Pre Second World War Dinky Toys have proved to have been a first rate investment for those collectors who managed to forsee the future and buy at the right time. The fact that most of these models, whether ships, aircraft or vehicles, suffer from metal fatigue, fails to deter the buyers. The models themselves although crude by modern standards are still bringing fantastic prices at auctions.
Metal fatigue however appears to be a thing of the past, technological progress in model castings having hopefully solved the problem. Although it is not yet possible to restore these early Dinky Toys to their original condition, I understand that there are treatments available designed to stop any further deterioration. This has got to be good news for those who invested in them, as without treatment a collection of metal debris in a fading box would not have funded many retirement plans.
Browsing through the diecast models being offered on e-bay over the Christmas period, I was shocked and saddened to see the “buy now” prices for the Corgi 1/43rd scale range of old commercial vehicles.
For an investor these models have got to be the biggest diecast bargains on e-bay ever..
The models were made in Britain before all the big names in model manufacturing shifted production to China.. They were beautifully painted, well detailed, and well presented in good quality boxes with viewing panels. Most importantly the scale was constant. They are now for sale on e-bay at less than their original cost. These models are virtually being given away.
That they did not appeal to children at the time they first appeared on the market is not surprising as they certainly looked old fashioned, but why they did not appeal to collectors is a mystery.
When these models were produced Matchbox were also producing models of commercial vehicles which for the price were excellent value. The Matchbox models however varied in scale with only the box size remaining constant.
Because Matchbox apparently flooded the market with their models, the only ones making money for those who bought them as investments, are those models with odd manufacturing differences, such as colour variations, thereby making them unique.
I do not think that Corgi flooded the market with their 1/43rd scale commercial vehicles.
It may have been that the Corgi models in the Thorneycroft and Mack range of vehicles in this scale were quite large and therefore difficult to display, but the Ford range of vans although little bigger than the cars, are still for some reason not attracting the buyers.
It is difficult to believe that the size of the model was a problem. Corgi seem to have had little difficulty in attracting collectors to their 1/72nd scale models of Lancaster and Halifax bombers which are presented in far larger boxes than the Classic commercial vehicles.
These Corgi commercials could well be the antiques of the future and there surely will never be a better time to invest.