Trix was a system invented and initially made in Germany but, soon afterwards, made in Britain through the involvement of Bassett-Lowke.
Stephan Bing left the famous family toy making firm Bing and, in 1928, purchased the toy making business of Andreas Fortner. Bing brought to his new venture a number of colleagues including Siegfried Kahn who became his general manager and designer of his new range of toys.
A construction toy, along the lines of Meccano, was launched in 1930 under the name of Trix and proved very successful. In order to make this system in Britain, Trix Ltd. was formed in 1932.
The actual manufacture took place at Winteringham Ltd; an associate company of Bassett-Lowke Ltd. The MD at the factory was James Mackenzie and he had as his assistant Robert Bindon Blood, a keen model railway man who was responsible for the design of some of the finest locomotives made by Bassett-Lowke Ltd.
In 1932 Stephan Bing’s son Franz emigrated to Britain and joined the fledgling company, organising sales. About this time Mettoy Ltd., another toy manufacturer who would later became famous with Corgi Toys and Playcraft model railways, started up in the basement of Winteringham Ltd with Winteringham doing the manufacturing for them. In 1935, a new 00 scale model railway system called Trix Express was launched in Germany by Stephan Bing and, by the end of the year, was being imported to the UK by Trix Ltd. Initially it was sold here as ‘Bassett-Lowke Twin-Train Table Railway’ and production of a British version was soon started at Winteringham Ltd in Northampton and launched by Trix Ltd. in time for Christmas 1936.
Like the German version, design was built around an 0-4-0 14V AC electric mechanism. The locomotives had diecast bodies while rolling stock was tinplate and wood was largely used for lineside buildings.
What's your Trix worth? Here are some recently sold items.
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