Saturday, November 5, 2016


THERE AREN'T MANY OF US WHO didn't have a few diecast vehicles as children. Dinky Toys were one of the premier brands, so it's fascinating to see how they were made, as the video clip shows.

SMN report: When I was eight years old, the Observation Coach (header pic) briefly became my pride and joy. One summer vacation, I dug out a splendidly complex set of beach sand-roads for my brand-new 'Obbo' Coach', excavations that came to a sudden end when I realised I had buried that shiny Dinky Toy. I never found it, but ever since have had a soft spot for this particular model.

Apart from the Dinky Toys in the video (below) it offers an interesting observation on hair styles of the 'Swinging Sixties.'

Dinky Supertoys (below) came in sharply designed blue-striped boxes. For many collectors, the Mighty Antar tank transporter was high on the wanted list, and came with fold-down rear ramps. The matching Dinky Centurion tank could be driven up these, as it had working rubber tracks.

The real Observation Coach's raised-rear section made the vehicle a design classic. There are plenty to be seen at toy fairs even today, and values tend to be affordable. I saw a fair condition example last weekend, on sale for an asking price of around the £30 GBP ($44 USD) mark.

Dinky Toys were sold in many countries, France being an especially strong market. The Citroen H4 (below) came with interior detail, fitted out as a trade-fair demonstration vehicle. These days, H4s have been given a new lease of life as retro-style food vans, especially popular on the more modish streets of London.

Classic racers (below) bring back another childhood memory, this time when I was about seven. A girl in the school playground stole my Alfa Romeo (the red car) and would only return it if I kissed her. A ghastly threat at the time, and I leave it to your imagination as to whether I gave in. I wonder if you recall that occasion, Wendy?!

Here's an online reading version (below) of one of the Dinky Toys booklet-style brochures. I owned many of the vehicles in it at one time or another.