Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lott's Bricks

I bought this set on ebay recently - it's a set of bricks made of artificial stone, called Buildec, by Lott's Bricks of Watford, in Hertfordshire. They are quite heavy, and feel very smooth and cool.

They come in a box which also contains four bottles of paint.

I think there should have been two layers of bricks in the box. These are the models you can make with box 1:

I have enough bricks to make the cottage, with a few left over for a path and a fence:

I had just enough to make the aeroplane hangar:

and the seaside shelter:

but only by turning some of the patterned bricks so that the plain side faced out.

Originally, the bricks would have been plain, without colour, and then the children who played with them would have painted them, following the directions in the instruction booklet:

The box lid states that no previous knowledge or skill is necessary, and the booklet even gives instructions for mixing the colours (blue, red, yellow and white) to create green, orange, a black substitute, brown, mauve and grey.

It looks like you could order extra bricks, which would be very useful if you wanted to make more than one building at a time, or if any broke!

The little figures by the cottage are 3.5cm tall or less, making this set 1/48th scale, or O scale in model railway terms.

I don't know anything about these china figures, except that they were "an attic find" in Kent, but they have no maker's mark on them. (Sorry, these photos have too much flash - I'll try to get better ones.)

Lott's Bricks were made in Watford (in Hertfordshire, England), from about 1917 to 1967. I found a wonderful website which shows many sets of Lott's Bricks, and says that these Buildec bricks were introduced in 1936. I'd first thought they might be older, but the 30s explains the models of an aeroplane hangar, an omnibus waiting room and a garage!


  1. Seems you had lot of fun building these houses, I like them all and failed to find a favourite :-)
    Fascinating that the bricks originally was without colours and was meant to be painted by the child.
    I googled mauve and got everything from beige /light brown to light violet and pink, what's right?

  2. Hi Helene, mauve is a light purple - the wikipedia entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauve has an example I would say is mauve, and also other shades called 'Opera Mauve' and 'Old Mauve' which are not so much what I think of as mauve. Wikipedia says the name mauve comes from the mallow flower, and the other uses came later.

    I think it's interesting that the children painted the bricks, too. The booklet says that the watercolour paints can be washed off and the bricks can be repainted, so it encouraged the child's creativity and meant that you didn't have to buy lots of different coloured bricks, I suppose. I'm not going to try washing these - after 70 years, I'm not sure how well it would wash out - and I suspect that the paints have got too old to use, too!

  3. HI Rebecca! Aren't old toys wonderful!! Give us an old toy and we can "go home again"...or at least bring back lots of good childhood memories.
    I know you had fun playing/building with these...what a wonderful set...and now we will probably all want a set of our own! Flo
    PS I have lots of catching up to do!

  4. Hello Florine, how nice to see you again! I hope all is well with you and yours.
    I did have fun! Actually, I just built the cottage first, but then I decided that I wanted to have a go at the others - and it was fun! and a bit of a challenge too, with adapting the bricks and getting the lintels in place in the seaside shelter.
    Have fun catching up - I haven't posted very often, so you haven't missed too much on here ;-)

  5. looks like great fun... old toys have so much character. now try a rubiks cube... :-)

  6. Those are fabbulous. I especially like the airplane hangar. C

  7. Such a wonderful set! I had one very similar as a child and your post brought back some lovely memories. Thank you. :-)

  8. Hallo Rebecca,

    I think your little porcelain figures are "feves", see website http://www.feves-collection.com/

    I regularly look at your weblog, lots of interesting information!

    Best wishes,

    Karin Wester Nederland

  9. I think the creativity of toys today don't encourage creativity in the child. These bricks do.

  10. I have had sets of these bricks in the past, but didn't know much about them. Thank you for expanding my knowledge. Thank you also for your comment, I thought the pink dolls house was absolutely dreadful in the toy shop. It ruined it! Lizzie

  11. Thanks, Christine! I'm glad my skill impresses you, and I think I'll retire while the going's good ;-)

  12. Hi CM, I like the hangar too! You could use it as a factory or workshop too, I think. I quite like the seaside shelter too - it has a very vintage feel to it :-)

  13. Thank you, Pan, how lovely that this reminded you of your childhood :-)

  14. Hello Karin, Thank you very much! I have seen feves listed on ebay, but only the Christmas ones - I had no idea there was such variety!

  15. Hi Lynne, yes, I think these would encourage creativity, and also produce a satisfyingly solid and realistic result. (Well, realistic-looking as a model of a building - I've been looking at some other construction sets, and some look to me too abstract, others too mechanical, and also a bit daunting. These suit me nicely!)

  16. Hi Lizzie, did you try building any models with them? I really like the feel of the bricks - very solid, and also cool and smooth. They would have been perfect in that 30s toyshop window - though perhaps not this set, with its silverfish-eaten label!!