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Shite in Miniature II


Split_Pin

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21 hours ago, warch said:

Awesome, I really liked that Dinky range, early 90s iirc? I didn't know they did a Mustang, that's a super looking model. Predictably I had the Land Rover, in AA yellow. I completely agree about owning cars vicariously through their model counterparts, having had another go in my brother's Series One Landy I think the thing I like most about it is looking at it.

Yeah, it seems that Matchbox released about 8-10 models a year in their Dinky range between 1989 and 1995, plus some recoloured versions, before a whole clatter of confusing reissues arrived between 1996 and 2000 which may or may not have ever reached these fair isles. I'm trying not to get all completionist about the range - but there are still a few others I'd like to track down.

It was an interesting and quite eclectic little range of vehicles, including commercials and US passenger cars. Matchbox's then-owners, Universal Toys, bought the Dinky brand from Kenner Toys in 1988 - who had gained the rights to it when they bought out Palitoy in 1985, and who in turn had acquired the defunct Dinky name when they bought up Airfix and all their sub-brands after the 1981 bankruptcy.

Such a tangled web.

Originally Matchbox planned to use the Dinky name for a new line of Commando military action toys - and apparently some pre-production models exist with Dinky branding - before changing their mind to instead launch a range of 1/43 postwar classics that would capitalise on the name's heritage to older customers, rather than trying to relaunch a failed brand of children's toys.

Universal agreed that the Yesteryears range of mostly pre-war vehicles would continue as before, but these new, larger-scale models would compete with the likes of Corgi Classics and Solido in the collector's market.

The original 1989 Dinky releases included a 1967 Jaguar E-Type convertible with the hood up, a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Sports Coupe, a 1965 MGB-GT, a 1949 Ford V-8 Pilot, a 1951 VW Beetle, a 1959 Cadillac Coupe De Ville and a 1949 Land Rover S1.

Commercial vehicles were represented with a 1950 Ford E83W in Heinz livery, a 1948 Commer 8CWT with Sharp's Toffee advertising, and - most spectacularly - a 1950 Mercedes 0-3500 holiday tour coach. The latter was pretty big, and came in a large cardboard presentation box, nestled in a flocked, moulded insert.

The majority of the 1989 range were made in Macau, with production then switching to China for 1990 on.

The next year brought a 1948 Tucker Torpedo, a 1955 Mercedes 300SL 'Gullwing', a 1958 Bentley Continental R, a 1946 Chapron-bodied Delahaye 145, the 1967 Ford Mustang 2+2 Fastback, and a 1952 Austin A40 van in Brooke Bond Tea colours. It also included a lightly reworked E-Type roadster with the hood now down, and a 1973 MGB-GT V8 which was the same basic casting as the '65 MG but with a different grille and other badging.

The show-stopper for 1990 was the oldest model to appear in the range - a 1939 Triumph Dolomite Roadster, again in a luxury presentation box.

The idea behind this was that the '39 Dolomite had been legendary for years among Dinky collectors, as one of six new models scheduled for launch in time for Christmas 1939 - but which never appeared due to the outbreak of WW2.  When diecast toy production finally restarted after the war, five of the six models belatedly appeared in shops - but there was no sign of the sixth, the Triumph Dolomite.

For decades rumours circulated of the existence of a handful of pre-production test models, and a Dinky Dolomite remained the diecast collector's Holy Grail - although it's now generally accepted that, if they ever even existed, the test models were either lost forever or disintegrated due to zinc pest. 

So the DY-17 Matchbox Dinky Triumph Dolomite was a nod to 'the Dinky that never was' and, uniquely for the range, came with an opening part - the dicky seat behind the cockpit could be flipped up and down.

1991 brought another flurry of new castings covering a wide range of sports and passenger cars, though no new commercials. A 1965 Triumph TR4, 1964 Mini Cooper S, 1952 Citroen 15CV, 1958 Porsche 356A and 1973 Ferrari Dino 246 made up the European contingent, while a 1956 Chevrolet Corvette and 1958 Studebaker Golden Hawk provided new US interest. The 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air was retooled as a convertible.

