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--30v and 491 Electric Dairy Van 'NCB' (1949-60)

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Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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Red and Yellow Sided plain end-flap boxes

Greetings all,

Having just read the recently created plain yellow end flap boxes thread, I decided to throw my lot in on the plain yellow and red end-flap boxes.

Several years ago, I conducted an in-depth discussion on the plain yellow and red end flap boxes in my newsletter, DINKY NEWS.

When I return to Australia, I will scan the relevant pages from DINKY NEWS and include these scans in this Thread. Basically, these boxes were created in early 1960, and only lasted less than a year before being progressively deleted and a return made to the traditional yellow pictorial end-flap box (with some slight modifications) but will leave the full details including all those models that were packaged in this style of box until I return home.

Kind regards

Bruce. (150)
#528

Dinkinius's picture
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Greetings all!

My apologies for keeping everyone in suspense.

Herewith are the two pages in question from DINKY NEWS Number 17, printed in 2002. Since then I have not conducted any further research, so it is possible that members of the DTCA may be able to answer some of the comments I made in my closing remarks.

One late addition to that list, as I purchased this one from eBay on 12 December 2003, so ADD

736 HAWKER HUNTER FIGHTER

I am sure there are many others that can be added to my original research, however, the time frame does not change, 1960 and into 1961.

Kind regards

Bruce now in Brisbane (150)
#543

55Zephyr
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Hello Bruce, welcome back to Aus!

you didn't realise what you started with your article and listing on red/yellow panel boxes in 'Dinky News' back in 2002 - this became one of my favourite themes in my search for variations, so I can add a few more models to your listing, which nevertheless is very accurate, so only a handful more to add to the 736 you already mentioned:

132 Packard Convertible
182 Porsche 356A Coupe
291 Double Deck Bus 'Exide'
320 Halesowen Harvest Trailer
321 Massey-Harris Manure Spreader
322 Disc Harrow
324 Hayrake
405 Universal Jeep
676 Armoured Personnel Carrier
677 Armoured Command Vehicle
708 Vickers Viscount
735 Gloster Javelin Fighter
736 Hawker Hunter Fighter
781 Petrol Pump Station 'Esso'

Since that time I have managed to collect all except three examples together with models - the missing ones are the 344 Estate car (model but no box), 413 Austin Covered Wagon, and 420 Forward Control Lorry.

I also have a sneaking suspicion that the 412 Austin Wagon has been seen in one of these boxes, but have no concrete evidence yet. You may be aware that Jacques has been compiling a list for his 'Encyclopaedia' and I think that his current count is 78 or 79 different models. My most recent acquisition was a year or so ago at (wait for it) a Vectis auction - a 132 Packard Convertible in Tan with Red interior. Amazingly I was the only bidder and paid just

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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55Zephyr wrote:
"Hello Bruce, welcome back to Aus!

you didn't realise what you started with your article and listing on red/yellow panel boxes in 'Dinky News' back in 2002 - this became one of my favourite themes in my search for variations, so I can add a few more models to your listing, which nevertheless is very accurate, so only a handful more to add to the 736 you already mentioned:

132 Packard Convertible
182 Porsche 356A Coupe
291 Double Deck Bus 'Exide'
320 Halesowen Harvest Trailer
321 Massey-Harris Manure Spreader
322 Disc Harrow
324 Hayrake
405 Universal Jeep
676 Armoured Personnel Carrier
677 Armoured Command Vehicle
708 Vickers Viscount
735 Gloster Javelin Fighter
736 Hawker Hunter Fighter
781 Petrol Pump Station 'Esso'

Since that time I have managed to collect all except three examples together with models - the missing ones are the 344 Estate car (model but no box), 413 Austin Covered Wagon, and 420 Forward Control Lorry.

I also have a sneaking suspicion that the 412 Austin Wagon has been seen in one of these boxes, but have no concrete evidence yet. You may be aware that Jacques has been compiling a list for his 'Encyclopaedia' and I think that his current count is 78 or 79 different models. My most recent acquisition was a year or so ago at (wait for it) a Vectis auction - a 132 Packard Convertible in Tan with Red interior. Amazingly I was the only bidder and paid just

buzzer999's picture
buzzer999
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Adrian. That cabinet is pretty darned impressive.

The theme of box types would make a good topic for the October DTCA Journal, I will get this sent off to Mike in the fulness of time.

