Do You Remember Minibrix?

11 March 2013
imports_CCGB_cover-for-box-set-number-2_46660.jpg Do You Remember Minibrix?
David Boxall tries his hand at construction with the Minibrix and Tudor Minibrix sets. ...
Do You Remember Minibrix? Images
The first impression of any of the Minibrix construction sets surely has to be one of robust precision and of quality materials. The boxes are sturdy and even the smallest of sets are comparatively heavy by today's standards. Like so many of the toys sold in the 1950s and 1960s, the boxes are colourful and very well illustrated.

The details given within the construction sets state that the Patentees and Manufacturers are the Premo Rubber Co. Ltd, of Petersfield in Hampshire. Premo was a subsidiary of the ITS Rubber Company, founded in 1919. The set pictured dates from the 1950s - phrases and short quotes have been used from the booklets to give an authentic flavour of the period.

The Minibrix and Tudor Minibrix Book, which is supplied with the sets, gives details of the various items that can be constructed from the materials for each individual set. The colourful illustrations and specific lists of the number of bricks and materials required, make the building of the items shown much easier.

The building sets were launched in 1935 as sets 0 – 7, the following year, however, the 0 set was renamed 'Junior'. The Junior set, consists of 107 component parts, all in Multi-Coloured Minibrix. This particular set was intended for the toddler. The items listed to build from the contents of the Junior Set include: a dog, a diver, and a baby tank – details are given inside the back cover of the brochures, together with illustrations and prices. This beginner's set was priced at one pound, no shillings and no pence.

The brown bricks were precisely made and interconnected with each other very well. Two lugs protruded from one face of the brick to fit into the two corresponding holes of a second bric. A slight twist and push action secured the bricks together. The resulting wall was solid with the sides and corners straight and parallel. The bricks measured 1'' by 1/2'' by 3/8''. The rubber brick is an interesting material to work with, and similarities with this brick and other well-known plastic bricks can clearly be made.

Like many of the toys of the day, there was a club to encourage the use and further purchases of the product. The MINIBUILDERS CLUB had its own badge and a very clear aim: “MINIBUILDERS CLUB has been formed for the purpose of bringing together all owners of Minibrix sets, on the common ground of their interest in model building and architectural construction.”

Furthermore, one of the main objectives of the club was to give members an opportunity to compare models that they had built, and also to exchange ideas for future models. The club badge was 'beautifully enamelled in red, white and gold' and 'was supplied as a brooch for pinning on a jersey or dress, or as a stud badge for the buttonhole'.

Any fans of Minibrix should certainly visit the excellent website established by Fred Smallbone and Malcolm Hanson.
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