EARLY MATCHBOX (Mok...
 
Notifications
Clear all

EARLY MATCHBOX (Moko/Lesney/Matchbox)

Page 1 / 2

David Green
(@david-green)
Famed Member
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 2908
Topic starter  
Matchbox is a popular toy brand which was introduced by Lesney Products in 1953, and is now owned by Mattel, Inc, which purchased the brand in 1997. The brand was given its name because the original diecast Matchbox toys were sold in boxes similar to those in which matches were sold.
 
The Matchbox name originated in 1953 as a brand name of the British die-casting company Lesney Products, whose reputation was moulded by John W. "Jack" Odell (1920–2007), Leslie Charles Smith (1918–2005), and Rodney Smith. The name Lesney was a portmanteau of Leslie and Rodney Smith's first names.
 

In the earliest years of the regular, or 1-75 series – well before the series actually numbered 75 models – Lesney was marketed/distributed by Moko (itself named after its founder, Moses Kohnstam). Boxes in that era mentioned this, with the text "A Moko Lesney" appearing on each. Lesney gained its independence from Moko in 1959 by buying out Moko's share in the joint enterprise, leading to a period of growth, both in sales and in size. Early models did not feature windows or interiors, were made entirely of metal, and were often about 2" (5 cm) in length. By 1968, Matchbox was the biggest-selling brand of small die-cast model cars worldwide.

1-A Road Roller, 1/64 scale, Introduced in 1953, deleted in 1954.

This is a British 1948 Aveling Barford Road Roller.

image

 

Not the first Matchbox, as Lesney had a small line of diecast before launching the Matchbox 75 range, but is close enough to be called the beginning of quality small scale models.

 

1a1
Road Roller 1a
s l1600
s l1600

 

 

1-B&C Road Roller, 1/64 scale, Introduced in 1954, deleted in 1958.

 

The 1-B was pale green while the 2-C was darker and a slightly different casting but both were of the 1953 Aveling Barford Diesel Road Roller.

image

 

Here is the Moko/Lesney issue.

 

Matchbox  1B Road Roller 1955 England
s l1600

 

s l1600

 

Catalogue page showing some early models.

 

1961 E 004 768x576

Ed Davis liked
Quote
Ed Davis
(@ed-davis)
Reputable Member
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 352
 

You sure take good care of your Matchbox models.  I had not seen a 1-A road roller.  Thanks for the pictures.

Ed Davis
Inverness, Illinois, USA


ReplyQuote
Jack Dodds
(@jack-dodds)
Famed Member
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 4052
 

Great pics David.  I have these as well.


ReplyQuote
David Green
(@david-green)
Famed Member
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 2908
Topic starter  

Over the next several weeks I hope to show you a number of these very early Moko/Lesney/Matchbox vehicles. After the first 5 or so, I may not follow number sequence. Please feel free to add models from this 75 Pre-Superfast series that you have in your collections.

 

2-A Muir Hill Site Dumper, 1/64 scale, Introduced in 1953, deleted in 1956.

Here is the full sized Muir Hill Site Dumper as used in about 1950.

Zr6cRqBORyWOBmF8kn4ROA
unnamed

 

Here is the Moko/Lesney first version.  Note the green wheels on the earliest version.

 

photos 47921194 43745309 53078812
1953 2A DUMPER

 

It was replaced by a slightly larger similar 2-B model. 2-B Muir Hill Site Dumper, 1/60 scale, Introduced in 1957, deleted in 1960.

The easiest way to tell 2-A from 2-B is that the 2-A has a gold grill while 2-B is green.

 

unnamed
s l1600
s l1600
s l1600

 

 

2-B Muir Hill Site Dumper, 1/64 scale, Introduced in 1961, deleted in 1967. This was the final Muir Hill model, a closed cab version.

 This came in several issues with and without decals. 

 

photos 33274182 80597430 95877696
s l1600
s l1600
s l1600
s l1600
s l1600

 


ReplyQuote
David Green
(@david-green)
Famed Member
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 2908
Topic starter  

3-A Cement Mixer, 1/66 scale, Introduced in 1953, deleted in 1960.

 

s l1600
s l1600

 

s l1600
s l1600

 

 Until the end of 1958, the Cement Mixer had orange wheels. These were changed to grey for 1959 and 1960.

 

image

 


ReplyQuote
Ed Davis
(@ed-davis)
Reputable Member
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 352
 

@david-green 

You could write a book about the history of Matchbox.

