Category:1950s Dinky Toys

From The Brighton Toy and Model Index

Meccano Ltd,. continued to extend and update the Dinky Toys range through the 1950s and in 1954 finally decided to "bite the bullet" and renumber the range so that each product now had its own number, instead of the old letter suffix system.

Dinky's honeymoon period ended in 1956, when Mettoy finally decided that they wanted a slice of the diecast toy market, and launched Corgi Toys.

1956: Corgi vs Dinky - the Windows Wars

Corgi were brutal in the way that they pressed home their newcomer's advantage, including clear plastic in all their car designs and marketing their range as "The Ones With Windows". This put Dinky into a difficult position: Abruptly relegated from being the unopposed market leader, Dinky suddenly found themselves being thought of by their market as "the ones without windows". Corgi had cleverly defined the distinction between Corgi and Dinky in a way that made the Dinky products (most of which had been designed at a time when clear windows wouldn't have been as practical) automatically seem inferior.

Dinky now had some serious competition, and had to start adding windows to their new models, but the question of what to do with the existing range was more difficult: the more models that Dinky included windows on, the more that buyers considered windows to be the norm, and the more out of date the older models looked. Corgi had managed to take one of Dinky's biggest advantages - the existence of a huge existing range of legacy designs - and turn it against them.

Corgi's models also sometimes also managed to look sleeker and prettier than the Dinky versions, even though it was often difficult to work out why - the aesthetics of designing a good diecast model had changed as the technology had matured, and older designs that had once looked reassuringly solid and robust (and better able to better withstand variations in more primitive casting processes) could now look slightly ... clunky.


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