Many of the previous releases remained in the range, now wearing different colours - the Ford V-8 Pilot, for example, started off in black before moving to silver, and ending up wearing tan paint. Each of these variants was helpfully labelled A, B,C etc on the box, though most of the earlier models omitted the A, with only the later versions gaining a suffix.

1992 marked a slowing-down in new tooling, with only a 1968 Triumph Stag, a 1953 Buick Skylark, a 1958 Austin Healey 3500, a 1955 Ford Thunderbird and a 1957 Citroen 2CV appearing in the range.

For reasons unknown, Matchbox's new owners Tyco started to run the Dinky brand down from 1993, even going as far as to pinch a planned new Dinky release for the Yesteryears range. The 1947 Citroen Type H van was released in 1993 in six different liveries as YTF-01 to 06, as part of their 'Taste of France' collection, but it was originally slated for release as DY-33 - and this number was never used. Tyco also commandeered and modified the Dinky Land Rover and Ford E83W castings for inclusion in their Yesteryear Fire Engines range.

Although sales of Dinky branded models in new colour combinations continued, there were no new castings released in 1993 or 1994 and apparently Tyco chose not to advertise or otherwise attempt to market them to collectors. The mind boggles as to what their reasoning was.

1995 finally brought a handful of new castings, believed to have been held over from 1993, with a 1962 Mercedes 300SL convertible (based on the earlier coupe, mind), a 1960 Jaguar XK150, and the 1968 VW Karmann Ghia all finally appearing - but the end was in sight, for UK collectors at least.

From 1996, some of the earlier Dinky range was rebooted with different catalogue codes and in different colours, but again with no new castings.

In 1997, the Dinky range was subsumed under the Matchbox Collectables umbrella - which as far as I'm aware were only available as direct mail-order collections rather than through retail stockists. I had a whole load of these Collectables catalogues through the door in the early/mid-90s, trying to get me to subscribe to the Beers Of The World collection, the Horse-Drawn Collection, or the Fire Engines collection.

I didn't.

This revamped Dinky range also included a number of brand new castings of 1950s and 60s US sedans, some detailed large-scale articulated trucks previously sold under the Convoy and Superkings names, some historic military tanks, plus some former Vitesse castings of British and European sports cars and saloons. I'd be interested to know if these were ever marketed outside North America, as I've never seen any of these in real life. 

In 2000, both the Dinky and Yesteryear brands were retired by Matchbox's new owners Mattel, and their range of premium old-time models became briefly known as the Platinum range, including some aircraft, before this name was also killed off.

Apparently some former Dinky castings did survive for a while longer, now packaged as Matchbox and at lower price points, with less detail and cheaper plastic bases- but again, I don't think these were ever sold in the UK. Presumably Mattel were prioritising their Hot Wheels premiums, and didn't want second-fiddle Matchbox stealing their thunder.

The original models from the Matchbox Dinky range do still crop up fairly often for not that much (with a few exceptions for promotional Code 2 versions) - they can still be found boxed and as-new for around the £5 - £15 mark.

I find them rather more appealing than the Models of Yesteryear range, and these days, they definitely have the nostalgia factor for me...

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As I've said before, I had a few which apparently were from the first batch of releases; '59 Caddy, '51 Beetle, '57 Chevy. I think the Caddy and Beetle still survive although no longer mint and the boxes are long gone. 

They're nice things but edge slightly into collector pieces rather than toys - and that's the point where I lose interest. Mine were definitely played with as toys although I would have been at least 11 and starting to get more into BMXs by that point, not that I ever lost interest in small cars.

There are a few I'll keep an eye out for such as the Karmann Ghia and Tucker, but I suspect cheap slightly worn ones aren't common, so I'll end up paying "box tax"!

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I remember when my friend got the MGBGT. At the time I was unaware of a model of this car (having never seen the Dinky (or was it Corgi?) version. I thought it was a cut above the Corgi Classics as it had separate handbrake and gear lever in chrome, more detailed lights and nicer wheels. I got my own one shortly after.  It was sold along with the only other one I had in the range, a Jaguar etype with the roof down.

I managed to pick up a good but unboxed MGB again a few years ago as I wanted one again! 

I also have one of those Matchbox Trucks. Its a 1939 Peterbilt in Coca Cola Livery. Its around 1/55 scale and beautifully detailed for its time, if a tad chunky. The latter makes it a heavy piece. Definitely one of my favourite truck models. It also came in Campbell's Soup livery!

