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Owing to the current ongoing situation, the DTCA 2020 AGM which had been booked for the end of June, cannot now take place.   We will have to try and reschedule for later in the year once matters are clearer.

Production of the DTCA special edition Omnisport model has been postponed.

 

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buzzer999's picture
buzzer999
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-666 Missile Erector Vehicle with Corporal Missile Launcher (1959-64)

This is a press photo dated 9th June 1957 and the text on the back reads:
"Shown during a test near Longview, Texas, this carrier for the Corporal guided missile is being made by R.G. LeTourneau Co. Inc., for the British Government. All wheels are driven by separate motors."

The statement I find fascinating is the one that reads: "...being made by R.G. LeTourneau Co. Inc., for the British Government."

Were the British the only users of the Corporal Missile that had the LeTourneau vehicle, if so it must have been a very short production run.

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Here are the 666 Erector Vehicle and the 667 Servicing Platform vehicles.

Dave

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Nice combination that is, Dave. New acquisition?
I wonder, is the green of the turning base of the Service Vehicle different from the green of the rest of the vehicle, or is that just a matter of different light reflection?
Kind regards, Jan

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buzzer999
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Hi Jan

I have owned them both for some time now but I like this photo so I uploaded it.

The different colour green on the Sevicing Vehicle is because it is plastic rather than diecast and the plastic is not an exact match to the paint.

Dave

starni999
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Lovely model, wouldn't be allowed now, you could have somebody's eye out with that! :laugh:
Chris Warr.

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Whilst I am sure it is still fully operational I have not had the nerve to try it in case I damage the missile.

Dave

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Amazing how time flies!  Hard to believe that it is almost four years since anyone added to this Topic!

 I am about to correct that observation!

This model was a most welcome recent addition to my collection, a 666 Missile ERECTING Vehicle with Corporal Missile and Launching Platform.  As mentioned in the “New Arrivals” topic, this model arrived in a far better condition than I was expecting.

From that Topic, I had this to say:

“As can be seen by the above photograph, the model and box are in virtually mint condition.  The box has no damage to any of the corners which usually suffers from knocks and bangs but it does have an unusual end spot in red!.One of the original rubber bands that firmly secured the Missile to the vehicle, placed there by the factory is still intact and untouched although the rubber appears to have become hardened. So there goes any plans of firing the missile!!!”

As a number of photographs previously uploaded into this Topic during the days of the old website have somehow “missed the cut” with the new website, I am taking the liberty of uploading some images of the real vehicle in both the US and British Army service.

The first picture is taken from the May 1956 issue of the British Army Magazine,  “Soldier” which bears the caption:

At Fort Bliss, Texas, Captain T G Ellis of the Guided Missile School, introduces British gunners to the Corporal.

 

 

Now comes the 64,000 dollar question.  Exactly when was the 666 designation changed from ERECTOR to ERECTING and why was this necessary? Although the description of the model on the exterior of the box does change during its production,

 

an item packed inside throughout its production remains constant – the instruction leaflet.

This shows the model being termed “ERECTOR”, the leaflet has the print code of October 1959, one month prior to the release of the model with this particular leaflet having been found inside the box for my latest acquisition - a box that was labelled “ERECTING” and has an inspection stamp of September 1960.

Perusing my records for quality inspection stamps, reveals that the model was referred to as “ERECTOR” on its box from November 1959 through to at least February 1960. It became “ERECTING” in June 1960, although this may have been earlier as I do not have any quality stamp details for March to May.  The strange thing with its title is that all the Meccano print media such as price lists, catalogues and dealer order forms always referred to the model as “ERECTOR”. This is also the name that is displayed on a picture of the real vehicle, below.

So, why the change? Has anyone documentary material that can explain this?

One further matter concerning the box ends, neither has any other language except English, when Meccano’s normal practice was to incorporate several translations of the item itself. The same applies to the 665 Honest John, so the assumption can be that no translation was out of respect for what the real item can do.

Finally I am taking the liberty of uploading some of the above images in the usual manner that allows for enlargements as well as others, including my 667 Missile Servicing Platform that formed the partnership with the 666 Missile Erector/Erecting Vehicle with Corporal Missile and Launching Platform.

Bruce   (150)

20160909/974/2355

dinkyfan's picture
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Bruce---A very nice write up on this most interesting model, along with some great period photos of the real thing. Your example appears to be pristine.....that is amazing that the rubber band is still intact! I would bet that there was still original Dinky air in that box from Binn's a Road as well. Thanks for sharing an unusual and interesting model.
Best regards, Terry

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i have read elsewhere (somewhere on this site?) that the change from Erector to Erecting was made at the behest of A.C. Gilbert, manufacturer of the Meccano-like Erector building sets. I don't know if there's any documentary evidence to support this, but it seems likely enough.

ironically of course Gilbert was to become the U.S. distributor for Dinky Toys in 1963-64. And today, Meccano sets are sold under the Erector brand in the U.S.

