What you should know about MATCHBOX

The story began in 1940 when two former school friends and namesake, Leslie Smith and Rodney Smith, who in the Second World War, the Royal British Army served as a soldier met again and agreed that if an end to the fighting in our own factory founding as their own business they wanted to start, so 1947 June 19, founded their company called Lesney Products. The name of the company's two founders created firstname sequencing of a lie-LES-and Rod Ney from. At that time it was not clear exactly what will be produced. The two men then also individually worked in different places, as the new company has not yet made a profit and making a living either. Leslie Smith, a certification company received orders for work, where he was employed for several years, while Rodney Smith worked at the Diecast Tools and Machine, which dealt with the company's manufacturing and injection molding machine parts. From a company associated with them later John W. Odell, who was all "Jack" and a true expert in injection molding work with. Smith purchased a wedge-molding machine and a pub in Edmonton, London, which "Rifleman" was the name. Since then, the trio of small injection molded parts started manufacturing here.


In 1948, a result of other artisans who produced games, at Lesney also decided to try to address some of the games they can be manufactured . The first of these vehicles was Aveling Bradford diesel road roller . The products were sold on the spot , but later , at Christmas 1952, when some of the circulated -title ( also since then has been discontinued) néhányabbikába Woolworth stores . The wholesalers rather looked down on the company's products , " fair bóvlinak " billed them , but the kids love it a new kind of games , it received new orders. In these times of Lesney Products they were still somewhat immature : In addition to movable metal such as animal figurines . Letter Opener is made ​​or horgászcsaliprést (!) as well.


By 1953, however, it became clear success of wheeled vehicles, such as those manufactured only from that point. They made the Queen's coronation carriage versions of the game, which became the best-known early products. According to legend, at the same time the Lesney company's co-owner, Jack Odell is the daughter of the policy, only a game vihetett in school, which is a matchbox size is not exceeded, so Odell manufactured fed her a small tractor, which was later mass-produced 75 series starting point. Later, as the small cars each year has been reported in 75 pieces, they were among those that are manufactured for a number of years, possibly with different colors released, while others were only available in one or two years.

Since Lesney not addressed advertising, they contacted an agency for this purpose, which Moses Kohnstam company, "Moko" happened to be. The company's packaging, storage, promotion and consulting business specializing in services and in return for a few percent commission on the profits. But the cardboard boxes into which toys are packaged outside the game picture and name of the name Moko is housed. The Moko Lesney agreed on the distributions until the Lesney Moko became the sole distributor, and when in 1953 registered the "Matchbox" márkavédjegyet, which dates from the time of the Matchbox, Moko was a 50% share in it. But then Rodney Smith left the t-Lesney, and moved to Australia, and Leslie Smith and Odell managed the company. When Smith wanted to continue to expand in the Far East disagreement occurred between him among the leading Moko Kohnstam heir, Richard Kohnstam why ultimately Smith 1959 and the acquisition of Moko.


Kohnstam then founded a new company : RICO . Then it appeared the first Matchbox catalog as well. the beginning of the sixties did the traditional supply of small Matchbox " 1-75 " hard and bigger, " Major Pack ' series' . (See below.)

In America, Matchbox distribution from 1954 belonged to Fred Bronner certain businessman who became the sole importer end of the decade , and by 1969 his company, " Fred Bronner Corporation" , " Lesney Products Corporation " -né formed .


But the same place at the same time something happened fateful: the US company Mattel in 1968 introduced the new small car called "Hot Wheels", which was quite different wheels and suspension. The tűtengely and chrome plate type, more aesthetic wheel - as it turned out - revolutionized the small car sector. The new components not only have nicer cars, but they were able to quickly and smoothly roll, like they could feel like a racetrack. The previous Matchboxnál (also) used a thick metal axle, often bulky, difficult to rolling plastic and metal wheels that were unable to do so, all of a sudden become very outdated. The Matchbox not do was put up a fight in the competition, and typical of the old sixties' regular wheels "to build Compatible - which in English" gombkeréknek "calling the jargon - forever banish the products, and replaced with a new one. So this time, 69-70 was started in the Matchbox "Superfast-era". The wheel change, however, was so successful that the tűtengelyes Matchbox, more cars were rolling rugóztatott probably the smoothest, better and faster than the Hot Wheels as well. This determined the Matchbox over the next twelve years. Many end-sixties, button-wheel drive is new Superfast wheels give. Starting in 1971, it was now shown photographs with graphics instead of the previously illustrated catalogs drawings in the range.

In addition to the state and so on small cars made largish proportions vehicles, for example. truck, harvester, etc. They distinguished between "Major Pack" in the name of simple small cars. Later, in the early to mid sixties around the Major Packnél larger vehicles, separately as standard, known as "King Size" appeared. They are called simply "K" also salts, especially since this is the official model their initials: K #. often they have been small independent cars, vehicles larger scale (eg. cars) also appeared Among them, plastic rims and tires. There were cars that existed both in size, but most are only found in one of them. After around 1970, "change a wheel" in the K-many also received new wheels and so they 'Super King' s after Superfast. Along with a lot of K-range is expanded ( "Speed ​​King", "Battle Kings"), but a small estate of 75 never exceeded, it was more than their smaller.


