Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dinky Toys!

As a buildup-to-Xmas special, here are my favorite pages from the 1974 Dinky catalog. I started scouting for Dinky catalogs when JPX discovered PlaidStallions with all of its Corgi catalog action. Corgi toys were okay, but prior the debut of Star Wars figures Dinky toys were the vein of pure gold running through my toy collection -- the undisputed alpha toys.

Some guy named Ralf Zeigermann in the UK has this small collection of one Dinky and three Corgi catalogs (the other two of his Dinky links don't work). Not a very comprehensive resource, really, except that the 1974 Dinky catalog was THE Dinky catalog, if you get my meaning.

And this here, pages 4 and 5, was THE spread.  I would eventually have five of the nine toys featured here. My first was the Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle in the upper left of page 5, followed by Thunderbird 2 and FAB 1, and later by the U.F.O. Interceptor and Shado 2 Vehicle. I still kind of pine for the white Spectrum Maximum Security Vehicle; I look at them on ebay now and again. They're either really beat up or expensive.

Of the ones I have, most are in good to decent shape. I know the FAB 1's dome is cracked and I personally pried out the Parker and Lady Penelope figures. The SPV, unfortunately, is a stripped hulk of a toy. Those little rubber tires come off, and because kids like to take things off they all vanished. Well, not completely. At one point I noticed the SPV and the FAB 1 had the same tires, so I cannibalized a couple from the former to fully tire the Rolls.

One of my other Dinkys is the MRCA seen above, with "swing-wings." Kind of an odd choice, but then again the only place I remember ever seeing Dinky toys for sale was in the toy store at the Mystic Seaport next to the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. I'm sure it was an overpriced little touristy shop and I remember specifically that they each cost ten dollars, which was of course huge money. The problem with the MRCA was that the wings and the landing gear were on the same lever, so if the wings were sticking out the landing gear was down. Kinda lame.

I've included these two pics because I recall drooling over that hovercraft again and again. The military one is cooler but the red one was pretty temptatious as well. But I never saw either one.


JPX said...

As you might recall I lived in Nova Scotia until age 5. In Canada all Matchbox, Hot Wheels, etc were called "Dinkys", as in, "Dad, can I get a dinky?" It wasn't until many years later that I realized that Dinky was a brand name. It would be like referring to all dolls as Megos. Hot Wheels and Match Box cars are cheap junk (I've purchased sets for my son and they just fall apart). Dinky Toys were sturdy, durable, well-constructed toys.

Octopunk said...

That's too bad about Matchbox cars because I seem to recall that the cars themselves were pretty durable. But I'm not surprised the playsets fall apart.

Yeah, Dinkys are amazing. I'm going to pull some more out of storage when I get home next week.