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Plastic Toy Cars of the 1950s and 1960s: The Collector's Guide [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Andrew Ralston
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

22 Nov 2007
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 the 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 have enabled the author to uncover many fascinating facts about the companies who 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 modeled one car before disappearing without trace.More than 250 photographs of these toys are included, with the emphasis being on the most colorful 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 though 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.

Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Veloce Publishing Ltd (22 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845841255
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845841256
  • Product Dimensions: 25 x 25 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 926,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


This picture-laden softback brings out all their colourful appeal and features many obscure brands, not to mention their often eclectic subjects. - Octane -

There have been various guides to tin and diecast toys, but Andrew Ralston celebrates early plastic designs in this colourful 126-page Veloce paperback. - Classic & Sports Car -

Diecast and tinplate model cars have been well-documented down the years, but plastic cars have not been as well-served until now. This is a big subject for one book, but Andrew has handled it well, giving background information on the makers. Highly recommended. - Model Auto Review -

This new book on Plastic Toy Cars sure brought back many fond memories ... a very valuable asset to have if you are into toy cars. As a guide it is very important especially when showing the excellent photos of the cars and the current value. - IPMS -

This book includes more than 250 brilliant colour photographs of these toys, along with a glossary listing the names of many of the companies active in this field in the 1950s and 1960s. --- S Gaugian

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.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could Do Better 8 Mar 2010
To be fair to the author, he not only doesn't claim it's a comprehensive guide, he goes out of his way to state it's not! However, it rapidly becomes clear that the author only really likes medium scale, realistic-to-prototype family saloons, coupes and such-like. Oh, he doesn't like ethylene either, so that's half the book's scope gone before you start.

Format is a bit of introductory blurb to each section (Country by country), thumbnail scetches of a few companies, then lots of pictures, but with three or 4 photo's per page, there's a lot of blank paper. What is present is nice, don't get me wrong, it's what's missing that's the problem.

There are few small-scale (except when he visits Europe, when he pays lip-service to Ingap and gives Wiking a bit of coverage). I think there were only two military vehicles in the whole book! Commercials are in the minority, there's no construction stuff, in the American section he's failed to cover more makes than he has named. Britain likewise; no Kleeware, Poplar/Thomas/Taffy - not mentioned, Tudor Rose fair better but Beeju get a catalogue cover and one twisted bus? Raphael Lipkin get a 'whole line' to themselves, actually they get an Antar in civilian colours on page 24, but he hasn't looked underneath!

The disappointments are legion, but...The section on France is strangely very informative and quite comprehensive, I guess he perticularly likes the French products?.

This is a very well illustrated book on a narrow subject, not reflected in the title. The author is clearly a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable collector, but this book seems to have been rushed out 4 or 5 years before it should have been, and the gaps show. Wait until you can get a second-hand copy or get 'Dimestore Dreams' for the American story, and wait for something better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Plastic toys of the 50's 18 Jun 2011
By templar
Excellent book. A well illustrated and wide ranging overview of the toys of that era. Obviously only a select sample, given the book's size, but very well done. Good starting point for info on many of the well known, and more obscure, manufacturers of that era. Recommended!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars If You Are Into Weird Stuff 19 May 2014
By Kevin L. Martin - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Don't buy this book if you are looking for a catalog of AMT, Jo-Han, Revell or Monogram 1/25-scale plastic kits. They ain't here. but if you want beautifully-photographed toy cars from Norev, Gama, Siku and other little known (at least in the US) makers, this is your book. This work was published in 2007 so the price guide is of little use, but otherwise this is a great reference work for the collector.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent review of plastic model cars of the past, in full color 2 Oct 2013
By M. Nusair - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My own collection of model cars is relatively haphazard, one of this and a few of that. This book helped me identify a few cars that I've owned for years, not knowing who made them or where. The manufacturer's name was occasionally known, but where and when were they in existence? Very enjoyable for the wealth of information about the various manufacturers of the 50s and 60s. The pictures are excellent, in full color as expected these days.

The interconnections between the various manufacturers, as to who bought whom and the development of each line, were described as well. Very enjoyable.
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent and fun book 26 Nov 2012
By Jim Gibbons - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book does not go into a lot of major details, but is a nice reference. It's more of a trip down memory lane for us Baby Boomers who had some of these cars more than anything else, but it makes it a wonderful trip.
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