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The only Matchbox Collectible I recall having was some sort of horse drawn tram type thing. It was £6 in Trago Mills in Falmouth, who sometimes did consignments of bankrupt stock etc, this would have been around 1996. Anyway it stayed in it’s box for years until I cleared out the loft as an adult at my parents house. Stuck it on eBay and it went for something like £30, which although a good return won’t see me rivalling Warren Buffett. 

Thinking on I must have been the only bloke on earth that actually made money on the whole ‘collectibles’ bollocks in the 1990’s! Unlike all those aforementioned former miners still trying to cash in their investment in a piss wet field in February. 

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Well my colour trial Gulper is done, I did take some pictures in the sun last night but indoors shows how close the colour is to the real one. 

20210616_09395720210616_09384320210616_09380720210616_093754

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It pains me not to detail the lights, grille etc but that's how the original is. Anyway I have more to play with if I want to

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There is one deviation on mine from the original car - that had an unpainted base. I realised this half way though, but to replicate it there are 9 rivets that have to be drilled out, and none have enough material behind them to drill and tap for screws. As I have a couple of spare cars I'm going to try with another one as swapping the base is child's play. 

I'm also really thick, it took me until yesterday to realise the base is the same one as the Milligans Mill, which is why it doesn't have a K number underneath - there is one on top at the back showing K-38 and K-39 though.

20210616_093829

 

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3 hours ago, Split_Pin said:

I remember when my friend got the MGBGT. At the time I was unaware of a model of this car (having never seen the Dinky (or was it Corgi?) version. I thought it was a cut above the Corgi Classics as it had separate handbrake and gear lever in chrome, more detailed lights and nicer wheels. I got my own one shortly after.  It was sold along with the only other one I had in the range, a Jaguar etype with the roof down.

I managed to pick up a good but unboxed MGB again a few years ago as I wanted one again! 

I also have one of those Matchbox Trucks. Its a 1939 Peterbilt in Coca Cola Livery. Its around 1/55 scale and beautifully detailed for its time, if a tad chunky. The latter makes it a heavy piece. Definitely one of my favourite truck models. It also came in Campbell's Soup livery!

Yeah, I think the arrival of Matchbox Dinky really made Corgi Classics up their game somewhat in terms of detail and finish - the sharp tampo print brightwork and badging on the MG really made it 'pop', plus as you say, the separate handbrake, gearstick and silver dashboard detailing spoke volumes about the quality. 

My 1988 release Mk2 Zephyr by Corgi looks a bit lumpen in comparison - although it has separate plated bumpers and grille, the rest of the model is just a plain navy blue. The details like rear lights and swage line are nicely cast, but there's no paint detail anywhere - they're actually less well finished than many of the 1/36 toys elsewhere in the range. Annoyingly, the bench seat quickly came adrift in mine and it's still rattling round the dingy, all-black interior. This was the first Corgi Classic I ever owned, and while I liked it well enough I could see plenty of room for improvement. Maybe this was why the Dinky range appealed to me so strongly.

Within a year or two, the Classics range gained new, more see-through packaging (more like Matchbox Dinky's, funnily enough) and started using two-tone paint and better details such as separate plastic mouldings for lights (as seen on the Mk1 Cortina).

Comparing them side-by side now, I think Dinky edged it until about 1994 for detail and 'balance' - early '90s Corgi Classics still look a bit heavy and toy-like (I'm thinking Morris Minor, Mk2 Jaguar, Bedford CA, MGA) and their clumsy efforts at spoked wheels are pretty poor. But after '95 or so, when they brought in the Mini vans and some other new castings, they really started to come into their own. 

We'll not talk about Corgi's abysmal crack at the Mini Cooper, though. I don't know how the hell those ever got through quality control. Not that Dinky's version was exactly brilliant either...

 

2 hours ago, sierraman said:

The only Matchbox Collectible I recall having was some sort of horse drawn tram type thing. It was £6 in Trago Mills in Falmouth, who sometimes did consignments of bankrupt stock etc, this would have been around 1996. Anyway it stayed in it’s box for years until I cleared out the loft as an adult at my parents house. Stuck it on eBay and it went for something like £30, which although a good return won’t see me rivalling Warren Buffett. 

