Plastic Toy Cars of the 1950s & 1960s

The Collector’s Guide

Recent auction results indicate a growing interest among collectors in plastic toy cars made during the 1950s and 1960s in Britain, mainland Europe, the USA and Hong Kong. This book is the first to take a systematic approach to this hitherto neglected area of toy collecting, providing valuable background information on the companies that made these toys and enabling collectors to identify many previously unknown items. Among the many famous toy companies examined are Tri-ang and Brimtoy (Great Britain); Norev and Minialuxe (France); Gama and Siku (Germany); Ingap and Politoys (Italy); and Rico and Paya (Spain). In addition, light is shed for the first time on the history of many smaller and more obscure brands. More than 250 photographs of rare and unusual plastic toy cars are included, together with an indication of the prices these items are currently fetching on the antique toy market.


The history of Dinky Toys, Corgi Toys and other makers of diecast metal cars has been covered in great detail in many books and magazine articles; by contrast, information on plastic toy cars is much harder to come by. Yet collectors are taking an increasing interest in plastic cars, particularly as the rise in value of early diecast and tinplate models has put many of these out of reach of the average enthusiast. For the first time, this book aims to provide a systematic introduction to the vast number of plastic cars made during the 1950s and 1960s. Years of research has enabled the author to uncover many fascinating facts about the companies that made these toys. Some were major players in the toy industry, like Tri-ang and Brimtoy in the UK, Norev and Minialuxe in France, Gama and Siku in Germany, and Ingap in Italy. Many others, though, were more obscure, and some only modelled one car before disappearing without trace. More than 250 photographs of these toys are included, with the emphasis being on the most colourful and realistic examples, all of them based on real vehicles of the period. In many cases, the toy is pictured alongside its original box, the presence of which can often double the value of the item to a collector. Readers will also find a handy glossary listing the names of many of the companies who were active in this field in the 1950s and 1960s, together with some evocative period advertisements and catalogue illustrations. If you thought that a model car had to be made of diecast metal to be worth collecting, this book might change your mind ... with 250 colour photos, extensive appendices and identification aids, this is a must-have for any collector or dealer!

About the author

Andrew Ralston received his first Dinky Toy car, a Riley, when he was about five years old, and ever since has been passionately interested in anything to do with cars. He has built up an extensive collection of models, with a preference for the more unusual items, and has written many articles on the subject for magazines in Britain and the USA. Educated at the Universities of Glasgow and Oxford, Andrew is a teacher by profession and has also published numerous textbooks on the English language. He lives in Glasgow with his wife, Hazel, and daughter, Miranda.

eBook details

eISBN: 978-1-845846-84-8 • eV number: eV4684 • Published: April 2015 • Language: English • Digital edition: First Digital Edition. Base eBook price: £7.49 / $8.99 / €10.99 (vendors may set their own prices, so actual prices may vary).
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Original book info

V4125 • Paperback • 25x25cm • £9.99 • 128 pages • 353 colour and b&w pictures • ISBN: 978-1-845841-25-6 • UPC: 6-36847-04125-0. Price subject to change, P&P extra.

Plastic Toy Cars of the 1950s & 1960s

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