Does anyone have any pictures of pre-war dealers' cabinets? There seems to be a reasonable number of post-war glass cabinets (usually with 4 shelves) around but I don't think I have seen a pre-war dinky cabinet - perhaps none were made?
I do not recall ever seeing anything other than than the ones you talk about, they are in Dinky and Hornby Dublo versions which suggests post-war.
I'm putting this post here because there's a gentleman in Western Canada (can't be more specific asI don't know) who has a large, 11 steps high by 5 feet wide, display cabinet of the stepped type and who appears to wish to dipose of it.
Is anyone on here from BC or Alberta who would consider privately being put in touch with the gentleman?
I am in California but collect original Dinky dealer cabinets and would certainly be interested in finding out more from this gentleman.
DM'd you Jonathan.
Have just purchased this counter carousel for the Dinkys and am not sure of the period, think 70's, and am not sure what was displayed on the Carousel. could anyone enlighten me.
This is obviously a display stand (is it a carousel ? probably not) for the hanging boxes which were used from 1976 until the factory closed in November 1979.
It is a carousel and it stands about 600mm high, Have been looking through Vectis past auctions and just found one that looks identical and they have described it as a carousel for Mini Dinkys, so presume they are right.
Ramseys Mini-Dinkys introduced 1968 until when not sure.
I do have a few empty garages but none in their original packets. Will have to look out for some and try to make a display.
Been looking to see how the Mini-Dinkys where presented and marketed and cannot find any confirmation, so not totally convinced.
Each search brings up hundreds of Mini's
Looking forward to your comments.
No need to search in Vectis, both types are in the encyclopaedia. They are both revolving types and can be called caroiusels. I amnot sure that your display can revolve and this is why I asked the question.
Do like these two counter carousels for the Mini-dinkys, clearly different form the catousel I purchased. Will keep my eyes open to see if I can find examples.
This display was produced by Airfix after the closure of Binns Road and was designed specifically for the small-scale models they imported from Hong Kong (nothing to do with the earlier Mini Dinkys) and sold in 1980. These models were sold in blister packs that hung from the pegs on the display.
A relic of a sad time in Dinky history, alas!
Then it is this one, it was published in the April 1981 issue of the Meccano Magazine and the Toy Man (Chris Anderson) made the mistake to call these small Dinky - Mini Dinky.
The leaflet above is 100% conformation of how, what and when the revolving counter display was used. Thank you for your efforts, I just love this peicing together the story and learning the companies history.
Yes it does revolve, you are obviously correct, it is the stand shown in the black and white picture above. The top sign is slightly different but matches the packet description.
Have that Meccano magazine you refer and have now read the article. Impressed that you knew where to look that quick.
Will now look for small Dinky to fill the stand.
This encyclopaedia you refer to would like to purchase a copy if possible, do you know what I must do to secure a copy.
Thank you for the infomation a little mystery solved.
Hereby a clear scan of my Airfix catalog leaflet 1980 with 50 new models with the image of the relevant display stand. It consists of 4 pages and also mentions the relevant salesnumbers of the new Dinky models. Also a scan of an Airfix order form of April 1980 front and back side, on which I could not find a model with the price 59p as stated in this catalogue leaflet.
Perhaps also suitable for Jacques to include in his Dinky Toys encyclopedia.
Jan Oldenhuis, 26 July 2021
Certainly can rely on you guys for quick answers, just been on eBay to try and find the leaflet refered to above as I am an avid collector of all the ephemera of the company. Have also already secured some appropiate models for the stand off eBay so looking forward to them arriving.
The period is a little later than I normally purchase but cannot have a naked stand doing nothing, and it is all part of the history.
David -- I think the two Mini Dinky displays pictured above by Jacques and included in his Encyclopaedia were prototypes created for promotional photography, with hand-lettered signs. However, the one on the right is similar to the "cruciform stand" pictured in the dealer advertising below. I have one and indeed the Mini Dinkys in their garages fit perfectly. It is a relatively common display so you may be able to find one.
Jan -- thank you for posting the good scan of the 1980 trade flyer. I know many collectors prefer to ignore this period (or indeed anything after 1971) but I think everything Dinky is of interest. I am not saying I'm about to put those little Hong Kong models from 1980 on display in my toy room, but it's all interesting industrial history.
