23 March 2012
Michael Driver, chairman of the Dinky Toy Collectors Association, spotlights one of his personal vintage favourites, the Dinky Toys Comet Wagon with Hinged Tailboard. ...
There is something about the Leyland Comet that really appeals to me. This Dinky Toys model was the second in the Comet series and features a rear with sides. However, the best element of this new model was its hinged tailboard.
I first saw the model in my local toy shop and immediately wanted one. I went in and asked if I could have a look at it. I was very impressed to say the least, but there was a problem. It cost 6/10p (about 35p in today’s money) and I only had about one shilling (5p). The shop keeper suggested that I could save up for the model using the Dinky Toys saving club. Therefore, after a number of weeks of saving, I became the proud owner of the model. My Dinky Toys model, No 532, had a dark blue cab and a mid-blue back together with red Supertoys wheels and grey tyres.
In the Dinky Toys renumbering process of 1954 it became Dinky Supertoys No 932. Later, in 1956, it reverted back to Dinky Toys and gained No 418.
Throughout this period a number of colour schemes were issued. These mainly consisted of one with a blue cab, a mid-blue back and red wheels, and another that had a green cab, an orange back and cream wheels. There was also a less common version with a green cab, a red back and cream wheels. More unusual is the one with a red cab, which has either a pale blue or mid blue back. Most had grey tyres, but sometimes black ones had been fitted to the later models.
The early models and the later ones had the back secured by a nut and bolt, as did the No 418 models. Only the very last No 418 models used rivets. At least this stopped the backs being exchanged to create ‘supposed’ rare models. The backs of the wagons also carried the model number on the underneath on the right side, initially No 532 and then modified to No 932 before No 418 was used.
The boxes for the first models were in blue card. They used the orange and white labels with a black and white illustration. These were followed by the famous blue and white striped boxes with a coloured illustration of the model. The final boxes were in yellow with the coloured illustration and these used blue bases. All the boxes were the lift-off lid variety.
Having been introduced in 1952, the Dinky Toys Comet was deleted in 1959 and by then the ‘real’ wagons were beginning to look ‘old fashioned’. The Leyland Comet had originally been designed for the export market in 1947. Still, many kept on going, especially those that had been exported. They had survived in different climates and, of course, so did the exported Dinky Toys versions. I am sure these models would also have delighted their overseas owners just as much as the collectors here in England.