Category:Dinky Toys in the USA

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Dinky Toys would have originally been marketed in the US by Meccano Ltd.'s offshoot company, Meccano Inc., based in Elizabeth, New Jersey. With the evisceration of the Elizabeth factory, and the realisation that Meccano Inc. was now unlikely to "turn the corner", Meccano's US business was sold to A.C. Gilbert. The marketing and distribution of Dinky Toys until ~1965 seems to have then gone through a number of changes, with Gilbert acting as distributor for at least part of this period.

1965: "Marvels in Miniature" contest, advertised in the US magazine Boys' Life

With the failure of Meccano Ltd. and the migration of its products to new owner Lines Brothers circa ~1964/1965, US distribution and marketing of Dinky was passed to Lines Brothers' own offshoot company, Lines Brothers Inc., who had been going since at least 1956. This handover seems to have been marked by a brief surge of advertising and promotional activity, with advertising and a 1965 write-in competition in Boys'Life magazine. Unfortunately, this promising new start to Dinky's US marketing then seems to have stalled: an article on the DTCA website suggests that Lines Brothers Inc. may have been replaced some time in 1966 by a new joint-owned company, and with Lines Brothers themselves facing a combination of new management demands from their takeover of Meccano Ltd., the appearance of Mattel's Hot Wheels in 1968, and their own business problems that led to the company going bust in around ~1970/1971, support for the Dinky range in the US seems to have largely withered away.

Local marketing differences

Apart from the obvious increased emphass on the American cars in the Dinky range, and the "Marvels in Miniature" slogan, the main difference in the US marketing seems to have been a decision not to call the range Dinky Toys ... "toys" presumably being associated in the US with cheaper products aimed only at children ... but Dinky Models, or just "Dinky".

~1964 gallery:

from a four-side single-sheet brochure

1965 US promotional text:


Now its more fun than ever to collect metal scale models because DINKY models look real and have so many parts that really work. Just imagine having models with doors and windows that open, front seats that tilt and trucks with little suitcases inside. When you look inside you see the seats, steering wheel, and passengers. You can raise the hood and see the engine. Roll it over a bump and see the suspension in action. There are many exiting vehicles of all kinds to choose from – with more coming regularly – so see all these new DINKY models and start YOUR collection now.

— , Lines Brothers Inc., , Boys' Life magazine, , November 1965


  • Lines Bros., Inc. – 1107 Broadway, New York, NY

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Media in category ‘Dinky Toys in the USA’

The following 57 files are in this category, out of 57 total.