It's especially intriguing how Dinky history, including labor unrest etc., mirrors that of the full-size auto industry. When we look at these 1980 "Dinkys" bought in from Universal/Kidco and Solido, it is interesting to compare them to one of the last "Rover" cars produced -- a rebadged Tata Indica imported from India.
I'm hoping Mike Forbes will publish the article I have submitted for a forthcoming Journal about "The Ten Worst Dinky Toys."
After a long search i was able to pick up this shopkeepers cabinet today.
Great to have this on my desk in the room which my kids refer to as The Dinky Toy room.
I tried to find some old photo's of toyshops or Dinky promotional material with this cabinet on it but did not find any.
Does anyone here has proof of this cabinet being used?
How common was it for young kids to see this cabinet in their local toyshop?
Does anyone has information about how many where made and in which year?
I have a special interest in Dinky Toys displays so cannot resist congratulating you. However I am in California so I cannot answer your question about how commonly this display was seen -- U.S. distributor H. Hudson Dobson produced its own quite different displays during the 1950s, so this style was not imported.
I believe your display was a fairly common sight, however, judging by the number that survive today. It comes from the mid 50s, and I have attached an image from the web of the Dinky Sales Aids 1956 flyer that promoted it to dealers. (Copies of this rare flyer may be purchased from an eBay seller; unfortunately I have misplaced my copy or I could provide a better image.)
Thank you Johnny for this flyer.
Great info which i was looking for.
Well done in purchasing the cabinet, I to enjoy displaying in the original shopkeepers cabinets. They do turn up from time to time but not always local to yourself. There are two types front loading and rear loading, the front loading are always more expensive as you can change the display while the cabinate is up against a wall, so more popular but much rarer. The original intention was for them to be placed on the counter accessed from behind prefered by the retailer for conveience and security, hence being more available.
They also made exactly the same but with Hornby Dublo at the top.
Here is a 1957 copy of the Dinky Sales Aids sheet for dealers. These images are thanks to photos originally shared via QDT, but I have cropped and digitally enhanced them.
Meccano in England and France between them produced a fascinating, rather incredible variety of Dinky Toys dealer displays, and it will be nice to have pictures of them all in this thread.
As I commented before, none of the displays shown on this sheet made its way to the U.S.A. or Canada as far as I know. (Though I would be happy to be corrected.) The Candadian distributors as well as H. Hudson Dobson had their own display designs in the 1950s, typically of stepped design.
I wonder, were any of the displays on this sheet exported to other countries, or were they for Great Britain only?
A Conpendium of Dealer Displays
I recently sent an email to several DTCA members with pictures of Dinky dealer displays I have collected, and some information about them. (That is, I've collected the pictures -- though I have collected some of the displays too!) Their enthusiastic response convinced me that this should be shared with all Forum members.
Some of these displays have already been shown on the Forum in this or other threads, so forgive the duplication! Others have not, however. And if any members have encountered displays that I have not pictured, kindly add them to the thread.
As will be shown, there was a wide variety of dealer displays supplied by Meccano Ltd. In addition, because of the expense of shipping, U.S. and Canadian retailers tended to use locally produced displays rather than the ones shipped from England. (There were exceptions to this, however.)
First, here again is the 1957 Dinky Sales Aids Flyer showing typical English displays of the 1950s.
U.S.A displays of the 1950s
I am unaware of any of the displays shown in Meccano Ltd’s Sales Aids flyer having been used in the U.S.A., though I can’t prove it never happened. What is certain is that U.S. distributor H. Hudson Dobson produced its own displays and also promoted them in its advertising.
Canadian displays of the 1950s and 60s
I know a lot less about Canadian displays of the 1950s, and it’s definitely possible they made more use of displays imported from Britain. However, surviving Canadian displays from the 50s and early 60s were locally produced.
They are typically stepped displays made of blond wood with white shelves and a glass cover. (This contrasts with the H.H.D. displays, which appear to have had no dust protection for the models.)
These displays were offered in the “single-width” version I show first, as well as a massive “double-width” version and another version with integral drawers below. They all feature signage that looks as if it was painted by hand, a centered Dinky Toys logo at the bottom, and the indent at the top allowing for the glass to be pried up with a finger.
