Vintage Matchbox cars
Vintage Matchbox cars are a brand of collectible model cars.
Matchbox are a brand commonly known as producers of die-cast models. They are often associated with a fierce rivalry with Hot Wheels for their model car range. They were first introduced in 1953 by Lesney Products, later to be owned by Mattel. Their packaging was similar to that of a matchbox, hence the name of the company.
Lesney co-owner Jack Odell sealed the company's future when he produced a toy for his daughter that, due to her school’s policy, had to fit inside a matchbox. The green and red-roller he made for her was the first toy of the scale 1:75 that made up part of the miniature range. The company first saw success after large sales of their model Queen Elizabeth II's coronation coach.
The models that were made were of surprisingly high detail, which was achieved by taking photographs of the full scale model and sometimes, even getting the original blueprint and replicating this. Matchbox was quickly established as a household name.
Guide For Collectors
Matchbox is available to purchase, auction and sell on many Internet websites. An example of one of these websites is www.toycarcollector.com. On this website there are many examples of sold cars, such as a 1955 green Road Roller that sold for $79.
Rarity of a model can depend on many factors. Lots of models can be produced in small quantities or they may be a discontinued item. It is also possible that if a model has a particular shading too it, or a certain aspect of individuality, then it would be worth more than that of its average peer. To gain a higher price for their items, they would sometimes do this purposely. However, it could also be down to the fact the model proved unpopular, meaning they would stop being made, causing an eventual rise in price of this product.
Early Matchbox products were made from solely metal, this later changed to the wheels being plastic. It's feasible to say that the solely metal ones are worth a higher price.
Notable Auction Sales
The most expensive Matchbox car ever sold, in an auction or otherwise, is a 1955 Lesney dumper truck which was made to be used as a guide for a new range of larger models which were never produced. The model sold for £10,020 at an auction in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England, and was bought by a phone-in bidder whose identity is still unknown. The model is said to be one of only six models ever made, and the only one still in existence, which explains the high fee.
The previous highest price was a 1966 Opel Diplomat which sold for $9,000 to an anonymous bidder, auction house unknown. Another extremely notable sale is that of a 1968 Mercedes Benz 250SL number mb27. it sold for £4,200 - the reason for its high price was that it was one of only a very few models to be made in a particular shade of green. A Vauxhall Victor of the same year also sold for £3,000, at the same auction house, Vectis auctions England in 1991.
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