Ramsay's British Diecast 15th Edition: Matchbox

18 May 2015
imports_CCGB_ramsays15matchbox_13306.jpg Ramsay's British Diecast 15th Edition: Matchbox
A guide to identify Matchbox models, plus some rare variations worth thousands. ...
Ramsay's British Diecast 15th Edition: Matchbox Images
The company was founded in 1947 by the unrelated Leslie and Rodney Smith, who combined their names to form ‘Lesney’ Products Ltd. They were soon joined by Jack Odell – a recognised diecasting expert. The most famous of the various early products was the Coronation Coach. During the 1950s the company developed the highly successful Matchbox 1-75 and Models of Yesteryear ranges. Today, certain models in the 1-75 series are highly sought after and fetch high prices at auction. Following a difficult trading period Lesney Products Ltd was bought in 1982 by the Universal Toy Co of Hong Kong.

Matchbox model identification:

Model Number is always cast into the base, chassis or body. Obvious exceptions are the early models which were not numbered. ‘Lesney’ is cast into all issues between 1953 and 1982.

Matchbox’ or ‘Matchbox Series’ is shown on the base or chassis of all issues after 1965. All issues after 1957 had the model name on the base or chassis. Exceptions include those without a base (e.g. No. 24 Excavator).

Suspension and windows. Car models were fitted with windows after 1961 and suspension after 1965.

Baseplates are metal castings until the late 1970s when plastic bases introduced. From 1983 they are marked ‘Made in Macau’.

Wheels were metal castings on early models and were gradually changed to grey, silver or black plastic. Superfast wheels introduced in late 1960s and issues from 1968-69 may be found with either type. Novelties such as ‘Laser Wheels’ were introduced in the late 1980s. ‘Rolamatics’ were introduced in the 1970s having working parts that were operated by pushing (see the Superfast section for these).
Model descriptions. This catalogue tries to give original maker’s description of model names and colours but early Matchbox listings are known to be inaccurate graphically. Maker’s catalogue photographs are often taken of mock-ups months before production starts while model designs become changed before release.

Dimensions refer to the greatest overall measurement (usually the length).

MB5 London Bus (52mm)

Green body, metal wheels, gold radiator, white/green, 'Buy Matchbox Series' paper labels. Australian issue in Moko 'B' box. Guide price £4,000 to £5,000.

MB13d Dodge Wreck Truck (1965)

Green cab, yellow body, grey hook, 'BP' decal. Guide price £4,000 to £4,500.

28c Jaguar Mk. (1964)

With grey plastic wheels and without 'Matchbox Series' on base. Guide price £2,500 to £3,500.

30b Magirus-Deutz Crane Lorry (1961)

Light brown body, red or orange crane, grey plastic wheels. Guide price £4,000 to £5,500.

34a Volkswagen 15cwt Van (1957)

Blue body, 'Matchbox International Express' decals, with knobbly black plastic wheels, domed axles. Guide price £2,000 to £3,000.

35c Merryweather Fire Engine (1968)

Silver body, boxed. This was one of the extremely rare Regular Wheels models released during the transition to Superfast in 1968/69. Guide price £4,500 to £5,500.

45a Vauxhall Victor (1958)

Red body, no dashboard casting bar, metal wheels, B Type Moko box. Guide price £3,000 to £4,000.

46a Morris Minor 1000 (1958)

Tan body, no windows, metal wheels. Guide price £2,500 to £3,500.

53c Ford Zodiac Mk.IV (1968)

Light metallic green body, black plastic wheels. Guide price £3,000 to £3,500.

75b Ferrari Berlinetta (1965)

Metallic gold, ivory interior, clear windows, silver base, black plastic tyres. Guide price £2,000 to £2,500.

You can order your copy of Ramsay's British Diecast Model Toys Catalogue 15th Edition online or call 01778 392006.
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