The display below must date from 1966 or 1967, since it advertises the "Big 6" -- the six Hong Kong-made American cars that had been derived from Spot-On tooling.
Later in the 1960s very professional-looking displays appeared in Canadian shops, featuring glass shelves and internal illumination. They were available as a free-standing unit, or in a version with shelves below. Without any way to know for certain, I presume these were again Canadian-made, since it appears shipping would have been prohibitive.
U.S.A. displays 1960-1962
Following the unfortunate closing down of H. Hudson Dobson, many U.S. toy stores probably kept using their existing displays. This was a confused period, with multiple regional distributors in the U.S. and Dinky Toys becoming hard to get.
One of the distributors, Keyston Brothers, devised a cylindrical display that was used by them as well as some of the other distributors. I personally remember seeing this display in a toy store, circa 1961.
U.K displays early 1960s
For whatever reason, Meccano Ltd. was experimenting with a wide variety of displays in the early 1960s. Most can be recognized by the arrow emblem that was employed (per Meccano Magazine advertising) from March 1963 to June 1965.
The open display with flags on top (pictured in the first image below thanks to David Busfield) seems to come from this period too, since this is when the "Always Something New" slogan first appeared. It is unique among all displays in being marked "property of Meccano Ltd." -- strange when displays usually seem to have been sold outright to Dinky stockists.
Most of these displays were probably U.K.-only, but they could be exported if small enough. For example, the flagged display cropped up in the U.S.A. via at least one distributor.
During this period Meccano Ltd. unusually promoted Dinky Toys to girls, with displays advertising “A Motor Show for Girls and Boys.” I have pictured several such displays here, but there was also a free-standing, rotating display with this slogan. (I own a sign that came from the top of one.)
“Canadian-style” stepped displays were also offered in Britain:
The case below was made from vacuum-formed plastic; thus it was light but easily breakable.
Gilbert (U.S.A 1963)
Meccano Ltd.’s one-year arrangement for Dinky Toys distribution with the moribund Gilbert company resulted in a selection of co-branded display cases. In addition to the upright and stepped cases pictured below, there was a rotating rectangular case I have been unable to find a picture of (but recall seeing in person at a Sears, Roebuck department store).
Later 1960s cases (U.K.)
In the years following the Lines Brothers buyout, Binns Road turned to offering display cases that were mostly made of plastic. These cases were significantly lighter and relatively easy to ship, and therefore turned up in a variety of export markets. (The French had their own equivalents, branded Meccano-Triang.)
Lines Brothers displays (U.S.A., mid 1960s)
In a period I still wince to remember, Lines Brothers took over U.S. distribution from 1964 on, and Dinky Toys became harder and harder to find. Operating with a reduced sales force, Lines Brothers spurned small toy and hobby stores, and preferred to deal with large department stores. Adding insult to injury, it decided to pare down the variety of Dinky Toys that would be sold in the U.S.
U.S.A. displays 1971-1979
In Lines Brothers’ hands, imports of Dinky Toys dwindled to almost nothing. Following the 1971 purchase of Meccano Ltd. by Airfix, however, U.S. imports of Dinky Toys began again, first by Covell Management of California and then by Texas-based AVA.
These new importers first used the British-made “octagonal” and “cruciform” stands pictured earlier. These were eventually modified to incorporate an orange-and-black color scheme and the new-style Dinky logo.
AVA then commissioned its own display cases, massive weighty affairs with glass shelves and fluorescent lighting.
Eventually, AVA was purchased by Airfix and became known as Airfix U.S.A. Most Dinky stockists retained their large AVA cases – the large ones are a major challenge to move. The final known U.S. display was a self-service design offering a simplified range of models.
What I do not have is many pictures of French displays, since they are rarer to find on the web. Many of the displays are shown in JMR’s last book (published by Atlas) and in Claude Wagner’s book on Meccano France publicity, but I am uncomfortable with scanning images from copyrighted books. (In addition, many of the images in the Wagner book have unfortunately been reproduced with poor resolution.)
