Rare Dinky toy collection fetches £150k at Devon auction
A Dinky toy collection of about 3,500 cars has fetched £150,000 at an auction of "international significance".
John Kinchen, from Portsmouth, collected the vehicles for decades before his death last year, with models dating from 1937 to the early 1970s.
The rarest model, a South African issue Dinky 139 Ford Consul Cortina, sold for £800 in Exmouth, Devon.
Auctioneer Piers Motley said the collection had been "well known amongst the Dinky world for decades".
As a child Mr Kinchen was bought a couple of pre-war dinkies as a child, which sparked his enthusiasm for the miniature vehicles, Mr Motley said.
"He went on Blue Peter to promote collecting", Mr Motley added.
The collection, which passed to Mr Kinchen's cousins on his death, was expected to raise between £140,000 and £200,000.
Toy expert Bob Leggett said collectors were "very much a grey-haired audience" who were willing to spend a lot of money "to recreate their youth".
"When we were young we didn't have as many toys as people have today and therefore they were treasured much more", he said.
He said part of the "thrill" for collectors came from chasing the more elusive models they did not have during their childhoods.
"The golden era of Dinky Toys was probably the 1950s to the 1960s and there's a lot of people who are retiring in their late 60s who are still collecting, and they have disposable income, they're the baby-boom generation", Mr Leggett said.
He said Dinky toys, which were manufactured from the 1930s to the 1970s, largely had the model vehicle market to themselves until the 1950s, and therefore had a "slightly larger collecting fraternity" today than later rival brands such as Corgi Toys.