We’re in toy heaven at Hansons right now – Dinky toy heaven to be exact, writes Charles Hanson.
That’s because more than 100 boxed Dinky toys from the 1950s and 60s have arrived in our saleroom and together they could make in excess of £4,000.
David Wilson-Turner, head of Hansons’ Toy Department, is delighted, and righty so. He’s busily cataloguing the single-owner private collection and, let’s face it, you can’t help but have a bit of fun. They are toys, after all.
The spark of excitement comes through careful assessment which throws up some surprising price anomalies. For example, a Dinky Supertoy Big Bedford Van emblazoned with a Heinz 57 Varieties Baked Beans tin is worth £100. However, if you’re the proud owner of the same vehicle featuring a Heinz Tomato Ketchup bottle it gallops up to £1,000.
Sometimes, just the colour of a Dinky vehicle can dictate price. For example, a green one may be worth £50 while the same vehicle in red fetches £250.
When you look through the huge variety of Dinky vehicles in this consignment, it’s easy to see why these wonderful toys have created such enduring love, firstly from children and then from collectors. I defy anyone, young or old, not to enjoy opening a Dinky toy box to see the treasure inside.
This collection includes a find a huge variety of cars, vans, trucks, cranes, a horse box, tractors and trailers as well as numerous aeroplanes and armoured vehicles in all shapes and sizes.
Toys like these fired up millions of young imaginations. Decades before smart phones and technology dominated our lives, a few Dinky cars could keep a youngster occupied for hours.
Whether you dreamed of being a farmer, pilot, soldier, truck or racing driver, there was a toy to deliver fun for you.
Dinky toys spent hours trundling across floors, powering playtime in homes across the country. However, because this generation of toys are made of tinplate, they’re hardy treasures that have withstood the passage of time.
One interesting set in the collection is a trio of BBC vehicles made in 1959. They include a BBC TV Roving Eye Vehicle – not to check up on your TV licence but for outside broadcasts! It comes complete with cameraman and aerial. There is also a BBC TV Mobile Control Room and a BBC TV Extending Mast Vehicle. The trip has an estimate of £90-£120.
If toys of this era still have their original box, they are worth even more, and the vast majority in this major collection do. But even if the box vanished years ago, that old Dinky toy in the loft may be sought after.
Right now, we’re inviting entries for our June 20 Toys, Models and Live Steam Auction. All types of vintage and antique toys, dolls and teddies are welcome for assessment.
Free toy valuations as well as general valuations are available at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, on Wednesdays, 5-7pm, Fridays, 10am-4pm, and Saturdays, 9am-noon. Toy expert Steve Fulford is with us every Friday. You can also arrange a free valuation by emailing