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Johnny....that certainly sounds plausible, and makes just one more interesting connection between these two famous toy makers. By the way, do you still collect Dinky's? I never seem to see any new additions from you.
Best regards, Terry

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Terry, thanks for asking. Yes, I still squeeze a few additions into my bursting display case. My collection is mundane compared to so many here, so I don't post new additions, but I think the most recent received was a Pool petrol tanker. I also have a Ford Model T and Morris Bullnose on the way, belatedly filling in the small old-timers series.

Best regards from the Monterey Bay area!

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Johnny--Well, good to hear you are still in "the game" of collecting. I have also long ago outgrown a nice built in display case, made over 30 years ago. I have resorted to adding more shelves, and squeezing the models together as closely as I dare. I have also had to remove from display all of my aircraft and farm vehicles. The answer is to build some brand new, much larger display cabinets, which my better half and I are discussing. We have the room.....just need to commit to re-doing our bonus room area. Hope all is well & good to hear from you!
Best regards, Terry

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Terry, I look forward to seeing your displays in the "displays and displaying" thread, if they're not already there!

To bring the focus here back on the Missile Erector Vehicle -- at least sort of! -- it's interesting to contemplate how some of us collect all genres of Dinky Toys, while others have definite blind spots. In my case, military models are an extremely low priority, as are aircraft, and, to a lesser degree, farm vehicles. That's because I grew up in a suburban environment and my focus was always, whether in play or static dioramas, on recreating what would actually be seen on the street, real or imagined. So army vehicles weren't welcome! Yet I remember one acquaintance, at age 8 or so, who had a massive collection of Dinky Toys, all of them military.

 

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To John and Bruce----I was re-reading this most interesting thread on the 666 Missile Erector Vehicle, and the fact that Meccano did change the name from Erector to Erecting.....and we were wondering why.  John, as you nicely pointed out, it was likely due to A.C. Gilbert complaining about use of that name in a toy.......and you are quite right!  I was looking up this very model in Jacques Dinky Toys Encyclopedia, and in the section on this model he explained that is why.....apparently Gilbert contacted Meccano and complained, so Meccano made a half-hearted attempt and changed the name on the box.  Interesting for sure!

      Best regards,  Terry

 

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I received a very nice boxed example of this interesting model, so decided to post, show a few pictures, and pose some more questions.  I was not at all aware of this model until I saw Bruce's more recent postings, then decided to take a further look at it.  Like Jan, this is getting outside my main interest area of Dinky collecting, but since it was in the 1959 catalog, I can kind of justify adding it, along with its 667 companion.

    Right off the bat, I noticed that the box says "Erector" on it, so I was assuming an earlier one.  It also comes with the metal hoisting gears, instead of the plastic.  But I then looked at the date stamp inside the lid,and it clearly states March 1963!  This seems well outside what was previously written about the name being change from Erector to Erecting.  As to the box.....the seller said he bought this model new and it has hardly ever been removed from the box, and never displayed....sat in its box this whole time, so I am pretty sure it is the original box.  Then there is the question of the metal gears.  In reading past posts, as well as those on Talk Model Toys, there did not seem to be a solid consensus about the dates the metal gears vs plastic gears were used....some said they thought the plastic was first used, had issues, then switched to metal.  Others said the metal was first used, and later changed to plastic for typical Meccano cost reasons.  Then there are some with mixed metal and plastic gears.  Does anyone have any better thoughts on when these were utilized?

    This did come with all the box inserts and also the instruction sheet, so am very pleased with it.  In looking at other examples for sale, I quickly noticed that many had rockets that were either marked up a lot, or had missing decals and paint areas, such as that white and black checkered area near the nose.  It is also nice to have an unhandled one, where the matt finish paint is still that way, and not turned shiny due to handling.

    I bought the companion 667 Missile Servicing Platform Vehicle from the same gentleman, and it was also never displayed and spent its life in the box.  Together, they make quite an interesting display, and show the levels of model complexity that Meccano had mastered around 1960.  The one item I do not like is the use of plastic on the Servicing Vehicle hoisted "bucket", but can imagine it was somewhat practical for that piece.

       Best regards,  Terry

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My grandparents lived in Woolwich and when young my family went to a show at the Arsenal and I remember being lifted up to sit in the cab of one of these monsters. Due to price I couldn't afford either the Dinky or Corgi Corporal models, eventually getting the Dinky later in life together with the servicing platform, and an Honest John for good measure. The Berliet drone launcher has now joined the team.

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Terry

Your latest Post is acknowledged, and I will comment on it at the end suffice to say, your Post could also have made this Post redundant, but for the sake of disseminating some historical facts, I thought it wise to post it in its original format not to mention the amount of time taken to prepare it over the past month or so!

