I just received an interesting item a few days ago....an Atlas copy of the French Dinky Panhard Truck and semi trailer in the beautiful Kodak livery. And added to this, as part of the sale, was an interesting Dan Toys Kodak trailer. Even though these are both painted yellow and in the Kodal livery, they are not a set, and are not even identical. First, let me explain why I would buy this, as I am an ardent Dinky collector, and have no desire to fill in missing items with Atlas reproductions, no matter how well they are done. I purchased this because I happen to really, really like this Panhard truck, with its bright yellow color and distinctive Kodak logo, and, with this trailer, an opportunity to have a rig that Dinky never made, but should have. I have often wondered what it would have been like if Meccano had made trailers for some of the models.....such as the Foden Mobilgas a Tanker....can you imagine what that would look like? So here is my critique of the model: first, it is very well done, beautifully finished, very accurate to the original (I have an original US export version, bought in 1959). Upon comparing both of them, side by side, the only real differences I can see are (1). The tow hook on the rear of the Atlas is black; the original is painted yellow like the truck; (2). The silver paint on the front radiator grill is more fully painted, extending on the sides of the grill. The original has been masked sprayed only on the front part, and not extending along the sides.....it looks different; (3). The yellow paint itself seems a lighter shade and brighter, although mine has likely faded somewhat after being displayed for 57 years, so this may not really true.....I would guess they copied the color of a pristine example. All other items, the casting details particularly, are just perfect. And since they modeled the later US export version, I also compared the Kodak logo decals......they also made an almost perfect copy of it, with the correct letter shapes and color. And the wheels also closely match the Dinky Toys ridged wheels. All in all, it is a very well done reproduction. On to the trailer: This was made by Dan Toys, and I do not know the relationship, if any, to Atlas. I thought I remembered reading they were separate, but part of the same company. Maybe someone can explain further. At first glance, this trailer seems to be a perfect match with the Atlas Truck. But, on closer examination, these differences are seen: first, this was modeled on the earlier French market version (not the later US export), so the Kodak logo has a slightly different font style to the letters.....barely noticeable at first, unless you are looking for it. The paint is also very slightly different.....it is a different shade of yellow by a tiny amount....again, hardly noticeable even when displayed together. You really need to put them side by side under a bright light to see it. And lastly, Dan Toys did paint the tow hook yellow.....like the Dinky original, but different than the Atlas truck. My overall impression: Even with these slight variances and inconsistencies, I am glad that I bought it. It does make a stunning display piece, in that beautiful bright yellow with the iconic Kodak logos. Not a real Dinky Toy, but an interesting addition to my overall collection. And I can certainly understand the appeal these have for collectors, who cannot find or afford some of the original Dinky Toys models.....these recent ones are very well done. Best regards, Terry
Hi Terry, a great analysis and comparison that is! I must say that I can hardly suppress the inclination to buy some Atlas models, especially in cases like this and other hardly affordable models in fine condition - and for wonderful variants that only reached the pre-production stage as a Dinky Toys mock-up, prototype. I have more than once said that Meccano would have been jealous of this kind of high technical perfection, which they could not attain themselves in their golden years. Still, I am painstakingly trying to resist and keep the Dinky Toys collection 'pure' - just my private choice. Some time ago I bought one of my firm favourites in Atlas version, the Panhard citerne Esso, for a mere 5 euros, in order to try and make a similar comparison, in words and pictures. See also: http://dtcawebsite.com/node/4903. Kind regards, Jan
Some comparative photos included below:
For me the best one is on the right !
The left one is too well done ! It looks like a repainted item.
Never in my display.
Richard---I think Jan and I agree with you; the Atlas models are almost too nice, more perfect than was possible in the 1950's, so our original Dinky's have a charm that cannot be reproduced, no matter how hard they work on replicas. I am certainly not going to start using them to fill in holes on my Dinky collection, but also like Jan, it was fun to get one, to see just what they are about. One thing I will add is that they have apparently come a long way in quality control. These Kodak models are very well put together and I could see no flaws. When I enlarge my display area, these will likely go in a separate area, along with the 20 or so nicely restored Dinky's that I also have. They still make a stunning display piece, but will not be listed in my Dinky Toys Catalog.
Best regards, Terry
The only connection between Dan Toys and Atlas is that both had their models made by NOREV. Dan Toys is or was a diecast shop in Paris and many years ago they started to have copies of Dinky Toys made on a small scale and in limited numbers. I do not know if they are still runing, an may have retired.
You can not say that the Atlas models are perfect. Many of them are roten, bent chassis of the Ford trucks, rusty base plates painted over, awful tilt on the Berliet GAK covered wagon, wrong type of wheels on the DS 19, very bad casting of the Simca Chambord, wrong headlights and wrong base plate for the Traction, the windows of the Taxi Ariane and GAK cattle truck fall into the model etc... The Encyclopaedia contains a full list and pictures of about 110 of these flaws. Was there any quality control at the Chinese factory ? Certainly not. The problem with making stuf in China is that the goods are paid FOB and when they arive in France it is on the responsability of the buyer, not the manufacturer. It is then impossible to reject the goods for bad quality. The only solution is to have one's QC inspector at the factory but Atla was too mean to pay for that.