Dinky Toys are an ever-popular diecast collector's choice, whether you are a serious collector or would simply like a few to decorate your shelves as a reminder of childhood days.
Bright colours and the markings of a popular processed food company marked out this Dinky Toys Bedford delivery van. It's one of the bigger models that Dinky sold as 'Supertoys', and came in the instantly recognisable blue-and-white striped cardboard box.
Here's a Dinky Toys brochure (below) which we uploaded to Issuu, the online-magazine site. We guarantee a good read!
The Centurion tank (below) was a must-have in any British boy's Dinky Toys collection, albeit the casting was rather basic - note here that the suspension wheels were moulded with the tank side-skirts, rather than being freely-rotating components.
Even so, the Centurion did have a rotating turret, and looked very impressive when mounted on the Mighty Antar (below) tank transporter, which came complete with a pair of fold-down loading ramps.
The Triumph Herald (below) was an Italian-styled small saloon, introduced in 1959. The Dinky release shows how competition from Corgi Toys was improving the quality - both independent suspension and windows were included.
One of my own boyhood Dinky Toys was this Bedford Pullmore car transporter. It came in a Supertoys blue and white striped box, and had room for several Dinky Toys cars inside and on top. A drawback was that the tinplate (and deeply boring) ramp was an extra purchase, and simply didn't look realistic at all.
Friends of mine who had parents with deep pockets went on to buy the later Corgi Major Toys Carrimore (below) which had an upper deck that lowered hydraulically, making it a much more realistic model altogether - hence far more desirable.
Pride of place among Dinky Toys aircraft has to be the Short-Mayo Composite (below) an unlikely looking combo of a Short S21 flying boat 'Maia' and smaller S20 seaplane 'Mercury.' The pair were tested on mail runs, the idea being to extend the range of the S20, to allow long-distance transport links with the US and British Empire destinations.
Even today, Dinky Toys are not dead. Euro publisher Editions Atlas produces a partwork-style range of classic French Dinky Toys trucks (below) which look excellent, especially as they come in their own boxes, modelled on the original designs. One of my all-time fave trucks is the warthog-ugly-but-nice Citroen H4, produced from 1947-81. Nearly half a million were churned out by Citroen, and today they are in demand as modish retro-style gourmet food vans. The Atlas version looks a neat addition to anyone's Dinky Toys collection, even if there are plenty of brighter marking schemes that Atlas could have chosen.
Find out more about the series from Editions Atlas trucks ('camions') here.
The French Dinky Toys are more interesting for me, since the subjects are so different. For British Dinky Toys fans, Atlas Editions has another publication, a UK partwork. Click here for info.