Category Archives: Atlas Dinky

Atlas Dinky Deluxe – 507 Simca 1500 Break

by Maz Woolley

Photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

The third model in the Atlas Deluxe Dinky collection has made its way to me. Some collectors have had number four already which illustrates Atlas’ rather erratic shipping programme. Still 507 Simca 1500 Break is an example of how good French Dinky were by the mid-1960s with innovative features matching Corgi and others.

Dinky France modelled many Simca cars from the baby Fiat “Topolino” 500 made under licence onwards. The 1500 saloon was introduced by Dinky as 523 in 1963 with opening boot and doors and the Break followed in 1967 as 507 in silvery grey or white. Later 507 P was produced by Dinky France as a  Police car and is now a scarce and very expensive model. The box features box art by Jean Massé which shows the model in red which would have been a nice colour for the model but it was not produced in that colour by Dinky. Throughout the 1960s Dinky France box art was, like Airfix in the UK, created by excellent artists and included evocative backgrounds. Although Simca had long stopped making Fiat cars under licence the 1500 was a modern three box saloon or two box estate similar to the Fiat 124.

This Dinky model has lots of play features including opening doors and tailgate. The tail gate contains a small rear window that slides upwards to  form a complete rear door and inside is a tiny model of a picnic table as well as the spare wheel.

Atlas Customer Services are unable to confirm whether there would be any of the originally advertised British Dinky models like the Zodiac Mark IV and said that there were currently thirty-five models planned in this collection. This is many less than the number released in the equivalent French collection and perhaps indicates an expectation that subscriptions will fall off quite quickly on new Atlas collections.


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Atlas Dinky Collection is at an end

By Maz Woolley

 

Coverage of the Atlas Dinky Collection here at MAR Online has spanned almost all of the time that MAR has been online. I recently checked the status of the collection as I was expecting another model, based upon my understanding of a reply from Atlas Customer Services, but it is not to be the case. The Atlas computer system has now marked the collection as completed and the last item shipped was the French Dinky Peugeot Taxi 24 L recently reviewed in MAR Online.

If readers hear of any models being released after the Peugeot taxi in the original Dinky Collection please let me know what they are.


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Atlas Dinky Truck Collection – 25 V Ford Benne à Ordures

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

The latest model in the Atlas Dinky Trucks series is again a replica of a French Dinky model. 25 V Ford Benne à Ordures, a tipping refuse truck with sliding covers.

This particular model was made between 1950 and 1955 and uses a Ford cab and chassis already used for a flatbed, a drop-side, a tanker, a stake truck and a tipper. The dropside was later to gain a towing fitment to become a service vehicle.

The refuse truck offered lots of play value with the ability to slide two covers on the top, op things in the truck and then tip them out later using the handle to operate the cogged tipper mechanism at which point the rear door would open to allow the “refuse” to fall out. Here in the UK we would be playing with Dinky 252 Refuse truck with its spiral gear to raise the rear section to tip the rubbish out.

The Atlas model is nicely made with a much glossier finish than original would have had even on first release. The tipping mechanism works as well as I expect the original did. The rear door is a tight fit over the lugs cast in to stop it flapping when closed and the sliding covers can pop off if pulled too far back. Maybe a reader can tell me whether these issues also afflict the original?

According to Atlas Customer Services this collection is also close to finishing which is adding to the nervousness of those who have yet to receive their Regent Tanker. Quite a number of collectors have told me that they are still waiting for it so I hope that Atlas are getting another batch made for them.


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Atlas Dinky Collection – 24 L Peugeot 402 “Taxi”

By Maz Woolley

The latest model to arrive from Atlas in the original UK Dinky Toys collection is yet another French Dinky. According to Atlas Customer Service the next model wil be the final one I will receive in the UK collection.

The model has again already appeared in the collection sold by Atlas on the Continent and is issued again essentially unaltered.  It is 24 L Peugeot 402 “Taxi” introduced in 1939, withdrawn in 1940 and then sold for two years following the Second World War. The box shown above has pictures of the model in two colours; Atlas has decided to reproduce it in the blue and yellow colour scheme which is the same as a taxi which appeared in the Marilyn Monroe film ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes‘. Pictures of this can be seen on the Internet Movie Car Database at http://imcdb.org/vehicle_115916-Peugeot-402-L-Taxi-1936.html

This Dinky toy has been replicated before in white metal and the SLMC model introduced some years ago is still available in that form.

The Peugeot 402 was  produced from 1935 to 1942 and was a very smooth shape with an aerodynamic look similar to the Chrysler Airflow in some respects. It had the typical Peugeot feature of headlights sited behind the front grille. Underneath the modern looks the Peugeot was a very conventional car based on a chassis which made it easier to offer the vehicle in three lengths and with a variety of body styles.  Peugeot offered a special taxi version of the long wheel base car. Many of these went into service in Paris and other parts of France running till long after the Second World War in some cases.

