Hundreds of Dinky cars could race to pole position at vintage toy sale

Later today (July 22) in Derby, UK, over 700 antique and vintage toys are going under the hammer. These will be dominated by over 800 Dinky Toy cars, some of them in group lots, with 580 coming from a major collection.

Dinky Toys are a big deal in collecting circles. The die-cast miniature model cars and trucks first appeared in early 1934, courtesy of legendary company Meccano Ltd of Liverpool, England which introduced a line of the miniatures.

A collector talks about his beloved Dinkies

At 5 or 6 shillings in their heyday - several weeks' pocket money for most 1940-50s boys - Meccano Dinky Toys were never cheap. A few even made it to the TV screen, such as Lady Penelope's car in Thunderbirds.

They now sell at auction for anything from £20 to £2,000 or more - often to those who couldn't afford them when they were younger. The final prices naturally depend on factors such as condition, rarity and important details such as the presence of the original box.

A particularly intriguing example popped up in 2009: One of the models out of over a thousand made was the Austin A40 van. They came in 3 colours: red with a Nestlé logo, half-red/half green for BP and dark green for Rayleigh cycles.

So a powder blue van with 'Omnisport' followed by 'Todo Para El Deporte' in red along the side intrigued and baffled rare toy expert Glenn Butler. They then discovered that a fourth A40 van just like that had been planned in the company's sketches.

It was concluded that the Omnisport A40 had been constructed specifically for a presentation - it appeared to have been created from scratch, not reconstructed from, say, a Nestlé model - but had never gone into production and was one of a kind.

The Omnisport dinky
One of a kind... The Omnisport dinky

It sold for £6,400 ($10,400 at today's exchange rate) at Wallis and Wallis.

Whilst none of the models in the sale at Bamfords is expected to achieve as much, the total is expected to be £60,000 or more.

Steiff bears and a rare Kammer & Rheindhart (Germany) Marie bisque head and ball jointed wood and composition bodied character doll (listed at £1,500-1,700) which Huguette Clark might have liked will also be present.


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