The following was prepared sometime last September, and on reading through this Topic, I could not find it anywhere!  A check of my Excel spreadsheet finally revealed the truth - I never got around to submitting it!  Apparently at about the same time I became absorbed with the 196 Holden Special Sedan I had obtained from the John Kinchen Collection, and all thoughts on the 666 disappeared out the back door!

It is hereby submitted, together with a postscript on Terry’s latest Posts #14 and #15!

Terry, thanks for your comments in Post #8 above. Yes, there was indeed a woosh of Binns Road air when I started to remove the lid as well as the smell of hops from the Railway Hotel diagonally opposite the factory!!

With reference to Post #9 above, it is quite correct in that there has been a discussion somewhere in this site, but just exactly where, I have no idea, despite a protracted search. (That is the problem we have in that we are all guilty at one time or other of going off Topic when we suddenly latch onto a subject that in reality has some or no direct bearing to the Topic in hand and we neglect to post a copy under the correct Topic which is possibly the case for that discussion with the 666 and the word Erector!)

With the word “Erector” I found the following that may be of interest.

“The interesting thing about Meccano sets is that Meccano SA (France) was acquired by Marc Rebibo, and manufacture recommenced in 1985. One of the first things Rebibo did was to shut off the remaining alternative source of Meccano production in Argentina, where the sets had been manufactured by Exacto SRL under licence since 1967 using the name Meccano-Induction Argentina. Exacto SRL was then forced to drop the Meccano name. Following another change of ownership of Meccano SA, the company bought the rights to the Erector trade mark in the United States in 1989 and commenced selling Meccano-Erector sets in the American market, thereby perpetuating the long-standing connection between the two products.(“Factory of Dreams”, Kenneth D Brown 2007)

One has to take notice of the last sentence “. . . . perpetuating the long-standing connection between the two products.” However, with the box for the 666 the change from Erector to Erecting occurred three years BEFORE A C Gilbert became the United States distributor for Dinky Toys, so at that time there would have been no direct association between the Dinky Supertoy product of a prototype military vehicle and that marketed as a toy construction set in the United States as both manufacturer’s construction sets were covered under existing Trade Mark and Patent protection laws. As too the word “Erector” which at that time was used by both the US and British Armies to describe the feature of a particular vehicle this would most likely fall outside the boundary of a registered trade name. There is also the fact that “erector” is a noun and in common usage within the English language and although the word can be used as a trade mark as a Proper noun as Erector, but with the 666 box, all the lettering is in block.

The photograph above (which is also in my original Post #7) showing a blackboard with the name “ERECTOR” in white chalk clearly shows that this was how the unit was described by the military forces of the United States and Great Britain. Meccano, when the model was released was simply following the military terminology for the prototype vehicle. I have endeavoured to find the official US Army designation for the transporter without success and with the British Army being possibly the only user of the Le Tonneau vehicle, it appears to have been simply known as the Erector Vehicle. But at least we know a lot more about the 665 Honest John Missile Launcher which was actually designated the M289 and M386 (the Dinky version) Launcher Truck with an M50 Honest John Missile.  The truck itself made by a number of sub-contractor truck manufacturers – Diamond T, Mack, Kaiser and International in the same manner as the WW2 Jeep – originally designed and built by Willys but also made by Ford, the “Feep” coming from the letters of the vehicle, GP, (which sounds like Jeep) the designation for a General Purpose vehicle.

Reading the 1963 Catalogue produced by Meccano on behalf of A C Gilbert and we see the name of the model as being 666 Missile Erector Vehicle with Corporal Missile and Launching Platform. The print code for this catalogue is 13/563/50, which translates to May 1963. But if the word was protected, then the change should have taken place right across the board to include all printed ephemera, which in the case of the 666 this clearly did not happen as “Erector” continues as part of the title of the toy such as the instruction leaflet included with the model, price lists, sales leaflets, order forms, catalogues etc. So, any link between the Meccano-style construction sets in the US named Erector and the change from Erector to Erecting for the 666 is more than likely pure conjecture.

We now come to something that has a bearing on the use of the word “Erector”. Playcraft/Mettoy Toys under their Corgi Toys brand also produced the same model as Meccano, although the Corgi Major model is HUGE compared with the Meccano offering.  They referred to it as “Corporal” Guided Missile on Erector Vehicle, the sales number being 1113. The model is described in Marcel R Van Cleemput “bible” on Corgi Toys pages 47, 48, 50 and 51.  Nowhere in this book does Mr Van Cleemput make mention of the possible clash of trade name concerning the word “Erector”. Incidentally, for those unaware who this gentleman was, he joined Mettoy on 1 January 1954 as a designer and was promoted to Chief Designer soon afterwards, a position he held when Corgi Toys were first launched in 1956. He was subsequently involved in the design of every Corgi model until the original company’s demise in 1983. Mr Van Cleemput noted that a total of 50,000 “Corporal” Guided Missile on Erector Vehicle were made, 36,000 as a single model and 14,000 as part of a Gift Set. I wonder how many Meccano produced of the 666 not to mention why was not Playcraft/Mettoy also included in the request to change the word “Erector”?