Dave

55Zephyr
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Hi Bruce,

no need to apologise for starting me off on this theme - like most collectors, I enjoy the fun of the search and the pleasure of having my collection on display, as well as the buzz you get when you come across something unusual, as with the orange 251 Aveling-Barford Roller recently.

Yes, you are correct with both the 410 and the 340 Spun-hub models - I will send you a larger resolution pic. for you to examine in greater detail. Meanwhile, it may be hard to spot but the only model in red/yellow panel boxes not in this line-up is the 255 Mersey Tunnel Police Van, because my fleet of these is in a different cabinet. I will put a couple of pictures up on the 'Display and Displaying' thread which are of some of my later (post-1960) models, and another of my Pre- and early post-war models. The pics of my mainstream collection will have to wait till a later date!

No, don't steer clear of us when you are next down this way - you have an open welcome, as long as we don't incur the wrath of the ladies!

Regards, Adrian.

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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Hello Adrian

Just goes to show how inept I really am! I have just found an image of a 677 that should have been included in my last dissertation back in 2002! I found it while searching for something else in my external hard-drive. Here is the "lost" image courtesy of an image on eBay:

The price 5/4 written on the box was applicable to June 1960.

I am sure our ladies will get to know each other very well, after I have been carted away to Taree's hospital to recover!!

Cheers

Bruce (150)
#548

55Zephyr
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Hi Dave,

thanks for your comment, I didn't see it until after posting a reply to Bruce. Yes, I find the red/yellow panel box theme a fascinating one, not only in compiling a list and trying to collect all the examples, but also because I have developed a theory that the introduction of these boxes is closely linked with the use of 'Mirror-Gloss' bases and Spun Hubs - probably within a two to three month window.

Several models with Gloss bases were issued first with mottled bases, diecast painted wheel hubs and in picture boxes before the bases were replaced with Gloss ones, the hubs with Spun, and the picture boxes with red/yellow panel ones. However, my theory is that, with a very few exceptions, the red/yellow boxes should contain models with Gloss bases and Spun hubs (of course, not those models such as the Military range, Farm models etc.) - but like all theories, there will always be exceptions, especially with Dinky Toys as we all know!

And yes, it could well be used in the Journal if you think it would have wider appeal than just to the obsessive few like me!

By the way, a couple of years ago when you had the 'Top Ten' list going in the Journal (which I found impossible to list as I like 'em all) this theme got me thinking about some of my early memories of Dinky Toys, and I wrote an article which I entitled 'My Top Ten Dinky Memories' which I never got round to submitting to you. Reading your thread on 'Favourite Dinky Stories' I will have a go and add a 'Memory' each week until I have completed all ten - will have to get the camera out so that I can add some pics to each one. Hope you find this supportive of your thread, I am just sorry I didn't submit it to you while you were in the 'Hot Seat'.

Regards to all, Adrian (141)

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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Adrian

If you have time, let me know the prices written on each box as I would be interested in the time-frame for these. It would be nice to match the prices with the box and their base plates and hubs. Let is get cracking on this!!

Top ten memories? Heck I think I might have a Top Twenty, but I will have to limit mine to just a couple!!I too was intending to send Dave when he was in the Hot Seat my top ten Dinky Toys but like so many other things I never got around to it.

Don't forget to add my name to the "obsessive few" !! B)

Cheers

Bruce (150)
#549

dinkycollect's picture
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Hi all,

To be complete, the above lists of yellow/red boxes must also include :

064 - Austin lorry.
070 - A.E.C. Mercury tanker.
071 - Volkswagen delivery van.

in all, 79 different boxes unless I missed one or two.

My finding is that these boxes were issued between November 1959 and August 1960, of course they were available for a long time after this date but no new model was issued with these boxes after August 1960. The first model to be packed in these boxes being the 187 VW Karmann Ghia.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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Jacques

In regard to your statement, "The first model to be packed in these boxes being the 187 VW Karmann Ghia" I have some doubt. although there may very well be some substance with what you have stated. The 187 was issued on or about 21 November 1959, but one has to wonder, why the pictorial box is so scarce.

My 187 pictorial box had a US price of 55 cents, but I do not know what period this price was current. Although with the pictorial box is different to the usual boxes in that 1959/60 period having identical pictures on both sides when two colour schemes were available, I presume it is possible that this box came out towards the end of the model's production life by April 1963 within the time frame when other models had acquired identical boxes with the same coloured drawing on both sides such as the 182 Porsche 356A Coupe.