Most of the French displays were unique to France, but in the late 60s Dinky France offered octagonal and cruciform cases made of plastic that look very similar to the Liverpool items, and may have been produced in the same factory.
It is interesting that during that period, the French emblazoned “Meccano Triang” both on the toys themselves and the displays. In Britain, the factory was of course also owned by Lines Brothers/Triang, but Triang was never mentioned. I presume this is because in the UK, Meccano and Triang maintained separate sales forces — and Meccano considered itself “a cut above.”
Jonathan. Thank you very much for elaborating these dealer displays by country and time and sharing this with us.
I can add a folder below from Lines Bros regarding a display filled with Dinky Toys. The list with Dinky Toys in the dispay is included and I myself date it to about 1964. It is notable that No. 674 is not listed as Austin Champ, but Army Jeep.
Displays were apparently often sold with a complete content of Dinky Toys. If the entire contents of Dinky Toys were purchased, a display was included for free.
Also a letter from AVA International Inc dated August 1975, addressed to a dealer in Livonia, Michigan regarding Dinky Toys displays and added an order form from AVA International Inc. dated February 1, 1975 with in the bottom right corner prices of 4 display cabinets referring to the model numbers on the blue AVA display leaflets above.
This Lines Brothers display with the anomalous Jaguar illustration appears to be their first U.S. effort, which indeed means that it dates to 1964. The other Lines Brothers displays that I illustrated appear to be from slightly later (1965?) based on the fact that several of the models have increased in price.
Interesting that the header card on Jan's image of the Lines-Dinky Toys display shows a picture of the Jaguar XK SS, which of course was made by Spot-On, itself a Lines Bros. product, rather than anything made by Meccano !.
Airfix tried to survive at a Toy Fair in 1980 with a dealer display featuring a range of 50 new Dinky Toys models. Now called Dinky Die Cast Toys. It is the sad end of the Dinky Toys history.
wow, so good to see all the different display cabinets, seen only a few not seen most so good to record. I to collect all the ephemra that relates to the Meccano company and in particular the Dinky ephemera.
I do have three of the octaginal display but each slightly damaged, the plastic is very brital, especialy the black corner strips. There are two different tops pictured and I have an example of each. Not sure of the date these were used but guess mid 60's as the models sugest.
All the best to all
I have two of the octagonal displays, pictured here. Yes, the black plastic corner strips are quite brittle. Also, the yellow tape around the top tends to become brittle and perish easily. (Dealers could obtain this tape separately and use it to decorate their own shelves.)
I believe the octagonal displays that I have were first released around 1967, but I know for a fact that they were still being used in 1971 (when I obtained my first one directly from the distributor). These displays also continued to be used post-1971, after Airfix had purchased Meccano Ltd., but the Dinky logos on them were changed to the later style, and the coloring was predominantly orange and black.
As can be seen, one of mine does not have its original sign. Fortunately, I was able to obtain a rare "motor show" sign to put on it -- anachronistic since it comes from 1963 -- so it does not so incomplete.
And now for something completely different ....
... If I may be permitted an excursion, after the work of assembling all the DInky Toys displays.
In 1963 and 1964, the Midway Company of Chicago, USA produced two different pinball machines that employed Dinky race cars. "Raceway" and "Winner" had similar backboards (as the display area at the rear is called) but different playing fields. In both cases, the cars would move around the track as the players scored points.
As you'll see, both machines featured colorful graphics that illustrated the Dinky Toys.
I first encountered one of these machines as a child a few years later, at which time the racing cars themselves had long since disappeared from the shops. I did not have either of the models and wished that I could liberate them from their servitude, though they were already sun-faded ....
Here is my collection of pictures of displays :
First some improved photos of displays already seen above :
This is an un-opened display like the one above.
Rotating display for card trays. a picture of this display with a few models would be welcomed.
Now some of the British small card board displays, There must be more but I have not found them yet.
and now the French displays all together :
Tinplate display with electric light 110 or 220 V.
probably a single one made for an exhibition
hey italiano 1960
collection Vincent Espinasse
This is a trade box used as a display. It is the only one of this kind, the other Dinky Junior must have been packed in
heat shrink film.
It is the same as the British one except that the header card
and the cellotape around the top are in French
This one is very peculiar.
There must be more but where ?