Thinking on I must have been the only bloke on earth that actually made money on the whole ‘collectibles’ bollocks in the 1990’s! Unlike all those aforementioned former miners still trying to cash in their investment in a piss wet field in February. 

Yes, I remember receiving the flyers in the post for that horsedrawn collection - I think they had a Wells-Fargo stage coach and a Romany caravan as part of the range too, maybe around 1994. I'd guess that because they were sold via mail-order, demand had dried up by '96 and Trago Mills ended up buying whatever stock remained for cheap.

You did well!

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I never miss a chance to visit the Trago Mills toy department, ever since I scored my 1:18 Solido Citroen XM in the Liskeard branch in 1994 or so.

Every time I return in the anticipation of finding a similar gem. Only 27 years of disappointment thus far...

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I haven’t been in years but last time I went it was just some sort of big DIY shop type place that sold a bit of everything, watch straps, curtains etc. Given that diecast isn’t very mainstream anymore I wouldn’t make a special journey put it that way. It’s all on getting anything from the so called ‘solus’ retailer of Matchbox in the U.K. that is doubt there is a surplus. 

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8 hours ago, bunglebus said:

I wonder if the postman will be calling today?

Yes.

Got this: Bburago 1/32 Ford GT Le Mans 

IMG_0147.thumb.JPG.dbf5a29af3b83a144ce936e6bbf1245f.JPG

Not really into GT-type cars that much, but thought it looked quite smart and it was offered for £8.50 posted.  It's still in the current 2021 catalogue

IMG_0153.thumb.JPG.9a09989d07d787f4930673d8348a9b91.JPG

The GREEN KNIGHT inspected it.  Die-cast body, plastic base screwed-home. 

IMG_0152.thumb.JPG.4e01c7ecce0cf13580b47edbfb268819.JPG

This is going to be a 'unique' slot effort as no-one has done the the 2017 No.66 car, raced by Sebastien Bourdais, Joey Hand and Dirk Muller, which won Daytona.

unnamed.jpg.a3c4c98ed607cd0300d4dcca317713ed.jpg

At Le Mans they finished 4th, but were disqualified for 'overfuelling'...  the maximum permitted volume for the car was 97 litres, and scrutineering revealed the Ford’s tank to hold 97.83 litres.   Those petty French b*stards.

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Anyone remember my smugness a few weeks back when I finally got myself a set of these triangular drive bits, to cleanly remove partwork diecast from their stupidly screwed-on bases?

1492030821_Screenshot_20210616-1307432.thumb.png.2aaac69d54747f186692ad79c934d60d.png

Well, the joke's on me as they've gone missing from my screwdriver set.

I'm sure it was nothing to do with MrsDC, who was last seen using said set - but after a lot of fruitless searching, the inarguable fact remains I now to get myself a new set, as I'd very much like to get these recent arrivals out of their packaging and into my display cases without utterly butchering the screws:

1131462977_IMG_20210613_1229132.thumb.jpg.79a10c9f4b0caeb168e2cc02b0f6a0e6.jpg

1980704765_IMG_20210613_1229192.thumb.jpg.a77ca08718c7105f08d751130b3b3a42.jpg

1875293495_IMG_20210613_1229252.thumb.jpg.74e9a55aff0292306befcdd87302d375.jpg

584372742_IMG_20210613_1229312.thumb.jpg.d978a319989abfe954be62297f8bd1a8.jpg

They're all held in with those utterly pointless triangular screws. What's wrong with regular cross-head, or even slot screws?

So eBay advises that the seller I bought the bits from last time has whacked up his prices rightly, leaving the best value alternative to be these:

1991944926_Screenshot_20210616-1307042.thumb.png.20fdf025a256d98d83cb79fd4925cc7c.png

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/6pcs-Magnetic-Triangle-Screwdriver-Bits-S2-Steel-1-4-inch-Hex-Shank-Bit-Set-/313089288821?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286

They're available from China for £3.08 for this set of six, including postage, to touch down sometime in the next two to four weeks.

However, orders of four or more attract a unit price of £2.46, so my question is - would any other diecast Shiters be interested in a set of these triangular bits at this low, low price?

