The Spot-On range of diecast vehicles and accessories was produced by Tri-ang in Belfast, Northern Ireland between 1959 and 1967. SPOT-ON is an amazing brand. It was in toy making business in the 50's and 60's and is now a very wanted collector's brand. It's is different from the other die-cast producers from its time, as all models and accessories of SPOT-ON were made in the same scale, 1:42. No matter, the saloon car, the Truck or the Cotswold Houses, they are all the same scale and that makes it wonderful for display.
That also made SPOT-On in its time already an expensive toy. More expensive than its competitors Dinky and Corgi. But SPOT-ON cannot be compared with those now, because of the fabulous details, the wonderful choice of models (if you like Britain Cars of course) and the consistent scale and quality. The first model, the FORD ZODIAC (# 100) was marketed in 1960 and the last model in 1967. In general, most models were produced during 2 - 3 years maximum. Due to the high retail prices and the low availability, the SPOT-ON range is now extremely rare.
SPOT-ON has apart from the "normal" portfolio of saloons, sportcars, vans and trucks a wide assortment. Look at the amazing MAGICARS, a sort of Push and Go slot car with such excellent models as Bentley and Ferrari. Or look at the Arkitex sets, brilliant building sets to complete the modern city view behind the cars.
Spot-On Models Ltd. was a new range from Tri-ang, a division of Lines Brothers, who, at one time, claimed to be the largest toy maker in the world. The factory had been built in the Castlereagh area of Belfast just after World War II when Lines Bros were expanding. In about 1960, a smaller factory was opened in the grounds of the Belfast factory specifically for the Spot-On range. There were three main product ranges: Spot-On cars, Spot-On dolls' house furniture, and Arkitex construction kits.
The objective of Spot-On was identical to that of Dinky and Corgi -to make true-to-life models that also served as toys. Consequently, these models needed to be detailed but robust. As Dinky and Corgi were already established, Spot-On required a marketing gimmick. Dinky and Corgi were both a little loose with their scale -typically around 1:48 for cars, but Spot-On decided always to be exactly, 'spot-on', 1:42. The company also adopted this scale for buses and commercial vehicles which made these models much larger than most Dinky and Corgi toys.
Both large and small cars were chosen for inclusion in the range to fully accentuate the fixed 1:42 scale. Rolls Royce were represented initially by the Silver Wraith and, later, by the even larger Phantom V which featured working lights and members of the Royal Family as passengers. Smaller vehicles included the Isetta bubble car, the rare Meadows Frisky, the Fiat 500 and the Goggomobil. Also added were exotic sports cars such as the Aston Martin DB Mark III, Jensen 541, Daimler SP250, and Bristol 406, along with more mundane models such as the Hillman Minx and Austin A40.
In 1964, Lines Bros. acquired Meccano, the parent company of Dinky Toys and, rather than support two brands simultaneously, the owners decided to discontinue Spot-On in favour of Dinky.
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