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Dinky Toys was the brand name for die-cast Mazak zinc alloy miniature vehicles produced by Meccano Ltd. These accessories were first called "Hornby Modelled Miniatures", but in the April 1934 issue of Meccano Magazine they were given the name "Meccano Dinky Toys" for the first time (Meccano Magazine 1934 p.
They were made in England from 1934 to 1979, at a factory in Binns Road in Liverpool. The company later moved into model railroading with their first O gauge clockwork trains appearing in 1920 (Ellis 2009, p. In the early 1930s, Meccano had made many types of tin plate and other metal cars, like its Morgan and BSA three-wheelers, mostly in kit form (Interesting 1934, pp. In 1933 Meccano Ltd issued a series of railway and trackside accessories to complement their O scale (1/45) Hornby Trains model train sets (Force 1988, p. 332) in August 1935, the name Meccano was dropped and the marque became DINKY TOYS until 1971 (Encyclopédie Dinky Toys).
Models in series 36, meanwhile, included a Rover Saloon, a Bentley 2 seat sports coupe, an Armstrong-Siddeley limousine, a British Salmson 4 seater convertible, a British Salmson 2 seat convertible, and a Humber Vogue coupe (Gardiner and O'Neill 1996, pp. Chassis were cast with open holes in them, saving expense and metal. This was much more common before the war in the years 1938–1941, and a main reason it is rare to find surviving toys in good condition from this period (Ramsay 1993, p. Some early castings have survived in numbers, while others are rare without some form of damage – such as the 28/2 Series vans.
In 1935, a new series 30 was introduced which featured accurate likenesses of specific vehicles for the first time.
These included a generic ambulance, a Daimler saloon, a Vauxhall saloon, a Chrysler Airflow saloon, and a Rolls-Royce saloon (Gardiner and O'Neill 1996, pp. Smaller Matchbox-sized Austin 7 saloons and tourers were also made.
Series 30 included: In 1938, a new Series 36 was introduced.
Most of these models were also made after World War II up to 1948.