The Matchbox early seventies, perhaps because of the zeitgeist, especially all kinds of vivid colors, lavish, futuristic dream cars and prototypes, "dragster were" started manufacturing. Szériakocsi- the sixties, mostly British production car-manufacturing relegated, except for a few types. Several previous series car for example, is now "melting tuning" dragster, it has been reported in version. Would you recommend K also had a couple of these cars, but there could be more szériateher- and passenger cars to find. Around 1975-76, this orgy gradually began to decay following, until finally they largely again 78-79 from 'real' cars accounted for the bulk of the supply. In these times of Matchbox much more to manufactured: racetrack, dolls, games of skill and skill development, etc.. Unfortunately, by the end of the decade, the circumstances are not favorable for the Lesney. By 1980, Lesney was a serious situation because of the recession earlier after various difficulties of the decade (fires, floods, strikes), but bank loan temporarily spared from collapse. Having looked at the Asian Universal Toys in the company, the acquisition target. For 1982 finally took place on June 11, when the Lesney more than fifteen million dollars in debt in his neck went bankrupt. The total Matchbox empire in Asia with production and everything else, Universal Toys has been, where it featured Matchbox International Ltd. name. ALesney as "kisautócég" ceased to exist, and thus ended the era of British Matchbox.

After Lesney Jack Odell, also he founded his own company, reversing last name: it became the "Lledo."


They then made products in Macau, although the mid-eighties, there were products made in England. Most of the Macanese Matchbox Lesney's quality fell short of stellar, although a couple of years in Hungary and Bulgaria production models were better quality than they can, but you could say a bit boring cuts are made. By now fully international fleet made up of Matchbox offerings: European, American, Asian, and a few "prototype". The one-color painting is gone, as the previous decor sticker, since it has the technology to be able to paint the cars as they wanted. But this little horse cleared the other side: the production of the era was characterized by the cars starting numbers, stripes, inscriptions, or decorate with flame, thus further eroding the cars in the atmosphere compared to the old ones. Lesney also has produced one of the era's legendary car for a few ( "Super GT") on quality but they often fall far short of the standard pieces even, not to mention the classic darabokéról, "Matchbox" logo in spite of alvázukon. By the end of the eighties and the nineties of Matchbox it is hardly resembled the former British toy manufacturers, a lot of gaudy, "mutant" means a product, for example. the "Con-Necta ablest." The Universal Toys in 1992, the acquisition of Tyco Toys, Tyco and Mattel in 1997, and has been a famous brand in the end the great American rival. At that time they abolished the K-many plant.


The Matchbox in the early 2000s, is not really made his mark as he refused a license fee to pay for the car manufacturers for some time, so caricatured, bulky, unrecognizable, and so nondescript cars produced until 2004-2005 over again begun genuine branded cars manufactured and in recent times are a classic, cozy and they have never previously made cuts in the production line. The VW Thing SUV, for example, in the seventies, which was only a prototype, and in 2008 published the offer. More recently the car "retro" boxed edition is launched, so some of them were available for the first time. Some of the larger cars that were previously exclusive series available abroad, the "resurrected" K-series and has been reported to also wrapped them in old-fashioned, retro box limited edition. Matchbox currently belongs to Mattelhez, and their products are made in China and Thailand.


Packing boxes and logo

The Matchbox features included in the packaging. What they had in common, the - referring to the name - gyufás box of the character, especially more than the first, which is still in the ignition cover on the box imitated, and many of them skatulyaszerűen is open. Later, when the cars are a little bigger and packaging they have become a tabbed box into, and it has long been the most widely used packaging, which (in most cases) the car cozy drawing was seen for the first time available, then the Superfastos times speeding and then standing back position. The boxes are also a wide range saw the light, where appropriate, a model is made of many, especially those that were in production for a long time. The boxes from the beginning until the mid-seventies, the yellow-blue color scheme dominated, then they are made in different colors, it was just red-blue-white bands on their sides on all of them. The first Superfastok yet received the final, revised wheel button box, then became its own box. The cars of 1959 are now fully developed "blister pack" was also sold, that is a laminated plastic card stock bubble, it is still often along with the box - but the distribution box at the time was widespread. In the case of K-many they were in use until the end of the sixties in a closed box, with window boxes and then changed the packaging but the box sides and back of the artwork were even then. Since the early eighties, the change of ownership after the small than in one fell swoop, the larger ones more slowly disappeared from the grafikás boxes, replacing them with small cars also windows, sealed and given a uniform boxes, except America, where it continues to sold-eared box, right nondescript, closed boxes them. Today, except for some special series only used blistereket.

The " Matchbox " appears initially written in simple block letters , followed by the definitive logo in 1971, it appeared for the first time , it is just the characteristic italics , which are boxed in a few years , first on a yellow background with red and pink , and later , from tulajváltástól white background with red and yellow trim. The inscription was no red than the first frame, the latter became black. Thus, a committed around 2001 , it is not very well done, except for a small " modernizing" kitérőtől the logo is almost unchanged.


Remarkable series:

• 1-75 (later Miniatures (MB #, Superfast and 1 to 75 numbered).) - A series of traditional small cars.

o Rolamatics: 1-75 in the seventies on a few models that are gurítva have any moving or rotating function.

o Strakers: 1-75 also seventies-year streak in some of the models that have been given a striking color striping.

• Accessories (A #) - Accessories.

• Models of Yesteryear (Y #, # YY- later) - Oldtimer first forty years of the 20th century.

• Major Packs (M- #) - larger vehicles, stocks in the fifties and sixties.

• King Size (or later Super Kings Speed ​​Kings;. # K) - In short, the "K" -Many. A larger series after Major Pack. The subsequent "Super" refers to trucks and equipment on the "Speed" passenger cars.

• Scorpions - non-metallic, functional models with rechargeable batteries.

• Sky Busters (SB #) - Airplanes.

• Two Packs (900 series or later Hitch 'n Haul; TP #) - Towed vehicle or trailer released series.

• Battle Kings (# K, K-101 onwards) - A lot of military K-series.

• Sea Kings (# K, K-301 onwards) - Ships.

• Adventure 2000 (# K, K-2001)

• Convoy (# CY-) - Small trucks.

• Dinky, Dinky Collection (# DY-)

In addition, a special series made in Japan and the USA as well.