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


UK £2.99, later £4.99 US $14 1975-1980

No. 359. Die cast metal model, 22.2 cm long. It has vivid green metal nose cone and leg pods.

The transporter pod is white, and detachable using catch button on the top. The pod has opening red plastic doors (they hinge at the base to form steps). The windows at the top are initially red or orange, but later a clear version appeared. The vertical rockets underneath the Eagle are chromed plastic in the first version, and later red.

The spine was silver metal, covered with white plastic framework.

The engine bottles and rocket nozzles are originally red and silver respectively (the opposite to the Eagle Freighter), but later changed to silver bottles and red rockets like the Freighter.

The silver metal legs had spring suspension.

The red stripes for the pod were supplied as water decals. They were pretty fragile, and flaked off after a few weeks of play.

This model, and the Freighter, were still in production when Dinky-Meccano went into liquidation in 1980.

The box packaging changed four times over the years. The plastic parts of the model changed colours. This was probably done to match the Freighter, so both models could be assembled with the same parts. There were also several minor tooling changes over the five years of production. The box and detailing changes did not occur at exactly the same time.

Original version Later version

The most obvious differences are seen from underneath. The screws change from slotted to cross-head or Pozidriv (with 45 degree tick marks). The underside rockets change from chromed to red plastic. The rear engines swap colours. A minor tooling difference is the raised rectangle on the base alongside the chrome rockets, which disappears later.

Spine bar

Another small tooling change is in the plastic spine. Later versions have an extra central bar in the front and back.

First Edition 1975-6

The first edition was a card base with bubble top. The Eagle stands on a card base enclosed in a plastic bubble. The base is 25.5 x 11 cm. The plastic bubble top becomes brown and brittle over time; few modern examples have survived intact, and clear plastic tops are probably modern reproductions.

First edition, with chrome engines and red engine bottles. The passenger module windows are red. This is the original card base, with plastic bubble cover.

A slight variation of the first edition: the passenger module windows are orange.

The original blue card plinth.

Second Edition (approximately 1976)

A yellow box base replaces the light blue first edition. The artwork is moved around.

Second edition, with red engines and chrome engine bottles. On this model the passenger module windows are clear. The second version of the box base.

Third Edition (approximately 1977, 1978)

Dinky got rid of the bubble-top boxes, and now used card box with plastic display window. The Eagle box is 25.5 x 6 x 11 cm, with a 6cm tall top flap. It showed photos of Koenig and Helena (year 2). The Eagle sat in an expanded polystyrene diorama (a moonscape or perhaps a snowy landscape).

The "moonscape" box.

The back of this box (and the next edition) has nice artwork of other Dinky Anderson vehicles. "Launch UFO interceptor to punch enemy fleet out of the skies! Shado 2 Mobile moves into action to shoot down low-flying UFOs. Meanwhile, Thunderbird 2 is GO to rescue ditching Interceptor pilot!"

Fourth Edition (until 1980)

The polystyrene moonscape is removed, leaving a yellow card plinth inside.

The plain yellow box.

Various colour advertisements appeared in children's comics, featuring colour artwork of a launching Eagle and a panel illustrating the "action features". "EAGLE zooms into the year 2000!" and "EAGLE blasts into the future!" were the titles. A flash promised "From Gerry Anderson's New TV Series Space: 1999. On Your TV Screen Soon!".

Note: a white version of the Eagle Transporter never existed. There was a white Eagle Freighter, and you could swap the pods to make an all-white Eagle Transporter. In the 1970s kindly toy shop owners allowed children to open both boxes in shops to swap the Eagles and pods. Since then, collectors have done the same, and claimed it was a rare Dinky variation. Nevertheless, an all-white Eagle Transporter never left the Dinky factory.

Copyright Martin Willey