'Other' Constructional and Allied Systems Info & Downloads
Pennybrix Construction Sets
Pennybrix was a Lego-like plastic construction system. It was introduced by Tri-ang in around 1964, as an attempt to produce a more "Lego-like" system.
Aimed at younger children, the four most basic individual Pennybrix pieces were available from toyshops separately, with a standard "one unit" piece – the counterpart of a square Lego "four by four" brick – costing exactly one penny (the others costing 2d, 3d and 4d for the 2,3, and four-unit bricks).
In order to make the Pennybrix system more attractive to children, Tri-ang invented the Periwinkle Pennybrix character, who was supposed to live in a house built using Pennybrix. Periwinkle had white trousers, yellow boots, a red waistcoat, blue jacket and blue top hat with a feather, and Periwinkle figures were included in some of the sets.
The instruction leaflet for how to use Pennybrix was called "Periwinkle Builds a House", and was illustrated in colour like a children's book, so that children could engage with the character and identify with Periwinkle building his house. Toward the end of the product range's life, Periwinkle was joined by a second character, Mortimer Mole.
Pennybricks were functionally similar to Lego bricks, with a hollow base and normally four or eight protrusions on the top surface to allow them to be clipped together, either as a column or with staggered offsets, just like Lego. The main difference with Pennybrix was that instead of four protruding "pegs", the bricks had four L-shaped protrusions towards the corners, which did roughly the same job. Given the simplicity of the main bricks, the roof pieces were surprisingly sophisticated, with corrugated push-together tiles and half-tiles, spine tiles, joint pieces and concave "valley" angle tiles to allow roof sections that intersected at 90 degrees.
The main bricks were red, corrugated push-together roof tiles were blue, doorways and windows were tan stone-coloured, and wheels and axle blocks were yellow. There were four main sets : A100, A200, A300 and A400. At some point these seem to have been joined by a Periwinkle Road and Railway Set, with a red locomotive and clip-together track with channels for the wheels to run in.
Manufacturer / Distributor
Minic Ltd., UK ( A Triang (Lines Bros) company)
Below there are manuals/leaflets and photos which can be downloaded by clicking on the appropriate image.