OK not strictly Dinky Toys but its always interesting to see the original props and models that the Binns Road designers worked from to produce the toys that then sold in their millions.
Gerry Anderson TV is the official YouTube account of Anderson Entertainment & the Gerry Anderson Estate and has a raft of short background videos looking at different aspects of the GA productions including the vehicles and series featured on this site.
You can either go direct via the link above or via this site’s series and vehicles pages
The first is a gunmetal base version, possibly an export version or even a factory error, whatever the origin, its certainly a strange colour combination.
The second newly identified variant is the omission of the on/off switch labelling, next to the double headed arrow and possibly a tooling issue. A short lived change as the very first versions had the text labelling as did later and the last versions of the 102.
JK Auctions recently sold a resin prototype of the never commercially released 113 John Steed’s Jaguar from the 1970’s New Avengers UK TV series. The prototype was originally part of the Parodi family collection who had exclusive import rights to Dinky Toys for Italy.
There’s an interesting version of the 355 Lunar Rover on eBay at present (Buy It Now listing ends 28th April 2019). It’s the ‘Tioxide Paints’ version and priced at £225 – not cheap but they are pretty rare.
But it was not just the Lunar Rover or even Dinky that only caught the marketing people at Tioxide Paints’ eye. A Corgi Concorde and a Spot-On Land Rover were also branded with Tioxide. I am led to understand that all three toy companies provided unpainted models to the firm who then coated them with a Tioxide based paint (the Tioxide bit is a whitening chemical and still used today) and stickers, and this done was around 1967/68.
There were only a few models produced for senior managers and favoured clients.
Just a few weeks before Dinky’s factory at Binns Road, Liverpool closed, Airfix, who owned Dinky, held their annual dinner dance at the London Hilton. Today I suppose it would be unthinkable to hold such an event as the company spiralled into bankruptcy but in 1979 it apparently wasn’t.
The guests were all given a memento of the occasion, a specially commissioned gold painted 362 Trident Starfighter, only commercially available in black during its limited production run.
The model comes from Dr Edward Force’s collection, who has written a series of excellent reference books so it has an interesting provenance.
The box label is sadly missing the hand written signature of Ray McNiece, Meccanos’ last Managing Director who had only been in post since May of 1979 but the toy is otherwise a poignant memory of the end of a great brand.
Update: Sold for £120
Disclaimer: I have no connection to Vectis Auctions or to the item and as with all auctions please check the details carefully before you bid.
The listing is unfortunately timed as it ends on January 7th but I suppose if one cancels Xmas and invests the money [c£215 plus postage from the U.S.!] then 2019 would be a very good year for one collector.
The auction is for a late version 104, with stickers and a black bumper, but also with a brown rather than red seat. I have one in my collection and it can be viewed here.