Frank Hornby 150th Anniversary 1863-2013
< >Dinky Toys
A very early Hornby locomotive
Early "Dinky Toys" racing cars

Most people would have been happy to have two iconic toy brands to their name, but having built his company, Hornby needed to keep feeding it with ideas. 

With the growth of their train set business, Meccano Ltd started to branch out into trackside accessories, and after bridges and signaling and level crossings (and tinplate stations and signal boxes, and postboxes and roadside accessories such as postboxes), the next obvious accessory to park alongside a railway and level crossing was a car.


Hornby duly produced a range of metal vehicles and other accessories in the same scale as their trains, under the name Hornby Modelled Miniatures. It soon became clear that these small diecast cars had a high play value in their own right, and the range was expanded under the new name "Dinky Toys".

Dinky Toys didn't have the same constructional aspect as Hornby's earlier toys, but they were robust, collectable and fun, and the range expanded to cover hundreds of vehicle models, producing a three-dimensional record of the output of the British automotive industry. A Dinky collection became a transport museum in miniature, and Dinky Toys still serve as a permanent physical documentation of the shapes and colours of vehicles of the period.  

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Brighton Toy and Model Museum
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