Dinky Aircraft – Forgotten Greats

Preserving the Memory

Carrying the Mail

Sometimes, a toy manufacturer will create a model for which, in later years, we are truly grateful, because it preserves the memory of a fascinating but otherwise long-forgotten subject. Most makers manage to (unwittingly) do this at some point! In the Dinky Aircraft range, there are several such models, but none better than that of a rather unique craft designed to deliver the mail.

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Dinky Aircraft – Early Days

Pre-War Beginnings

The First Set

Prior to the Second World War, Dinky produced a range of about 40 aircraft, including both civilian and warplanes. During this period, the early hollow composite models evolved into the more robust solid diecast models that typified their post-war production.

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Dinky Aircraft – Introduction

Compact & Charming

Dinky Aircraft

The first aircraft models were released by Dinky in 1934, and the range continued, with a break during World War 2, up to 1965. As with their contemporary range of military vehicles, there were two main periods of production: the first models were created during the 1930s, and then a new set of models replaced them in the 1950s. During both periods, separate but complementary selections of models were produced by the UK company in Liverpool and by the French factory in Bobigny.

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Dinky Military – France

Made in France

Bobigny

Most of the vehicles produced by Dinky originated from the factory located in Binns Road, Liverpool. In fact, ‘Binns Road’ has become a label that itself describes Dinky to many collectors. However, it should be remembered that throughout the history of Dinky there was also a factory in Bobigny, a north-eastern suburb of Paris, that produced a range of models primarily for the French market.

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Dinky Military – Manufacture

Making the Models

Production

We are usually too busy enjoying the toys we buy to waste time thinking about how they are made. However, every once in a while, doing so can reveal what an amazing enterprise toy-making was, and sheds light on the models themselves. What can we learn from the Dinky production process?

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Dinky Military – History Lessons

Understanding the Context

History

Toys, like most objects, reflect the times they are made in. They can do this in many ways, but perhaps the most obvious is through the choice of subject to be modelled. When I see a model, I like to be able to identify the subject and understand why it might have been made. Researching this can open the door to some fascinating history, and teach us a little about the past.

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Dinky Military – Accuracy

High Fidelity or Artistic License?

The Question of Accuracy

Dinky proudly claimed that their models were accurate reproductions, but is this true?

Before examining this question, we need to set down some ground-rules. Dinky models were – like all models which are smaller than the subject they represent – simplifications. In fact, if you consider it for a moment, all models must omit detail that would be too small or fragile to be rendered in scale. In that respect all models are inaccurate.

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