncraft 8-32 6-32 s --- 12.7 4.8 4.22 3.95 HR 8.6 7.5
Märklin 5/32W 5/32W d 38 12.7 4.3 4.01 3.98 HT 8.0 6.2
Meccano 5/32W 5/32W d 38 12.7 4.3 4.14 4.06 SC 6.4 5.5
Merkur M3.5 M3.M4 s 30 10.0 3.9 3.84 3.73 HC 5.9 6.0
Metalcraft 6-32 --- --- --- Var 3.9 --- --- HR 7.9 ---
Mignon 2.6x.45 2.6x.45 s 32 6.0 3.1 3.03 3.00 HC 4.5 4.0
Modern Morecraft 8-32 6-32 b 24 12.7 4.4 4.01 4.00 SR --- ---
Norelco --- --- c 15 15.0 5.0 --- 3.0 --- --- ---
Stabil 5/32W 5/32W --- 14 12.5 4.2 4.06 3.80 HC 7.5 6.2
Steel Tec 5/32W 5/32W d 40 12.7 4.2 4.10 3.99 Sd 6.4 6.5
Stokys 5/32W 5/32W d 38 12.7 4.1 4.05 4.00 HT 7.0 5.5
Temsi M4 M4 d 38 12.7 4.2 4.1 4.00 HC 7.0 5.5
Vogue 4BA 4BA d --- 12.7 3.9 3.92 3.66 HR 7.9 6.4
 * Gabriel; ** Ideal

Some Manufacturers Currently Producing Metal Construction Sets and/or Parts:

NAMECOUNTRYBRAND(S)
AriesIndiaEntech
CrossCzech RepublicMerkur
eitechGermanyeitech
ExactoArgentinaExacto
LacItalyAmi-Lac
MeccanoFranceErector, Meccano
MetallusGermanyMetallus
StokysSwitzerlandStokys