In his monthly column in Meccano Magazine for March 1960, The Toyman had this to say about a new arrival in the Dinky Toys world. (I have taken the liberty of editing what The Toyman wrote as originally he was referring to the pictures in his column.)
“There is another point of special interest to all Dinky Toys collectors. It centres on the two Lamp Standards, the Single Arm and the Double Arm. Both these are further new additions to the Dinky Toys range and will be enthusiastically welcomed, I am sure, by the hundreds of collectors who operate their own layouts. The Single Arm Standard is No.755 in the series and the Double Arm is No. 756. Tall and elegant, in modern style, they have been designed for use with Dinky Toys, but they can be used quite successfully with Dublo Dinky Toys.
The Standards themselves are of plastic with a detachable grey metal base marked to conform with the popular Pavement Set. Two small holes have been drilled in the base, on either side of the Standard, so that the fitting can be nailed or screwed down in the case of permanent layouts.
The Standards are finished in stone colour, relieved by aluminium-painted holders that carry the lamps. The lanterns themselves are meticulously marked in amber-tinted polystyrene. (To represent sodium-vapour light popularly used for street lighting.) On either side of the Standards are speed de-restriction signs which are removable. ”
Samples of the new additions to the range for March 1960 in boxed quantities containing six individually boxed models were sent out to Meccano Dealers and Invoiced in February against the dealer’s standing orders.
According to all publications I have consulted, the 756 Lamp Standard (Double Arm) as well as its Single Arm compatriot was available between March 1960 and 1964, although some confusion exists as to whether this is correct or not. The pdf file has this for its title: -756 Lamp Standard, Double (1960-64)
But I have reservations as to its deletion year.
Both the 756 Lamp Standard (Double Arm) and its companion 755 Lamp Standard (Single Arm) are included in the October, November and December 1962 Dealer Order Form that was printed in September 1962.
The set is also included in the January 1963 1st 13/163/200 edition catalogue as well as the next edition the July 1963 2nd 13/763/400 catalogue
However, the set is not included in the January 1964 (7/164/450) catalogue, the Australian 1964 edition, March 1964 (7/364/100) with the attached price list with print code of 7/564/100 (May 1964) nor the 2nd Printing of the UK catalogue in July 1964 (7/764/450).
We then turn our attention to the Meccano Toys of Quality price leaflets for 1964. The first one issued with the print code of 16/164/100 (January 1964) has no reference to the two Lamp Standards. It is interesting to see in this leaflet that the Road Signs, 766, 767, 768, 769 and 771 although listed, have this notation, “Consult your Dealer for prices of these items” which indicates that these are on their way out, as none of them are even included in the next leaflet with the print code of 16/964/60 (September 1964) nor for that matter again, the two Lamp Standards, Single and Double. One can then safely conclude that towards the end of 1963, Meccano was conducting an in-house investigation into its financial and manufacturing processes and deleting those that appear to have reached their “use by date” or were not selling as predicted which included the Lamp Standard Single Arm and Double Arm. The pending take-over by Lines Bros may very well have been the catalyst for this review.
With a production period of only three years plus a few months, this was quite a short time-frame, which may indicate that it and its companion single arm were not very popular items. Its price when launched was 2/6 which was reduced to 2/3 in May 1962, perhaps to generate sales, and this price remained until the item was deleted from the Meccano inventory. For any display a collector would most likely require quite a number of models, so the cost would mount up the more a collector purchased. Perhaps it was cheaper to make one’s own, using the Meccano product as a template. Although checking through other items of a similar roadside accessory such as petrol pumps, hoardings, traffic lights, telephone call box, road signs, most of these were available in excess of five years.
And here it is one trade pack that was never sold, five internal boxes have never had their contents extracted with the sixth one the only one opened for photography purposes.
Bruce H. (150)