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


UK £2.99, later £4.99 1975-1980

No. 360. Die cast metal model. The model appeared shortly after the Transporter. The Eagle main body was identical to the Transporter, though in different colours.

The pod is a metal platform with a revolving disc to store 4 yellow plastic cylinders (with metal top), and a winch line with magnet to carry cylinders. The original version is red. Initially wet transfers were supplied for the cylinders (showing the radioactivity symbol & words 'Danger Waste Material'), later being replaced by adhesive decals.

The Eagle Freighter was at first white with red side jets, engine bottles & pod. Later it was painted blue with a white pod.

The plastic parts changed colour over the years. The most obvious differences are seen from underneath. The screws change from slotted to cross-head or Pozidriv (the first white Eagle here has Pozidriv screws, indicating a non-factory repair).

Issue Main colour Module colour Underside screws Side jets Engines: bottles Engines: rockets
1 White Red Slot pan-head Red Red Chrome
2 White Red Phillips (cross-head) Red Chrome Red
3 Blue White Phillips, then Pozidriv Red Chrome Red

Boxes as Eagle Transporter.

First edition/variation, 1975

This rare version is generally regarded as the first edition, but it may simply be a variation of the much more common "second edition". The only difference from the next version is that the engine colours are reversed- red engine bottles and chrome rockets (like the first edition Transporter); the second edition had chrome bottles and red rockets. As the rocket assemblies are identical for both Eagles, they may simply have used the transporter version on the freighter for a few days, creating this variation.

Second edition/variation, 1975

This second edition model, with red rockets, is the most common early freighter.

The original blue card plinth.

Third edition

The second card base, now in red and yellow.

Fourth edition

The Eagle is now blue with a white pod, and the box has a polystyrene "moonscape".

Fifth edition

The Eagle is the same, but the polystyrene is replaced with yellow card.

Thanks to Daniele Pattono

There were variations of the decals.

  1. Initially, these were simple self-adhesive stickers which wrapped round the barrels. With play, they became less sticky and fell off.
  2. The second edition were wet transfers.
  3. Later, they returned to self-adhesive stickers, which were easier to apply. The decal designs for all 3 were identical - they had the standard (scientifically correct) radiation trefoil symbol in black on red, with the words "Danger Waste Material"
  4. In 1980, the words changed to "Fuel Waste Container" with a different symbol (a "Y" over a triangle)

In 1979 an 11 year old girl named Marianne Fleckery found some of the hollow cylinders in the garden of her home in Langley Crescent, St Albans, Herts. She persuaded firemen to visit in anti-contamination suits and take the cylinders to the then-government radiation centre in Amersham. After the incident Meccano, Dinky's parent company, promised to remove the radiation symbol and words.

Over the years, collectors have swapped parts from one version to another. We are pretty sure this is not an original factory variation. The second edition white model was only sold on the bubble box, not this display box (which anyway is a late version). The white freighter pod was only ever paired with the blue model.

Advertisements appeared in children's comics featuring artwork of the Eagle in exactly the same pose as the Transporter adverts. "The year: 2000... Identity: Eagle Freighter... Mission: Nuclear Waste Disposal".

Copyright Martin Willey