The Dinky taxi model followed the saloon, which was numbered 24 K, into the range. It has the external taxi meter fitted as an separate part rather than cast in. Some earlier models were made without a tin baseplate, but the Atlas has one. The wheels are grey coloured solid metal as were the originals.

There has been some discussion about Atlas Dinky models and their impact on prices of the original models on the Planet Diecast Forum recently and the general opinion seems to be that any fall in the values of original Dinky models is more likely to be caused by the fact the collector base is ageing with many collections now coming up for sale as collectors cease collecting or pass on. Some also attribute it to previous unsustainable increases in prices. People seem to accept Atlas models for what they are – replicas clearly marked as such by Atlas and easily distinguishable due to their much better paint finishes, tampo printing and clearly marked bases.

I will be interested to see what model Atlas send as the final replica in the collection. I think few would bet against it being another French Dinky model!


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Atlas Dinky Deluxe – 1408 Honda S800

By Maz Woolley

Photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

The new Atlas Deluxe Dinky subscription series in the UK has now shipped #1408 Honda S800 to me and several other model collectors whilst others had the Honda some while ago and have already had the Simca Break which follows it in the collection.

The Deluxe series appears to be likely to be almost entirely French Dinky toys as created for the French Series Dinky™ Toys de mon enfance, la saga des ouvrants.  Luckily the 1960s and 1970s when the models with opening features were made were a period when Dinky in France generally made models to scale, and to a high standard not always seen on the UK models.

The Honda S800 Coupé produced by Atlas is in the original bright yellow shade and is a faithful replica of the original model. This model has only one opening feature, it’s bonnet. Once opened this reveals a simplified but generally correct depiction of the canted over 4 cylinder engine fed by four carburetors.

The original Dinky had a lot of modelled in detail which was not picked out such as the large Honda badges on the wings which are neatly replicated as well as indicators on the front and rear wings. The Dinky was only produced in one colour and only appeared in the catalogues in 1969 and 1970 making it a very short production run.

The S800 was a masterpiece of engineering featuring a four cylinder 791cc engine with four carburetors. Based on Honda’s motorcycle technology, this engine was capable of revving up to levels unheard of by its competitors like the MG Midget or Fiat 850 and could compete with sports cars with much higher engine sizes.

The front grille is nicely modelled and the model sports French number plates which I believe indicate that the car was registered in Paris. Just the place for a trendy foreign car.  The bonnet correctly features the off centre bulge needed to clear the carburetors.

Inside the interior is in red and fairly simple but shows the dashboard and steering wheel, two seats and luggage area well.

The rear of the replica is neatly done showing lights and the hinged “hatchback” door with Honda lettering replicated but again not picked out in silver.

This is a nice replica of one of the excellent models from Dinky France in the 1960s


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Atlas Dinky Trucks – 425 Bedford TK Coal Lorry

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

The Atlas Dinky Trucks series continues with another release based on the Bedford TK cab already seen in the series  as 434 Bedford TK Crash Truck. Dinky made good use of this cab as it also appeared as 450 Castrol Box Van, 435 Tipper, 978 Refuse Truck and 402 Coca Cola delivery Lorry.

Atlas have reproduced the toy box well with the period drawings capturing a world swept away in the UK by the discovery of North Sea Gas reserves.

On the side panel, shown below ,details of the accreditation of approved coal merchants were described which provides an explanation of the logo on the cab door.

 

This TK version was in production between 1964 and 1968, or 1969 as sources disagree. Liveried for Hall and Sons it is the type of vehicle that delivered coal, coke and anthracite to people’s homes. In the early 1960’s houses still had open fires and many had solid fuel boilers to heat the water and house. Coal deliveries were a common sight on urban streets. By the end of the 1970s the clean air act and the cheap new gas coming in from the North Sea meant that houses had boarded up fireplaces , fitted central heating and an old trade was in decline.

Although the Dinky toy is a slight caricature of the TK cab it made a nice strong looking toy. With its hefty chassis and nice solid wheels and tyres it looked up to the job of moving heavy loads around.

On the back Atlas have reproduced the extras which came with the original model. 6 sacks modelled full of coal and a set of scales to check the weight before delivery, though like the original Dinky there was no weight to put on scales to balance the bag.

As side on shot emphasises the heavy nature of this model and many must have survived well in the toy box, though without the sacks and scales in most cases, and many without the board on the cab too.

The Atlas replica of this Dinky Toy is well executed and captures well a feature of life within the memories of many who will collect the model. A way of life which has long slipped into history like Whites ,and Alpine, Lemonade deliveries and Mothers Pride bread deliveries. All delivered to the  doorstep.


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Atlas Dinky Trucks – 587 Camionette Citroën “Philips”

By Maz Woolley

Al photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

The latest model I have received in the Atlas Dinky Trucks subscription series is #587 Camionette Citroën “Philips”. The original Dinky 587 is a highly collectible model as it is a colourful and accurate depiction of a Philips display vehicle.

