Britain's Toy Car Wars

More About This Title Britain's Toy Car Wars

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Diecast-metal Dinky Toys arrived in 1934. In 1953, Lesney launched the Matchbox series. Mettoy brought its Corgi range in 1956, with working suspension, seats, steering wheels, and opening doors and hoods. The brand hit the jackpot with its James Bond movie tie-in: a 1:43 scale Aston Martin DB5 with working versions of the on-screen gadgets, including ejector seat. Dinky hit back with models based on Gerry Anderson TV shows. From the U.S. (but made cheaply in Hong Kong), Mattel’s Hot Wheels arrived in 1968. The British establishment was left reeling. Throughout the 1970s, the nation’s three toy car heroes battled on, trying to alter their offerings so that they offered as much "play value" as possible.

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Giles Chapman is an award-winning motoring writer whose books include My Dad Had One of Those.
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