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Betta Bilda

Already blessed with injection moulding skills, Airfix decided to take the plunge into the building construction kit market with Betta Bilda in 1961. No doubt influenced by the success of Lego, the company doubtlessly believed there was room for one more competitor.

The plastic bricks had stud and socket connection between rows, very similar to Lego, but with thin roof tiles connecting together by a stud and hole arrangement.

Bricks came in red or white in various lengths but always one stud wide. Special wall parts include angled gable bricks, curved bricks and arches.

Various designs of windows and doors including opening garage door. Later sets also had larger special window, door and wall sections in yellow or blue.

Roof tiles were usually green, but red ones also exist. They include plain full and half tiles, ridge tiles, internal and external angle tiles and ridges and tiles incorporating a flat studded section for a chimney.

A castle accessory set offered such parts as curved bricks for towers, half arches, a gate with drawbridge, arrow slits and peaked wall coping.

Betta Bilda also offered wheels and axle blocks to make vehicles but generally stuck to architectural parts. The product petered out in the early 1970s.