So Jacques, perhaps you may be correct, although it is incomprehensible that Meccano, notorious with saving money, would have gone to the additional expense of ordering a different style of box with the associated artwork when the model was about to be deleted when a simple re-order of the existing plain red and yellow box would have served the same purpose. There has to be some real explanation why the pictorial box for the 187 is as scarce as hen's teeth!

Kind regards

Bruce (150)
#576

dinkycollect's picture
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Hi Bruce,

Had the yellow pictorial boxes been the early ones, Meccano would have ordered 50 or 100 000 for the first run and these boxes would not be rare.

So they must be the late ones unless they were part of a pilot lot made in the fall of 1959 before manufacturing of the VW Karmann started. This small pilot / evaluation lot could have been rejected because of the general change to the red / yellow box. Meccano been as mean as we know could have used the few yellow boxes for the first models made, they would have been issued mixed with the red / yellow boxes and at the same time. The first models made may have been shipped to the States because of shipping time, to be available at the same time as in U.K. but as the Meccano Magazine always stated : "Available later overseas".

The alternative is that at the end of the model production there were not enough boxes to pack all the models made and Meccano ordered a few boxes of a model which had been changed before the decision to stop this model was made.

The cost in changing the design of a box is not in the printing but in the cutting tool. This tool is the same for the yellow / red boxes and the yellow pictorial box.

There is a third remote possibility. Has some bastard (I know one who could have done this) made a bunch of yellow boxes and sold them as originals. The bastard I know has done this with some French code 3 Dinky which he sold as genuine.

Conclusion : We still do not have the answer and only the Meccano people who were involved, R&D and buying dept. could answer this question.

All the best.

Jacques
100

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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Jacques

I doubt that my pictorial box is a fake as it contained pricing data on the other end flap.

Part of the cost in making any box is the artwork as well.

The scenario could most likely have been at the beginning, in that Meccano may have done a trial run, even a couple of thousand, and then switched to the plain red and yellow boxes, as that was the direction the company was taking - trying to modernize the small boxes, which ultimately caused them more grief when feedback on these was not favourable. it is for that reason I felt that the first models packaged in the plain red and yellow boxes in all probability were those models whose supply of the original boxes were running low.

It has been stated in the past, anything is possible and nothing is impossible when trying to unravel the ins and out of Meccano in the absence of any hard evidence. The jury on this one is still out.

Bruce (150)
#580

buzzer999's picture
buzzer999
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Hi Bruce

The price of 55 Cents for the 187 is interesting.

I have a very large collection of catalogues and price lists from the 1940s to 1964. My information on the 187 is as follows:

Up to, and including, 1959 it is not shown.
1960 $1.00
1961 $1.00
1963 $1.10

I don't have 1962 or 1964

Dave

dinkyfan's picture
dinkyfan
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Bruce
Not sure if you ever saw or experienced it, but here in the states, some Dinky models were sometimes discounted, especially if a store had a supply, and then decided to no longer sell Dinky's. I have at least a few boxes that have a sticker with price listed much lower than the catalog price.
Terry

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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Thank you Terry. I was not aware of any price changes with Dinky Toys when I was growing up, as I just accepted the toys in good faith! None of my boxes have had price changes, and on viewing Australian catalogues, prices seem to have been rather constant. It is interesting looking back nowadays, as to how Meccano calculated wholesale and retail prices in overseas countries, Australia for example, and how retailers stuck to those prices. Of course, exchange rates were regulated, by our government at least, and we did not have the chaos the free market has brought about.

However, on the matter of the price on the 187 box, the image below is of a 166 box that carries a price of 35c. I am not certain if that is US or Canadian dollars, nor how the smaller units are written in South Africa, but certainly that price appears to have been reduced. The US price for the 166 in 1962 was 85 cents.

As you said, prices on boxes are just a guide, and as you have written, a retailer could do anything, particularly if the retailer is removing Dinky Toys from their inventory, or just moving old stock. This could have been the wholesale price at the time. (In the UK, a box of six 166 Sunbeam Rapier was sold to the agent for 11/4 or about 1/10 each, with the retail price being 3/4, so the mark-up is more than 50% unless my pounds, shillings and pence arithmetic has failed me - yet again! Probably the wholesale price in the US was less as Meccano would have received tax benefits for exporting a product.

Many thanks again.

Bruce (150)
#582