Pre-war Dinky toys deliver in specialist auction

The Dinky box of No 28 delivery vans sold for £10,200 at M&M Auctions.

Two rare pre-war Dinky trade boxes which had been in loft storage for two generations appeared for sale in Lincolnshire. Toy specialist M&M Auctions (21.6% buyer’s premium inc VAT) in Spalding offered them on behalf of a family who had owned the toys since new in the mid-1930s.

Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Roland Arkell

Prices have undoubtedly softened for some of the earlier Dinky toys that no longer connect so directly with the collecting audience. Nevertheless, the holy grail of Dinky collecting remains these 1930s No 28 delivery vans advertising commercial brand names. Surviving ‘first type’ vehicles are rare in any state but condition, as always, is key.

The highest price in the August 8-9 auction went to a box of six Dinky 28 series vans c.1935 bearing nationally recognised trade names: Oxo BeefKodak FilmDunlop TyresMarsh’s SausagesWakefield Castrol and Crawfords.

Each was considered an exceptional example with very minor fatigue crazing and minimal paint loss and they came in the printed yellow card trade box with dividers that had held them for many years. Estimated at £4000- 7000, they sold at £10,200 to a UK buyer via

The same digital paddle secured a slightly later box of six delivery vans c.1938 with decals for Golden Shred MarmaladeSeccontine Sticks EverythingManchester GuardianFirestone TyresAtco Motor Mowers and Virol. These sold at £9500.

Historically these are not huge prices. Back in 2014, Special Auction Services in Newbury offered two first-issue (1934) sets of six Dinky vans and sold them for £20,000 and £19,000. Another first-issue box took £30,000 at Vectis of Stockton-on-Tees in March 2008 at a sale where a one-of-a-kind van bearing the name WE Boyce, a cycle shop on the Archway Road in Highgate, London, in the 1930s, sold for a record £17,000.