The following images are from the Corgi Book, and have been photographed, as my scanner has given up the ghost having been involved in scanning 20 years of Model Collector and Diecast Collector magazines! It is interesting that the designers at Mettoy had access to an actual Erector Vehicle. Was Meccano afforded the same “opportunity”!

A quick check through the Vectis website and their older catalogues has revealed that in the past 25 years, approximately 43 Corgi Major 1113 Corporal Guided Missile on Erector Vehicle have been sold and none having had the word “Erector” changed on their boxes to “Erecting”, to satisfy a possible/perceived use of a registered trade name.

Incidentally The Dinky and Corgi Corporal Missile was marketed to children as 'the rocket you can launch' and was timed to coincide with the British test firing in 1959 at the British Royal Artillery Guided Weapons Range on the Scottish island of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides. Missiles were fired toward designated target coordinates in the Atlantic Ocean. Radar on St. Kilda scored successful (on-target) firings. Frequently, Soviet "fishing trawlers" would intrude into the target area. The Corporal with its towing and erector vehicle and launching platform was also deployed by two regiments of the British Army of the Rhine in Germany the 27th and 47th Missile Regiments, Royal Artillery.

During my search for long-lost details on the real vehicle that was manufactured by Le Tonneau I found the following that may be of some interest:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHWFKJnJC3M

Finally, a close examination of the first detailed book on Dinky Toys written by Cecil Gibson HISTORY OF BRITISH DINKY TOYS 1934-1964, published so soon after the deletion of the 666 makes no mention of any controversy with the name “Erector”.  I am certain had such existed then mention would have been made within this publication.

7 December, 2016 – Terry, thank you for your valued contribution to this Topic. However, with due respect to the Dinky Encyclopaedia I did mention in my Post #7, “Does anyone have documentary material that can explain this.” The fact that the Dinky Encyclopaedia has included an “explanation” does not come under the category of “documentary material” as I think we all would like to see a copy of the correspondence that confirms what Jacques wrote apparently Gilbert contacted Meccano and complained” with the emphasis on the word “apparently”. On the other hand A C Gilbert had no problems with the 1963 catalogue! But one would have thought if there was the possibility of legal action being taken against Meccano following receipt of a presumed letter of complaint, a half-hearted attempt by just changing the word on the model’s box would certainly not have satisfied the American legal eagles advising A C Gilbert. If there was such a written complaint from the attorney’s on behalf of A C Gilbert it was probably in the best interest of both A C Gilbert and Meccano to have just simply ignored it, otherwise A C Gilbert would have also had to take on the “might” of Mettoy plus lose their important connection as the sole importer of the products of Binns Road into the United States at that time which would have been more lucrative then trying to “protect” their trade mark.

On the contrary, I think the change from “Erector” to “Erecting” was either due to a misunderstanding by the printer, or the Meccano department responsible for the out-sourcing of the manufacture of boxes. With the error already in place, and no doubt several thousand boxes already produced, it was decided to use these boxes, as nobody would really complain, care, or for that matter, even notice the difference at that time.

Again that is my supposition, as we still do not have documentary evidence telling us differently.

Finally Terry, with your latest Post #15 and your recent acquisition of a 666 that was quality inspected in March 1963, with the box having ERECTOR instead of ERECTING, you have confirmed what I have long suspected that ERECTING versus ERECTOR was a printer’s mistake. As for the plastic versus metal gearing, it is quite possible that the plastic gears were experimented at some point during the production span in an effort to reduce costs but were found to be not such a great idea after all due to easy wear and complaints from their clientele, so the company reverted to its original metal gearing.

Bruce H.   (150)

20161208/1050/0249

 

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There is a typo here, the S is missing. As Dinky Supertoys is a trademarque it is invariable.

 

 

Bruce

The reason why the name of this Dinky is not printed in three different languages on the box end is probably because this name is too long.

Véhicule d'érection avec fusée Corporal et plateforme de lancement.

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Joined: Thu, 07/30/2015 - 22:47

Jacques. The text on the 666 instruction leaflet is intended for the holder of a single 666 Dinky Supertoy (singular) Corporal missile in its own box. It is talking about a single Dinky Supertoy and not about its registered trade mark "Dinky Supertoys". That's why the s of Supertoys (plural) is missing. That's how I explain it.

I will make a contribution in the topic British boxes general about the mention of Dinky Supertoys and Dinky Toys registered trade mark on boxes.

Kind regards, Jan Oldenhuis