16 Best Meccano Sets in 2020

best overall rating
  • Multiple designs available
  • Included motor for extra fun
premium choice rating
  • Replica model
  • Interactive features
great value rating
  • Amazon’s Choice
  • Great for younger kids

Previously known as Erector in the United States, Meccano sets are excellent gifts for children and adults alike. Kids will be able to develop their early STEM skills by constructing the kits, and the building of the model itself will keep them entertained for hours or even days. Adults will also enjoy some of the collectible sets which will give them a great project to work on and the opportunity to display their work wherever they want to.

Ever since Meccano took over Erector in 2000, multiple innovations have been made to the range. Not only can you get the regular construction sets, but many of them also function as robots or have highly detailed panels that create lifelike models with interactive features. This wide range can make it hard to choose the perfect set, but we have compiled this list of suggestions to make that choice easier.

Younger children may prefer Playmobil or Mega Construx.

We consulted experts, bloggers and customer reviews to bring you this list of the top 16 best Meccano sets you can purchase online right now.

View the Best Meccano Set, Below.

Buyer’s Guide

The good variety of Meccano sets available means you are certain to find a kit that will be perfect for the person you are buying for – however it can also be difficult trying to filter them down to the perfect set. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself in your search for the best kit for you.

What level is the kit?

Meccano kits come in four different skill levels, and this will determine who the set is most appropriate for. For newbies to the range, or younger children, we suggest you get a set with a novice rating. This is the second lowest rating, so is just challenging enough to keep them entertained but will not be frustratingly difficult either. For older children, and those with more experience using Meccano, you should get higher skill ratings.

You want the set to be challenging to keep them entertained for a prolonged period of time. The higher rated sets usually have some great extra features too. For very young children and toddlers, there are special kits available. Not only are these easier, but they are also made with wood so they are safer for younger children and easy for small hands to use.

Is it an Official Meccano Product?

It can be tempting to save money on a knock-off, but in the long run, it is not worth it. Meccano products are very high quality and should last a long time. They also retain good collectors value – especially if you are getting a specific set that is modeled on real-life vehicles. To check whether it is official, read the description carefully and always read the reviews.

Customers are getting a lot better at being able to spot fakes so you will notice straight away in the review section if this is the case. If there are a lot of comments suggesting the set is bad quality and breaks easily, steer clear!

What Other Interests does the Gift Have?

The great thing about Meccano is that they come in a variety of different sets and can be tailored to the interests of the person you are giving the set too. Aside from age and skill, you also have the ability to think about other activities they enjoy and go from there. Sports car fans are particularly well catered for, with a range of sets available to allow them to build their own Lamborghini, Chevrolet or Pagani Huayra.

There are, however, also sets in a variety of other areas including construction vehicles, robotics, and even animals. Get to know the person you are buying the set for a little better – or ask their friends and family – to try and find something more specific. This will make the gift a little bit more extra special.

What Other cool Features does the kit Have?

Thanks to modern technology and massive design breakthroughs, the newest sets all come packed with unique features that set them apart from other construction kits and build on the fun. In particular, there is a good range of kits available with robot programming features available that can be hooked up to smartphones and tablets. This will teach kids (and, indeed, adults) all about computer programming, as well as the STEM skills already developed by construction sets of this caliber.

There are also realistic sets – the sports cars in particular – that include steering features and moveable parts that create a more interactive experience once the full model has been built. You should definitely consider one of these sets to make an even more exciting gift.

Buyer’s Questions

What is Meccano?

First released in 1898, Meccano manufacture a series of construction based toys that work using special parts. The traditional set has small bars with holes in them that are fitted together with screw-like pieces. All of the tools required to build them are usually included. This creates a more realistic construction style, making it great for teaching kids about DIY skills that they can apply to real life.

Due to Meccano’s long run, the sets are also popular with adults and there are some sets which cater to specific interests and collectors. These can make great gifts for adults, giving them a small project to work on and allowing them to display their creations once constructed.

Erector used to be the leading brand for these construction sets in the United States, and many adults may remember them under this name. They merged with Meccano in 2000, however, and the Meccano Erector sets carry on from the original American range.

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Conclusion

Meccano sets are a great way to enhance children’s STEM skills, and also make excellent collectibles for adults. The way they are constructed makes them much more realistic than other construction toys, as they require nuts, bolts, and screws. The metallic pieces also ensure higher quality and longer lasting finished products. When buying a set it is very important you check they are official Meccano sets.

This ensures they are high quality and will retain collector’s value over time. The modern range allows you to also tailor the purchase to specific interests and to check out some cool new features brought about by modern technology. We are sure you will be able to find a kit that is just right. Happy building!

Expert Tip

If you are buying for a 9-year-old, we suggest you get one of the 10+ kits. They may need some adult supervision, but these will be much more challenging and appropriate for them than the 7-9-year-old sets, which will likely be a little bit too easy for them.