I ask purely because it's one of those things I meant to get for years, but it never seemed quite important enough to get off my arse and actively seek a set out.

Since I have a fair few tat boxes currently open for a number of Shiters of good standing, I'd be happy to order up as many as needed, and pop a set in along with your next dispatch.

I'll be ordering on Friday, so sure let me know if anyone else is interested!

Of course, I'll probably then find the original set on Saturday...

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1 hour ago, Datsuncog said:

Anyone remember my smugness a few weeks back when I finally got myself a set of these triangular drive bits, to cleanly remove partwork diecast from their stupidly screwed-on bases?

1492030821_Screenshot_20210616-1307432.thumb.png.2aaac69d54747f186692ad79c934d60d.png

Well, the joke's on me as they've gone missing from my screwdriver set.

I'm sure it was nothing to do with MrsDC, who was last seen using said set - but after a lot of fruitless searching, the inarguable fact remains I now to get myself a new set, as I'd very much like to get these recent arrivals out of their packaging and into my display cases without utterly butchering the screws:

1131462977_IMG_20210613_1229132.thumb.jpg.79a10c9f4b0caeb168e2cc02b0f6a0e6.jpg

1980704765_IMG_20210613_1229192.thumb.jpg.a77ca08718c7105f08d751130b3b3a42.jpg

1875293495_IMG_20210613_1229252.thumb.jpg.74e9a55aff0292306befcdd87302d375.jpg

584372742_IMG_20210613_1229312.thumb.jpg.d978a319989abfe954be62297f8bd1a8.jpg

They're all held in with those utterly pointless triangular screws. What's wrong with regular cross-head, or even slot screws?

So eBay advises that the seller I bought the bits from last time has whacked up his prices rightly, leaving the best value alternative to be these:

1991944926_Screenshot_20210616-1307042.thumb.png.20fdf025a256d98d83cb79fd4925cc7c.png

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/6pcs-Magnetic-Triangle-Screwdriver-Bits-S2-Steel-1-4-inch-Hex-Shank-Bit-Set-/313089288821?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286

They're available from China for £3.08 for this set of six, including postage, to touch down sometime in the next two to four weeks.

However, orders of four or more attract a unit price of £2.46, so my question is - would any other diecast Shiters be interested in a set of these triangular bits at this low, low price?

I ask purely because it's one of those things I meant to get for years, but it never seemed quite important enough to get off my arse and actively seek a set out.

Since I have a fair few tat boxes currently open for a number of Shiters of good standing, I'd be happy to order up as many as needed, and pop a set in along with your next dispatch.

I'll be ordering on Friday, so sure let me know if anyone else is interested!

Of course, I'll probably then find the original set on Saturday

Ooh! I've been eyeing up the red Taunus for a while. Us miniature Ford fans have been crying out for a decent MK5/Cortina '80/Whatever for a while and those cheapy Ixo partwork jobs have answered the call. Best thing about that red one is that, being from a Greek series, it is RHD! Have had my eye on the Autoshite colour-themed 2.0 Ghia too.

Anyroad, just got in early for a change and it looks like nice postie has brought some Wednesday-tat...

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8 hours ago, bunglebus said:

I wonder if the postman will be calling today?

Another!  This time a Hermes man with long trousers.

It was a sturdy box.  Inside was bubble-wrap, and plenty of it.  Took a few goes to unwrap it all, as the parcel tape was in abundance.

Yet, when I finally got to the centre, it had all been wrapped around....  this:

IMG_0155.JPG.5890e21c3da11204f9517137a45dd71f.JPG

Why bother with all the bubble wrap if they are going to be lose in a bag??  So I looked at the sender.  It said 'Item location: Shrewsbury'.  Hmmm....

Anyhow, what I was after for the tenner offered/accepted was this scarce Nissan Skyline R32 GTR by HPI Racing slot cars:

IMG_0156.thumb.JPG.e10ecd5e890b0b40f321f2a24160e565.JPG

These typically run for £50+ boxed, if you can find one.  Even better, it's in a nice colour.  Some scuffs to tidy, but the other two in the 'bag' should pay for it twice-over.   So, there is now no need* to build the imported-from-Japan ARII kit of the R32, making that another thing to get sold and help thin the heaving shelves of untouched kits

IMG_0157.thumb.JPG.d1b0097f5fcbaf7de580a7f52e8c390d.JPG

So, triple-bonus Tat Wednesday.

