As empires rise, so they too must fall. Simon Johnson follows up on his Mechanics Made Easy post by tracing the history of Meccano from post-war to the present day. One item in the heritage collection at Te Manawa is a landmark for the brand’s struggle to survive in an increasingly crowded market.

The heritage collection at Te Manawa contains many curiosities. Inspired by an example of “Mechanics Made Easy”, local historian Simon Johnson charts the rise of Meccano and the toy empire of engineering entrepreneur Frank Hornby.