|Toy Brands and Manufacturers
Cliki has been described as the most disastrous toy in the history of the British toy industry, since not only was it not successful, and not particularly original (unkindly described as a "Lego clone"), but in order to try to make it a success Meccano stopped promoting the much-loved Bayko brand (which it had recently bought), presumably deciding that it didn't need two incompatible plastic building-set toys.
Where Bayko relied on metal rods threaded though its plastic blocks to hold structures together (which made it less useful for modelling anything but buildings), the idea of a system that let blocks click together without any additional parts may have seemed more sensible, and while standard Cliki was still aimed at designing buildings, "Cliki Plus" contained parts for making structures with axles or hinges, such as raising bridges and vehicles. In a way, Meccano Ltd. were right that the idea of a plastic-only, friction-locking system had greater potential than the Bayko system ... but unfortunately for Meccano, that particular future already belonged to Lego.
Although Meccano continued to sell Bayko accessories for a while (sans advertising), Bayko enthusuasts considered the established Bayko brand to have been sacrificed by Meccano in favour of the new Cliki system, which then never really took off. By winding down the Bayko brand in favour of a "Lego-alike" system, Meccano effectively gave a public vote of confidence to Lego's approach, and since the market couldn't stand two almost identical construction products from different manufacturers that didn't quite work together, buyers chose to "play safe" and buy Lego, which then left Meccano without a viable plastic building-set product.
- " Click ... Click ... click ... and your models are made. Cliki builds towns and villages with homes, shops, garages. And they're so realistic, thanks to Cliki's special details "
- " 4 CLIKI sets from 9/11 "
- " 6 Add-on sets at only 2/6 each "
Cliki vs Lego
Commentators have noted that Cliki's angled roof components and some of their other specialist pieces were initially more effective than Lego's contemporary offerings, but Lego's sets soon acquired similar innovative features and specialist pieces.
Lego's blocks also looked more expensive - where Lego pieces had an angled "Lego" logo stamped into the top of every peg-top, the more anonymous "blank" Cliki pieces tended to look cheaper, and where the Lego plastic parts used very strong, "solid", opaque tinting, the slightly more translucent-looking plastic used in the Cliki pieces again made the product look like a more cheaply-made "knock-off" of Lego's more reassuringly branded product. Unlike Bayko, Cliki never really found an enthusiastic specialist fan-base.