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17 hours ago, Datsuncog said:

Yeah, it seems that Matchbox released about 8-10 models a year in their Dinky range between 1989 and 1995, plus some recoloured versions, before a whole clatter of confusing reissues arrived between 1996 and 2000 which may or may not have ever reached these fair isles. I'm trying not to get all completionist about the range - but there are still a few others I'd like to track down.

It was an interesting and quite eclectic little range of vehicles, including commercials and US passenger cars. Matchbox's then-owners, Universal Toys, bought the Dinky brand from Kenner Toys in 1988 - who had gained the rights to it when they bought out Palitoy in 1985, and who in turn had acquired the defunct Dinky name when they bought up Airfix and all their sub-brands after the 1981 bankruptcy.

Such a tangled web.

Originally Matchbox planned to use the Dinky name for a new line of Commando military action toys - and apparently some pre-production models exist with Dinky branding - before changing their mind to instead launch a range of 1/43 postwar classics that would capitalise on the name's heritage to older customers, rather than trying to relaunch a failed brand of children's toys.

Universal agreed that the Yesteryears range of mostly pre-war vehicles would continue as before, but these new, larger-scale models would compete with the likes of Corgi Classics and Solido in the collector's market.

The original 1989 Dinky releases included a 1967 Jaguar E-Type convertible with the hood up, a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Sports Coupe, a 1965 MGB-GT, a 1949 Ford V-8 Pilot, a 1951 VW Beetle, a 1959 Cadillac Coupe De Ville and a 1949 Land Rover S1.

Commercial vehicles were represented with a 1950 Ford E83W in Heinz livery, a 1948 Commer 8CWT with Sharp's Toffee advertising, and - most spectacularly - a 1950 Mercedes 0-3500 holiday tour coach. The latter was pretty big, and came in a large cardboard presentation box, nestled in a flocked, moulded insert.

The majority of the 1989 range were made in Macau, with production then switching to China for 1990 on.

The next year brought a 1948 Tucker Torpedo, a 1955 Mercedes 300SL 'Gullwing', a 1958 Bentley Continental R, a 1946 Chapron-bodied Delahaye 145, the 1967 Ford Mustang 2+2 Fastback, and a 1952 Austin A40 van in Brooke Bond Tea colours. It also included a lightly reworked E-Type roadster with the hood now down, and a 1973 MGB-GT V8 which was the same basic casting as the '65 MG but with a different grille and other badging.

The show-stopper for 1990 was the oldest model to appear in the range - a 1939 Triumph Dolomite Roadster, again in a luxury presentation box.

The idea behind this was that the '39 Dolomite had been legendary for years among Dinky collectors, as one of six new models scheduled for launch in time for Christmas 1939 - but which never appeared due to the outbreak of WW2.  When diecast toy production finally restarted after the war, five of the six models belatedly appeared in shops - but there was no sign of the sixth, the Triumph Dolomite.

For decades rumours circulated of the existence of a handful of pre-production test models, and a Dinky Dolomite remained the diecast collector's Holy Grail - although it's now generally accepted that, if they ever even existed, the test models were either lost forever or disintegrated due to zinc pest. 

So the DY-17 Matchbox Dinky Triumph Dolomite was a nod to 'the Dinky that never was' and, uniquely for the range, came with an opening part - the dicky seat behind the cockpit could be flipped up and down.

1991 brought another flurry of new castings covering a wide range of sports and passenger cars, though no new commercials. A 1965 Triumph TR4, 1964 Mini Cooper S, 1952 Citroen 15CV, 1958 Porsche 356A and 1973 Ferrari Dino 246 made up the European contingent, while a 1956 Chevrolet Corvette and 1958 Studebaker Golden Hawk provided new US interest. The 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air was retooled as a convertible.

Many of the previous releases remained in the range, now wearing different colours - the Ford V-8 Pilot, for example, started off in black before moving to silver, and ending up wearing tan paint. Each of these variants was helpfully labelled A, B,C etc on the box, though most of the earlier models omitted the A, with only the later versions gaining a suffix.

