Buying Dinky Toys
Buying Dinky Toys

Buying Dinky Toys

Dinky toys have been a favorite of children since 1934 when Meccano Ltd. of Liverpool, England began to manufacture Meccano Dinky toys. Buy, strangely enough, dinky toys have become a favorite of adults around the world as well. Many people love to collect these diecast miniature models, especially cars and trucks known as Dinky cars. If youre interested in collecting dinky toys follow along as we give you some background information to help you know what youre looking for.

Meccano first began to create die cast models in 1931 by issuing a series of railway model cars along with other accessories like passengers, track workers and station workers among others. Within three years they began to produce diecast airplanes and model ships as well under the trade name Meccano Dinky Toys. and it was in 1934 that they released the first set of "Dinky Cars" which were one 1:43 scale models. They created a delivery van, a tractor, a tank, a sports car, a sports coupe and a model truck in the world and never been the same for collectors.

Unfortunately Dinky toys made before World War II are very rare and difficult to find. They were cast from an impure alloy and suffer from what is known as zinc pest. This is a destructive, intercrystalline corrosion process of zinc alloys that contain lead impurities. Any diecast zinc models from the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s usually suffer from this malady and is a real threat for collectors of old model trains, radios or toys. If you ever have the good fortune of coming across one of these models in good condition for sale be aware that high humidity and significant temperature changes in the area where you keep your collection could be damaging.

As mentioned, the early dinky toys were made in England and became quite popular in the United Kingdom by the 1950s. But over the years they began to ship models to their old colonies under excellent Commonwealth wealth trade agreements. This is an important point because you can find some special or rare items that were manufactured specifically for certain countries. Meccano produced a limited edition set of military vehicles for the South African Defense force in the 1950s. The set included a van, a dispatch rider, a covered wagon, an ambulance and a motor truck that were all painted military green. And many of the models created for South Africa into the 1960s were very limited and are a real find for any collector today.

By the 1950s French Dinky Toys began to reflect a European flavor and models for French manufacturers like Citroen, Renault, Peugeot and Simca were produced instead of the UK models. By the 1960s pretty well only European [and some favorite American] models were being produced in France and make a fascinating addition to the usual United Kingdom models for collectors.

By 1972 production of French dinky toys was stopped and the English dinky toy stopped production near the end of the 1970s as well. The dinky toys trademark passed through several hands on till it is now part of Matchbox International who produce the "Dinky Collection" today. But, to a collector, these models are not the same as the "real dinky cars". They are not as heavy and robust as the early Maccano models. But at least the dinky toy named carries on and you can still collect a series of models with this name.

The collection of Dinky Toys is an old and beloved hobby. Some started out by nostalgically looking for a model from their childhood and just kept on collecting. Others simply fell in love with these diecast models when they saw someone elses collection or a display at a fair or a museum. Whatever the reason, dinky toy collectors are a breed apart and love the little models and we hope you enjoy your hobby.
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