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Saturday, 7 April 2012
THE RINKY-DINK PANTHER...
A couple of months back, I took my DINKY PINK PANTHER car off display, put it back in its box and tucked it away in a cupboard. Remember the one with the big black rubber wheel in the middle of the chassis? You pulled a plastic strap through it, causing the wheel to spin at great speed, placed it on the ground and watched it disappear into the horizon - or against a wall with maximum force.
Yeah, that's the one. There were other cars with the same feature of course, but the Panther-mobile (if that's what it's called) is the one that everyone of a certain age seems to recall. Anyway, I'm not making a mess of my room by dragging everything out of the cupboard to find it, so, until I do, in the meantime you'll have to be content with the Mark II version. (In case you're wondering, I stashed the original away because I was worried about the rubber wheel deteriorating in the arctic conditions of my room - the rubber arms of my MATT MASON MOON SUIT suffered just such an inglorious fate.)
The first version of the car was manufactured by Dinky which, as most of you will know, was a MECCANO company, and it appeared in toyshops sometime around 1972. At some point Meccano and Dinky parted company, so when the second version of the car appeared around 1979-ish (I think), it no longer bore the Dinky name on the base, but rather that of its once-parent company - Meccano. The mould had been altered to remove the large wheel from the centre of the car, and the car itself, as well as the PinkPanther driver, were in a lighter shade of pink than Mark I had been.
So, until I get back into that cupboard, here's the slightly more aesthetically-pleasing model for your eager eyes. I've still got the bubble-card package it came in, but that's in the cupboard along with the other car, so you'll have to live without it for now. CORGI TOYS also produced a Pink Panther item - Panther on a motorbike - I'd have shown it here, but guess where it is?