1992 marked a slowing-down in new tooling, with only a 1968 Triumph Stag, a 1953 Buick Skylark, a 1958 Austin Healey 3500, a 1955 Ford Thunderbird and a 1957 Citroen 2CV appearing in the range.

For reasons unknown, Matchbox's new owners Tyco started to run the Dinky brand down from 1993, even going as far as to pinch a planned new Dinky release for the Yesteryears range. The 1947 Citroen Type H van was released in 1993 in six different liveries as YTF-01 to 06, as part of their 'Taste of France' collection, but it was originally slated for release as DY-33 - and this number was never used. Tyco also commandeered and modified the Dinky Land Rover and Ford E83W castings for inclusion in their Yesteryear Fire Engines range.

Although sales of Dinky branded models in new colour combinations continued, there were no new castings released in 1993 or 1994 and apparently Tyco chose not to advertise or otherwise attempt to market them to collectors. The mind boggles as to what their reasoning was.

1995 finally brought a handful of new castings, believed to have been held over from 1993, with a 1962 Mercedes 300SL convertible (based on the earlier coupe, mind), a 1960 Jaguar XK150, and the 1968 VW Karmann Ghia all finally appearing - but the end was in sight, for UK collectors at least.

From 1996, some of the earlier Dinky range was rebooted with different catalogue codes and in different colours, but again with no new castings.

In 1997, the Dinky range was subsumed under the Matchbox Collectables umbrella - which as far as I'm aware were only available as direct mail-order collections rather than through retail stockists. I had a whole load of these Collectables catalogues through the door in the early/mid-90s, trying to get me to subscribe to the Beers Of The World collection, the Horse-Drawn Collection, or the Fire Engines collection.

I didn't.

This revamped Dinky range also included a number of brand new castings of 1950s and 60s US sedans, some detailed large-scale articulated trucks previously sold under the Convoy and Superkings names, some historic military tanks, plus some former Vitesse castings of British and European sports cars and saloons. I'd be interested to know if these were ever marketed outside North America, as I've never seen any of these in real life. 

In 2000, both the Dinky and Yesteryear brands were retired by Matchbox's new owners Mattel, and their range of premium old-time models became briefly known as the Platinum range, including some aircraft, before this name was also killed off.

Apparently some former Dinky castings did survive for a while longer, now packaged as Matchbox and at lower price points, with less detail and cheaper plastic bases- but again, I don't think these were ever sold in the UK. Presumably Mattel were prioritising their Hot Wheels premiums, and didn't want second-fiddle Matchbox stealing their thunder.

The original models from the Matchbox Dinky range do still crop up fairly often for not that much (with a few exceptions for promotional Code 2 versions) - they can still be found boxed and as-new for around the £5 - £15 mark.

I find them rather more appealing than the Models of Yesteryear range, and these days, they definitely have the nostalgia factor for me...

Fascinating stuff from our resident mini-tat historian. I only ever had two of those Dinkys, a Tucker and a green Mustang. They randomly came from the local corner shop that didn't normally sell toys or models but on two different occasions just had a single Dinky tucked away with other oddments on a shelf in the corner for some weird reason. I have to wonder how they got there.

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2 hours ago, eddyramrod said:

Taunus/Cortina, and a CF!  If they were cheap, can you get more?

More are available -  but sadly they weren't all that cheap...

Ford_Taunus_Cortina_80.png.6465fcd4653d5db944e745bb31f4ca4d.png

(1) Edicola Ford England Taunus 1980 Con Vetrina With Showcase Red - 1:43 (diecaststore.co.uk)

Bedford_CF_Italian.png.4fd18ebae71abaa747ab2c9593482100.png

(1) Edicola Bedford GM CF250 Van Grissino Del Nonno 1979 Red Yellow - 1:43 (diecaststore.co.uk)

If they hadn't been procured as birthday gifts, I wouldn't have 'em either...

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4 hours ago, Datsuncog said:

would any other diecast Shiters be interested in a set of these triangular bits at this low, low price?

Yes. They drive me f*ck*ng insane, the Hot Wheels Monster Trucks use them to hold the body on if nothing else!

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