Ed Davis
Inverness, Illinois, USA


ReplyQuote
Jack Dodds
(@jack-dodds)
Famed Member
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 4052
 

I'm really enjoying these Matchbox posts David.


ReplyQuote
David Green
(@david-green)
Famed Member
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 2908
Topic starter  

3-B Bedford 7½ Ton Tipper, 1/85 scale, introduced in 1961 and deleted in 1967.

 

maxresdefault
Bedford TK truck 3519cc first reg August 1971

 

 

In the first year, 1961, this truck (lorry) had a grey cab and a maroon box. It initially had grey wheels which were shortly changed to black.

 

 

Image 2021 11 24 at 11.22 AM
Image 2021 11 25 at 10.47 AM
3B
Image 2021 11 24 at 11.23 AM (2)

 

 

Starting in 1962, the box was changed to red. The cab while remaining grey, varied in tone sometimes looking almost white.

 

 

Image 2021 11 25 at 10.48 AM

 

 

Another Catalogue page showing some early models.

 

98cc041d08638cc585549bb6b17a5c88

 


ReplyQuote
David Holcombe
(@d-m-holcombe)
Noble Member
Joined: 11 months ago
Posts: 1082
 

Great posts, David.  I'm aware of these and remember their popularity, but they never attracted me.  As I see yours and read your background information, I think I just may have missed some special models.   Keep them coming!

 


ReplyQuote
Ed Davis
(@ed-davis)
Reputable Member
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 352
 

@jack-dodds 

I agree with Jack.  Very enjoyable, these posts.

Ed Davis
Inverness, Illinois, USA


ReplyQuote
David Green
(@david-green)
Famed Member
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 2908
Topic starter  

 

68cbc1b2e0f2bed175027a8c30a39cf9

 

4-A Massey Harris Tractor, 1/75 scale, Introduced in 1953, deleted in 1956. This one is red with rear fenders.

 

 

4a4
B01yCjboQQKRKwQc2KqDoQ
Massey Harris Tractor 4a
MvGxGANTSyamlIWWdWDSmA
Xl70aX5VQhesFxB9Pdr5Yw
NR AwYprT5SY5z uNwwoPw

 

 

4-B Massey Harris Tractor, 1/75 scale, Introduced in 1957, deleted in 1959. This one did not have rear fenders.

 

 

s l1600
s l1600
s l1600
s l500
s l500
s l1600

 


ReplyQuote
David Green
(@david-green)
Famed Member
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 2908
Topic starter  

 

147d5dd6be1449562b607f487dee9b60  motorcycle posters motorcycle art
Modern Postcard TRIUMPH Motorcycle Sidecar Repro Advert

 

4-C Triumph Motorcycle and Sidecar, 1/42 scale, Introduced in 1960, deleted in 1966.

 

 

s l1600
s l1600

 

s l1600
s l1600

 

s l1600
s l1600

 


ReplyQuote
Jack Dodds
(@jack-dodds)
Famed Member
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 4052
 

I have this one too and love it.


ReplyQuote
Jack Dodds
(@jack-dodds)
Famed Member
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 4052
 
Posted by: @david-green

 

68cbc1b2e0f2bed175027a8c30a39cf9

 

4-A Massey Harris Tractor, 1/75 scale, Introduced in 1953, deleted in 1956. This one is red with rear fenders.

 

 

4a4
B01yCjboQQKRKwQc2KqDoQ
Massey Harris Tractor 4a
MvGxGANTSyamlIWWdWDSmA
Xl70aX5VQhesFxB9Pdr5Yw
NR AwYprT5SY5z uNwwoPw

 

 

4-B Massey Harris Tractor, 1/75 scale, Introduced in 1957, deleted in 1959. This one did not have rear fenders.

 

 

s l1600
s l1600
s l1600
s l500
s l500
s l1600

 

I have this one but not the no fenders version.  It is very close to the 1:1 scale tractor I used for years as a kid on our farm.  It was a 1953 Massey Harris Colt.


ReplyQuote
Ed Davis
(@ed-davis)
Reputable Member
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 352
 

@david-green 

I remember the tractor back in the 1950s.  I never knew about the motorcycle.  Matchbox sure had a great variety of models.

Ed Davis
Inverness, Illinois, USA


ReplyQuote
Page 1 / 2
Share: