It takes time with any hobby I think to try to figure out what exactly draws you to it, and also what keeps you interested. That is how it is for me and my love of old die-cast models, especially those made by Dinky Toys, that once great British company that was the original grand-daddy of diecast model cars, but which sadly is no longer with us.
I’m not really sure what my fascination is with this one brand. It could be their age, the era I love is after all the 1960’s and 70’s, the era of my own childhood. It could be just that the company no longer exists, and that therefore what’s out there in its name is definitely limited, which to a collector is a big plus. Personally though I think it’s that Dinky Toys are somehow very unique in themselves. They are slightly more basic than their modern-day equivalents, heavier, more traditional even than were the Corgi or Matchbox rivals of their day. That in part led to their downfall, to slow to change, to unwilling to keep up with the fashions. They did try to adapt towards the end, models in the last decade or so gaining ‘whizz-wheels’ and a variety of working gadgets, and loosing some of their weighty feel or the expense of jewelled headlights to keep down costs. Eventually though it was all to no avail, and Dinky Toys by Meccano finally ceased production in 1980.
With this site I hope to help keep alive the memory of those last Dinky Toys, those mainly for me from the last few era’s, as there are plenty of sites that concentrate on the generally more expensive models of earlier decades. I have started a library section on here that I hope in time will be a source to any who want it, of Dinky Toys models from the sixties and seventies. Mainly my collection was the ‘blister boxed’ Dinky Toys, with their card stands and plastic bubble packaging, and also ‘picture boxed’ kit’s.
Along with collecting Dinky Toy’s, I’ll also be showing a way to appreciate the older and more worn out models that don’t generally make it into a collectors display case, namely the hobby of restoration and ‘code 3’ing. To this end I’ll be adding workshop articles and other reference guides or supporting information as I get chance, for anyone who would like to have a go.
Code 3’ing is in simply hobby speak, altering a model from its original look into something either totally new, or in the spirit of what Dinky Toys ‘might’ have made. This is a fast growing, highly creative and relatively inexpensive hobby, that add’s another side altogether to die-cast collecting. Old models that might otherwise have been worn out and thrown away can be revitalised now, into models that will again do a collector’s display case proud. Have a look at my ‘from the workshop’ pages to get the idea. The Pullmore transporter pictured below is also a Code 3, it is very Dinky in it’s overall style, but it and it’s cars have been painted in colours not used in this set combination by Dinky, and the box has been especially made.
As with all such sites, these pages will be a constantly developing project, so if you are a collector interested in perhaps some of the toys of this company and era, someone new to the hobby or even to the idea of old toys as a hobby, or just someone who loves looking back at of your youth. Have fun browsing these pages and do pop back from time to time or hey, sign up for updates, hopefully there will always be something new and interesting to see …
Should you wish to find out more about diecast collecting / Code 3’ing, the links below I’ve found very handy over the years.
Biggest spares supplier for most models. http://www.model-supplies.co.uk/
Toyfair main events calender http://www.collectors-club-of-great-britain.co.uk/Toys-Games-and-Other-Collectables/Events/_ch34