The Catacombs The Merchandise Guide
Dinky Eagle Models
Compiled by Martin Willey

Thanks to Gordon Moriguchi

Dinky Catalogues

The Dinky Toy catalogue was sold in toys ships alongside the models. The prestige of Dinky was sufficient that it could charge for it's own toy catalogue. The 5 pence cost was pocket-money friendly, but the same as a comic. See

The 1975 catalogue, number 11, featured the Eagle on the cover. Unusually it's not a green Eagle - it's in authentic white.

The Eagle page in catalogue number 11. Here the Eagle is green, with the freighter Eagle in white.

A version of the same art also appeared in the 1976-77 catalogue (number 12), with the freighter Eagle over the transporter (and both apparently being shot at by Star Trek's Enterprise across the page). "Through the barriers of space and time Dinky blasts onto your TV screen".

From 1977-78 (number 13) and 1979 (number 14, the last ever catalogue). Photos were now used. In 1977 the freighter was blue, but the 1978 page shows a white freighter which was no longer sold.

Dinky Trade Catalogues

Trade catalogues were issued to toy distributors and shops, unlike the consumer catalogues above which were sold to children.

The 1977 trade catalogue on page 2: "Dinky is the big name in die-cast toys. Big play value. Big range. Big features. Big in military. Big afloat. Big in the air. And the new packaging is specially designed for big impact on the shelf." The space range appeared on page 4; each came in a shipping pack of 6.

The 1978 trade catalogue has a spread titled "Dinky first in space!". "From the beginning, Dinky have dominated the space race with their highly successful models of TV vehicles. The space film boom we predicted is about to happen so don't miss this opportunity to send your sales rocketing! Dinky is also helping to win your space battle - the battle to optimise profit on shelf space. For 1978, over twenty toys have been dropped from the range, and only sure-fire winners added - like these space craft and the paramedic vehicles from the exciting "Emergency" TV series." The Freighter has now changed colour, from white to blue.

This spread was from the 1979 Trade Catalogue ("Tomorrow's Sales with Today's Meccano and Dinky"). "Means action all the way"

A 1980 trade leaflet. Notice gives contact details for Airfix, the parent company. The Dinky factory closed in November 1979, so there was not going to be any future releases.

Dinky Eagle Adverts

Print Adverts

Dinky advert

UK adverts. Note the white Eagle transporter in the first advert. UK adverts mention "Gerry Anderson's Space:1999", indicating the name recognition of the producer.

UK comic advert. "Red alert!! As the moon base life-support system falters, the Eagles go in search of the vital, but rare, mineral titanium" "Good luck Eagles!"

UK comic advert. "The year is 1999"
"Science and technology have advanced giant steps, yet so about the moon remains a mystery. Already many vehicles have been lost without trace on that dark, unknown surface."
"Eagle Transporter has received orders to lower the life support module for the purpose of mapping and recording the surface of the moon."
"Already they have recorded over 30,000 craters - some 50 miles in diameter! With this information, so vital to the safety of the future moon travellers, Eagle Transporter returns to pick up the module and head back to base. From start to finish, the whole operation has taken just 3 days!"
"Yet another successful mission recorded in the log book of Eagle Transporter!"
Note this story doesn't follow the TV series scenario at all.

Printing plate Positive image from printing plate

This printing plate for a variation of the "year is 1999" advert appeared on ebay in 2024; the positive image is shown alongside. The underlying artwork is the same, but the text boxes have been moved and altered, and the bottom left plan removed. One text box is significantly different: "Eagle Transporter has received orders to lower the life support module on the south-western sector of the planet for the purpose of mapping and recording the peculiarities of the Moons formation." The next box has slightly different text: "Eagle Transporter returns at the appointed time to pick up the module and head back to base."

A 1975 Italian advert. Dinky was popular in many countries in Europe, and had a manufacturing plant in France from the 1930s until 1972.

US advertising used in comics.

1975 Dinky Eagle competition from the UK children's comic Speed and Power (shortly before it was absorbed into Look and Learn).

In store adverts

A rare UK in-shop display showing both the Transporter and Freighter with a lunar surface.

A leaflet for shops advertising the Eagle Freighter. Note the unusual green coloured cockpit.

US in-store display with a box "Be sure to watch Space 1999" with spaces for channel, day and time.

Another black and white version of the advert.

Package advertising

Dinky packaging promoted other models. This is the back of the 1978 "Galactic War Chariot" (number 361), also sold as the "Zygon war chariot", a weird composite toy made using a lunar rover, a missile launcher from the UFO Shado Mobile and the engines from Joe 90's car (which had been discontinued in 1976).

Dinky Club of America

In the US, Dinky was distributed by Ava International of Waco, Texas (who also handled Airfix). They ran a children's mail club, called "Dinky Club of America". Children received a certificate (which featured an Eagle), Dinky stickers, promotional leaflets, newsletters promoting the latest models, and an order form (Dinky ran a similar newsletter in the UK between 1958-1962, which was so successful the volume overwhelmed staff, and the company closed the club).

A poster produced by the Dinky Club of America. "New from Space: 1999 & Dinky Toys" "Decal sheet included", "Baked enamel finish", "Super-real detail", "Detachable Cargo Module", "Spring loaded landing gear".

Trade press adverts

Dinky advert

US trade advert by the Dinky US distributor, Ava International of Waco, Texas.

Dinky advert

US trade advert. Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and Joe 90 were probably less recognisable to US audiences.

Copyright Martin Willey.