The original model is based upon a Citroën HY bodied by Currus for Philips as a vehicle for displaying their products,  at events. The model includes the opening rear and side doors, has a sliding ramp and plastic moulded interior painted to suggest products, like a fridge, on display. Different sources quote different dates of production but it was certainly made in 1964 and gone in 1965.

The box shows the Philips logo on the cab doors but this is not carried out on the model. Pictures on the web suggest that these logos do not exist in Philips publicity shots.

Pictures of the original vehicle can still be seen from Philips publicity magazine. The Dinky was a good replica though door handles have been modified so all small fingers to open them, the roof sign may have had a yellow backing and not a clear one, and the Philips logo and lettering on the plain side did not have an extended golden border on the example in the contemporary magazine.

The original model is now quite rare, and expensive, in complete condition so it is highly likely that many of the Atlas remakes will donate parts like the roof signs to bring original models back to complete condition.

The reproduction is not scarce with many already finding their way to the UK already from the Far East when they were made for the continental subscription series. Collectors should not that the copyright date on the base of the boxes issued by Atlas in the UK is 2017 and not the earlier date printed on the ones in the continental series.

Although hardly a truck in my eyes I am sure that there will be few complaints from Subscribers about this model, except perhaps from those who have already bought an example on eBay from  the far east.


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Atlas Dinky Toys – 543 Renault Floride

By Maz Woolley

Photographs by, and copyright of the Author.

The latest model sent to me by Atlas in the Dinky Toys series is another model originally released by Dinky France: 543 Renault Floride. Regular readers of MAR will have seen this model some time ago when the Author bought a copy from the Far East when it was released in the French Series from Atlas.

Atlas has chosen to reproduce the model in the rare white colour as it did in the French series. DINKYCOLLECT an expert on Dinky models says “The white Dinky Toys model was made specially to be given to some visitors of the Bobigny factory. A few were also sold through toy shops”.

The box shows the model in blue but no models in that colour are documented which is a shame as it looks good in that colour. Most of the models were in bronze, green, and gold metallic paint. All rather more interesting than the white chosen by Atlas however scarce the model is in this colour.

DINKYCOLLECT explains a little background to the car. “Designed by Ghia, the Floride like the Peugeot D3A van was not made by Renault. The body was pressed by Brissonaud et Lotz who also assembled the car. Today Brissonaud is part of Alstom and builds high speed trains and tram cars”.  The Floride was built in three variants a coupé, cabriolet and convertible, and Dinky chose to model the first. Later in the production the car was known as the Caravelle.

Based upon Dauphine, and later R8, mechanicals the Floride and Caravelle sold between 1958 and 1968.

As the Dinky Toys II collection has now started one wonders how long Atlas will prolong the original collection which now consists entirely of re-releases of French Dinkies in the same livery that they appeared in the French series.

As for the Floride, UK collectors will be more familiar with 222 Renault Floride from Corgi which models the same car but has an interior fitted.


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Atlas Deluxe Dinky Toys

By Maz Woolley

Atlas‘ web site is now showing the new Deluxe Dinky Toys range with models with opening parts as test marketed in mid 2015.  The starter model at a reduced price is the Aston Martin DB5 Convertible and it will then be followed by:

  • Honda S800
  • Simca 1500 Estate
  • Mercedes-Benz 230L
  • Ford Galaxie 500
  • Citroën DS 19

So all the follow up models promised in the new series are French Dinkies and no indication that any of the models originally shown in the test marketing will be made available. The original test marketed list of models was:

  • 164 Ford Zodiac Mark 4
  • 129 Volkswagen Deluxe Saloon
  • 212 Ford Cortina Rally Car
  • 151 Vauxhall Victor 101
  • 135 Triumph 2000
  • 250 Police Mini Cooper
  • 116 Volvo 1800S

In France the arrival of this series happened as the original Dinky Series was concluded one wonders if that will now happen here?


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Atlas Dinky Trucks 514 Guy Van Slumberland

By Maz Woolley

The latest in the Dinky Trucks series has arrived. This is a reproduction of the 514 Guy Van already seen in this series. This time it is seen in Slumberland livery.

The model comes in a reproduction of the original box which changed later to having blue and white stripes. The model was sold between 1949 and 1952 and was the first of several liveries on this casting including the Lyons Swiss Rolls one already seen in this range.

Atlas Dinky Toys Slumberland

The model is based upon the Guy Otter chassis which appeared shortly before the Second World War and gained a diesel engine when relaunched after the war. They were widely used by the nationalised British Road Services though Dinky never produced them in that livery.

Play value was added to the model with the opening rear doors.

The livery is beautifully printed. Slumberland are a UK firm producing mattresses and are a well known brand name even today.

The model had several different types of hubs over time but here Atlas have had the classic simple early type fitted.

To the front the lights and grill are neatly printed and the Slumberland logo is nicely reproduced on the raised van section.

This is another model from Atlas that I am sure will please many collectors and again it is a UK Dinky model which means that this series at least is meeting the original expectations set.


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