The Matchbox Models from the Pre-1969 era

Photos of the Matchbox Regular Wheels by Numerical Listing

This page also contains pictures of the regular wheels models that were "transitioned" into the Superfast era of 1970. These are models that the baseplate was modified to accept the new "Superfast" speed wheels made to compete directly with the Mattel "Hot Wheels" line introduced in 1968.

Please note that this page will be an ongoing work-in-progress. If you have a better picture of a model than I, or if you can provide a model or variant that I do not have, PLEASE, By all means, send it to me with you permission to use it.

MatchboxPics.jpg (234713 bytes)

Remember to click on a picture to see a larger, detailed version!

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A Numerical Photoguide to the Early (Pre-1969) Matchbox

Numbers 1 through 5

These cars originate from about 1953 and go into the 1970's.

(Remember to click on a picture to see a larger, detailed version!) There are several casting and color variants that are not shown here for each model.

 

Matchbox #1

http://www.mboxcommunity.com/Photoguide/MB01AandBox.JPG (113627 bytes)      http://www.mboxcommunity.com/Photoguide/MB01Roller.JPG (114269 bytes)

 It was 1953, and the Lesney Products, "Matchbox" concept was born. The left shows a #1A Diesel Road Roller with the second box type (known as "B" type) from either 1953 or 1954. On the right is a #1B Road Roller issued from 1955 to 1957.

http://www.mboxcommunity.com/Photoguide/MB01D(DEbox).jpg (51263 bytes)

Here we have a nice picture of a #1D Diesel Road Roller with the type "D" and "E" boxes. This variation was produced from 1962 until 1967.

MB01MBTruck.JPG (111067 bytes)     MB01MBTruckwSF.JPG (93512 bytes)

After a successful run of Road Rollers, Matchbox introduced the #1E Mercedes Benz Lorry (right picture) in approximately 1968 pictured with the "E" type box. (Yanks call a tarpaulin-covered truck a "truck"...and a tipper a "dump truck"!) Models with this casting, modified to include the Superfast wheels, were produced for about ten years in different liveries and military variations.

 

Matchbox #2

This is a collection of #2 Matchbox Toys from about 1957 to about 1978.

MB02Dumper.JPG (111871 bytes)     MB02Muir.jpg (97716 bytes)

Above left, there is a #2B Site Dumper. On the above right, we have the #2C Muir Hill Dumper introduced in 1961. Here it is pictured with a "D" type box.

MB02Trailer.JPG (89293 bytes)     http://www.mboxcommunity.com/Photoguide/MB01and02Family.JPG (131141 bytes)

When the Lesney Company introduced the Matchbox #1E Mercedes Benz Lorry (previous section), they paired it with a trailer. The trailer here is shown with the last regular wheels box: an "F" type . This trailer even had a hitch on the rear so that another trailer could be towed behind the truck (lorry)! Models with this casting, modified to include the Superfast wheels were produced for about ten years in different liveries and military variations to be paired with the #1 MB Truck. This trailer was eventually paired with other models such as the Mercedes Benz Unimog truck in the background of the right hand picture.

 

Matchbox #3

This is a collection of #3 Matchbox Toys from about 1953 to about 1978.

MB03CementMixer.JPG (134799 bytes)     MB03BedfordTipper.JPG (130688 bytes)

MB03C(bcd)-1.jpg (48374 bytes)

 The left picture shows a #3A Cement Mixer from the mid to late 1950's. On the right is a #3B Bedford 7 Ton Tipper issued 1961 to 1967. This is one of my more memorable toys as a child. Steve Beckett supplied a picture of his three very nice Bedford Variants. Notice the difference in the maroon and red bed variants.

http://www.mboxcommunity.com/Photoguide/MB03CBenzAmb.jpg (124556 bytes)     OffToTheClinic.JPG (52710 bytes)

http://www.mboxcommunity.com/Photoguide/MB03BenzBinzAmbs.JPG (94692 bytes)

 For 1968, Lesney introduced the #3C Mercedes Benz "Binz" Ambulance. This model can have either labels or decals on the door with the red cross. Don't forget about the little poor soul on the stretcher! It is a casting that continued into the 1970's in Superfast form as shown in the lower picture, but without an opening rear hatch for the patient. 

 

Matchbox #4

This is a collection of #4 Matchbox Toys from about 1953 to to 2000.

http://www.mboxcommunity.com/Photoguide/MB04AMFTractor.JPG (127453 bytes)       http://www.mboxcommunity.com/Photoguide/MB03Triumph.JPG (80802 bytes)

MB04C(d).jpg (50645 bytes)

Here we have a #4A Massey Harris Tractor with cast fenders, metal wheels, and crimped axles from 1954. Note the early "Script" MOKO Box! Next is the #4C Triumph with Sidecar made from 1960 to 1967.

http://www.mboxcommunity.com/Photoguide/MB04DDodge.JPG (98451 bytes)     http://www.mboxcommunity.com/Photoguide/CattleTrucks.JPG (124091 bytes)

Finally, we have the #4D Dodge Stake Truck issued about 1967. The picture on the right is the beginning of a long relationship Matchbox collectors have with this 35 year old casting. It seems as fresh and "modern" as it did back in the mid-1960's! In the center of the left-hand picture is the regular wheels version. To the right is a Superfast version from late in the Superfast era. Then, in 1999 the rear left-hand yellow model with the red stakes was #88 of 100 models. For the year 2000, the left-hand front model with the blue cab was #50 of 100.

Matchbox #5

This is a collection of #5 Matchbox Toys from about 1957 to 1969 or so.

http://www.mboxcommunity.com/Photoguide/MB05B.JPG (98029 bytes)      http://www.mboxcommunity.com/Photoguide/MB05BCloser.JPG (218131 bytes)

This is an example of the #5B London Bus. Note the detail evident on the close-up: the cast "No. 5" on the front placard area and the crimped axles on the gray plastic wheels.

MB05D.JPG (104802 bytes)   http://www.mboxcommunity.com/Photoguide/MB05DCloser.JPG (230056 bytes)

Here there are two examples of the #5D London Bus from sometime after 1965.

http://www.mboxcommunity.com/Photoguide/DoubleDeckers.JPG (124892 bytes)

The London Buses were a continual favorite with Matchbox collectors through the years. Later the Double Decker Buses were number 74, as the "Esso Extra" example on the left side. For the year 2000, there was a #74 London Bus again! (left-hand rear)

  GO TO Numbers 6 through 10!

  GO TO Numbers 11 through 16!

  GO TO Numbers 17 through 20!

  GO TO Numbers 21 through 25!

Stay tuned for more updates as they are posted!

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2000 By Mark Curtis