By Maz Woolley
This article was originally written for the first MAR Online site in September 2014. It is one of the items which we have collected from the old site before it is eventually turned off. It has been adapted to the new site.
The Atlas Dinky collection is made by Norev in China for Editions Atlas Group under licence from Dinky brand owners Mattel. All are reproductions and are not produced using original Dinky moulds. Most models in the UK collection so far have been of toys released in the UK, although some have been finished in rare South African colours. The UK series has been released following the success of similar Dinky Collections in France and elsewhere in Europe.
539 Break ID 19 Citroen
This model has already been produced in the French series. I believe that it was never released in the UK, perhaps a reader who knows more about Dinky Toys will let me know if it was. I think most of us growing up here in the UK in the 1960’s would be much more familiar with Corgi’s equivalent model.
The French Atlas Dinky site has an informative article about this model. It was announced in 1962 in a Dinky Catalogue and finished as an Ambulance under a different catalogue number. The civilian version modelled by Atlas was released in 1963 and includes well modelled two part folding rear openings. To a scale of 1:43 this is a slightly larger model than the contemporary Corgi.
White tyres are fitted and the model is said to be in a slightly darker shade of gold than the model was sprayed when released in the Atlas French Dinky series.
This is possible since the original was released in two shades over the period it was produced and Atlas may have decided to produce both.
The period Dinky suspension and steering features are modelled faithfully right down to the poor steering action.
260 Royal Mail Van
A classic Dinky Toy. The original sold in great numbers from 1955 to 1961 in the same red body with a black roof section and Post Office livery.
The paint on original models is subject to fading so some now appear almost pink in colour. The only other use of this casting was in Capstan Cigarettes livery. The listing from Atlas suggests that this casting may appear again in the series, presumably as the Capstan Van.
A very nicely reproduced model, it looks very good in its shiny red paint and with the Post Office markings. Since almost all survivors have faded over the years it is nice to see it as it would have originally looked.
24V Buick Roadmaster
Here we have another French Dinky model which I believe was not officially distributed in the UK.
It is a familiar casting having already been seen in Atlas continental series and also issued under the Dan Toys brand.
Atlas take considerable trouble to make sure that the model is not damaged with a low tack plastic placed on the roof to make sure the paint is not damaged in transit as well as the familiar tray and paper wrapping they add.
This is a nice model helped by the fact that the original vehicle is full of character. Atlas have chosen to paint this in what they call pale grey and orange which they say was produced in the final year of production and original models in this colour are said to be sought after rarities. It is certainly an attractive combination.
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