Category:Dinky Toys

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Toy Brands and Manufacturers

Always Choose Dinky Toys (MM 1960-09).jpg

Dinky Toys

1934 -     

Meccano Ltd.'s Dinky Toys brand of diecast toys was launched in 1934, as a successor to the slightly more experimental lead-cast Hornby Modelled Miniatures range.

Most of the Museum's Dinky items are in the dedicated Dinky Toys cabinet in Arch Two, .

Dinky and scale

The new range of Dinky Toys were mostly vehicles - a mix of cast waterline-model ships, cars and vans, and aeroplanes, with the road vehicles mostly produced to a nominal 1:43 scale in order to be compatible with Hornby's large gauge 0 model railways. This use of cross-brand compatibility had appeared before when the company's first examples of Hornby Trains and accessories were produced with Meccano nuts and bolts, and and with Meccano spacings and sizes, as a way of emphasising that the new brand was a continuation of a previous successful product range. Once owners had a Hornby Series train layout, with trackside accessories including buildings, people, and street furniture, the next step was road vehicles, and once they'd bought a couple of Dinky cars as layout "garnish", they'd have the beginnings of what might turn into a new collecting hobby.

Not all of the new post-1934 pieces were to the same scale: for instance, the Dinky Double decker buses. if produced to 1:43, would have been much larger than and also too expensive for most of the potential buyers of a little toy bus, so while 1:43 was the norm for any wheeled Dinky Toy that didn't explicitly state a different scale (such as the 1:1800-scale ship models), there were a number of quiet but definite exceptions to the rule.

Smaller 1:48 scale was used for some larger models, such as the large lorries and industrial vehicles that later formed the basis of the Dinky Supertoys range.

By this time, compatibility with 0-gauge model railways was becoming less of an issue, and Dinky experimented with smaller 1:76 scale models to go with the newer half-sized-track 00-gauge "Hornby Dublo" railway sets, although this "Dublo Dinky" range was short-lived.

Some models with the fractionally larger 1:42 scale started to appear in the range after Meccano Ltd.'s takeover by Lines Bros., who had produced their own Spot-On range of diecast model cars, in 1:42 scale.

1939 promotinal text:


Dinky Toys provide one of the most fascinating of collecting hobbies. These wonderful miniatures are unique in their realistic accuracy, rich colouring and perfection of finish. The splendid range now includes more than 300 models, among which are items that cannot fail to appeal to every boy and girl.

Splendid fun can be had in playing with Dinky Toys on the table or the floor. Exciting race games can be devised for the Sports Cars, and thrilling gliding races can be held with the Aeroplanes.

All Dinky Toys can be purchased separately, and many of them also in complete sets.

— , -, , Meccano Ltd. catalogue, , 1939

External links

The main association for people interested in Dinky Toys is the Dinky Toy Collectors' Association (DTCA).


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