Model Car

1965 (manufactured)
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Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Matchbox cars were developed by Lesney products in the early 1950s. The brand name came from the boxes that the die-cast cars were sold in, which resembled matchboxes in size and shape. The idea came from Lesney co-owner Jack Odell, whose daughter was only allowed to bring toys to school that could fit into a matchbox, so he crafted a scaled-down version of an exisiting Lesney car. This gave Matchbox toys a niche market, which grew exponentially during the golden age of British die-cast toys, in the 1960s, where Dinky, Matchbox and Corgi sold in millions around the world.
By the 1970s Mattel's Hot Wheels had taken the market in America and began to encroach on sales in England due to aggressive marketing campaigns. Although Matchbox remained in competition with Hot Wheels, difficult economic conditions in England led to Lesney's collapse, soon after Meccano's Dinky and just before Mettoy's Corgi brand in the early 1980s. Matchbox toys are still produced, under Mattel's ownership, but they are marketed more as a nostalgia brand. The lines from the 1950s and 60s are highly sought after and with original packaging are very collectible.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 4 parts.

  • Model Car
  • Model Car
  • Model Car
  • Model Car
Brief Description
Matchbox car, 42 Studebaker Station Wagon, Lesney, England, 1965
Production typeMass produced
Credit line
Given by Raymond Harris
Subjects depicted
Summary
Matchbox cars were developed by Lesney products in the early 1950s. The brand name came from the boxes that the die-cast cars were sold in, which resembled matchboxes in size and shape. The idea came from Lesney co-owner Jack Odell, whose daughter was only allowed to bring toys to school that could fit into a matchbox, so he crafted a scaled-down version of an exisiting Lesney car. This gave Matchbox toys a niche market, which grew exponentially during the golden age of British die-cast toys, in the 1960s, where Dinky, Matchbox and Corgi sold in millions around the world.

By the 1970s Mattel's Hot Wheels had taken the market in America and began to encroach on sales in England due to aggressive marketing campaigns. Although Matchbox remained in competition with Hot Wheels, difficult economic conditions in England led to Lesney's collapse, soon after Meccano's Dinky and just before Mettoy's Corgi brand in the early 1980s. Matchbox toys are still produced, under Mattel's ownership, but they are marketed more as a nostalgia brand. The lines from the 1950s and 60s are highly sought after and with original packaging are very collectible.
Collection
Accession Number
B.175:1 to 4-2011

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record createdFebruary 29, 2012
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