Monday, October 11, 2010


SMN report
We’re on something of a Dinky Toys hunt at the moment, helped by the discovery of the trio of childhood sweethearts seen in the pix above. They’re in a bit of a state and need more than a hint of TLC to bring them back to life, which will be a nice indoor project for those long winter evenings to come – and they’ll be even longer in the UK when the clocks change to the deep, dark dungeon of Winter Time** at the end of the month.

Familiar Dinky
So far as the vehicles are concerned, the Austin Van was a familiar sight in my childhood home town. One that belonged to the Daltons electrical dealer spent much of its time trundling around delivering black-and-white TVs, with cases big enough to denude half the South American forests. Actually I’m not kidding - restrictions on mahogany were imposed in the 1990s. Note the aspiring-signwriter daub on the van side! The Commer Breakdown Truck was a favourite in the Dinky Toys range for many years, as was the Dinky Caravan, though this resembles nothing like any caravan I saw on any vacation site, ever.

Caravan towing mechanism
A similar design is now in production again in 1:76 00-scale for UK rail fans, so maybe the ghastly thing predated the era of my caravan vacations. I recall at the time really disliking Dinky’s cunning (but inaccurate) towing mechanism, meaning that the Caravan ran on three wheels, with its upswept hook nestling into the tinplate chassis rear cut-out of most Dinky cars at that time. To a literal-minded boy (especially one who helped his Dad to hook up a real thing), this was cheating - where was the towhook? Real caravans didn’t roll on their jockey-wheel!

Dinky Toys values
Pricewise, these Dinkys are worth little in their present state, and even refurbed they’ll command (rightly) nowhere near the price of a mint-and-boxed original example. And these are pretty good - a current quoted price for a clean breakdown truck is in the region of  £105 GBP ($166 USD). Still, if the aim is to bring back three Dinkys from the grave and make them shelftop wonders, then we’ll be well pleased.

**Note to politicians: Please keep Summer Time, or at least bring the UK into line with Europe!

See Dinky Toys stuff here.

Online valuations at the useful Toy Mart site here.