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Dinky Toy Car Auctions

At auction, there is a range of vintage toys and models which are highly sought after, but not many are more desirable than Dinky toy cars. Small in size but large in price, a Dinky toy car could be the perfect model to invest in from auction, or you could make a favourable profit if you happen to be looking to sell one at auction.

At Cullens of Surrey, our expert team is knowledgeable and passionate about toys and models, so you can have trust and confidence that you’re receiving the best experience when buying or selling at our auctions. We believe that, due to the importance and nostalgia attached to vintage toys, dealing with them requires great sensitivity and care.

Background Information: Dinky Toys

Dinky Toys is a brand of die-cast miniature vehicles manufactured by the British toy company, Meccano Ltd. The Dinky Toys line was introduced in 1934 as a complement to Meccano's construction sets. A range of die-cast vehicles was produced which included cars, trucks, buses, and military vehicles. These toys were made to a scale of approximately 1:43 and featured detailed casting, as well as movable parts such as opening doors and hoods, and realistic paint schemes.

Despite its early success, Dinky Toys faced challenges in the 1960s and 1970s, due to changing market dynamics and increased competition. The brand struggled to adapt to changing consumer preferences as well as economic conditions and ceased production in the late 1970s. Dinky Toys left a lasting legacy in the toy industry, which is one of the main reasons why they are so popular at auction today. They played a significant role in popularising die-cast miniature vehicles and set standards for quality and detail that influenced subsequent generations of toy manufacturers.

High-Value Sales

Dinky Toys produced a number of products which have become very valuable as time has progressed, but their toy cars are amongst some of the most expensive at auction in the current market. Dinky toy cars were amongst the earliest products created by Dinky Toys, and since they were the UK’s first die-cast toys to be manufactured, the nostalgia and originality attached to them have only heightened their value.

Ironically, many Dinky toy cars are now worth more than real cars, emphasising just how sought after they are. In 2023, the Daily Mail reported that a Dinky Toys grey and blue Monks & Crane van, manufactured between 1954 and 1960, sold for a grand total of £7,000. The reason this toy car was so highly valued was due to the fact that there were only “two known surviving examples of the model”, making it one of the rarest models ever made.

An even more expensive model of Dinky toy cars was sold in 2008, a year before the 75th anniversary of Dinky Toys. According to the financial website ThisMoney, a “pre-war 'type 22' delivery van, once worth four shillings (20p), and displaying the name of London cycling firm W.E. Boyce”, sold for a staggering £19,975. That same year, a boxed set of six Dinky Toys vans, featuring the names of brands such as “OXO, sold for £35,000, representing just how valuable these toy cars can be.

Did you know?

In 2022, as reported by ITVX, a collection of Dinky toy cars sold for a huge £350,000. This collection contained over 1,600 model vehicles, some of which were considered rare or unusual and all were collected over the course of 35 years.

What Makes a Dinky Toy Car Worth More?

There are several factors which can influence the value of a Dinky toy car. If you’re looking to start a collection, these factors could be worth keeping in mind, or, if you’re looking to sell, consider if any of your models contain the following:

  • Cultural Relevance - Dinky Toys which feature historical companies or famous brands will often sell for more. British classic sports cars, such as Aston Martin, are particularly desirable, alongside pre-war American sports cars.

  • Original Boxes - Dinky toy cars in their original boxes usually have a higher value, especially if these boxes are in good to mint condition. This gives a buyer confidence that it is genuine.

  • Gift Sets - If you happen to own a gift set, these often contain some of the highest-valued Dinky toy cars. Dinky gift sets have multiple models in one box, such as the Dinky No.4 Racing Cars set.

  • Pre-War Models - Dinky Toys that were made pre-war are usually more valuable than those that were made post-war. Pre-war models often featured more intricate designs, including a greater level of detail, compared to models which featured later.

  • Good Condition - All of the above become less relevant if the Dinky toy car is of bad quality. Models which have not been affected by discolouration and disfiguration, including the box, are worth more, especially if they’re rare models.

Looking to Sell With Us?

If you have Dinky Toys that you’re looking to sell, or any other toys and models, we offer various routes, such as at auction, direct purchasing or third-party sellers. You can read about each selling route in more detail on our dedicated “Selling At Auction” page.

Unsure of How the Auction Process Works?

At Cullens of Surrey, we’re proud to be considered experts in toys and models at auction. We offer a range of different auction methods, so you can bid for Dinky Toys and other valuable items from the comfort of your own home. Please get in touch with us if you have further questions about the auction processes we offer.