Friday, July 31, 2009


The Lamborghini issued by Lesney in the Matchbox range was the Lamborghini Countach (27e). When released in 1974 it was painted yellow and had an opening rear engine cover to reveal a detailed silver-plated engine. A No.3 label was positioned between the front headlights. The base was unpainted and the windows were purple.

The main body colour was changed in 1975 from yellow to red and, although shades of red exist, this color scheme was retained until the model was deleted from the range (to be replaced by the Swing-Wing Jet in 1981). The interior colours of light and dark grey, yellow, white and tan is easy to distinguish. The windows are subject to shades but the main colours are purple, red ,a mber, blue, smoky grey and clear.

When the label was replaced by tampo printing a lime colour became by far the most common although a number of models exist with green decoration.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


The Matchbox Lamborghini Mazal (20d) was one of the firat three Superfast models when it was released in the latter half of 1969. The models for general release was painted metallic red after several colour colour trial versions including one in metallic lime green. The cream interior common to all ‘1-75’ range models always appears to be yellow because of windows which are amber tinted. A few models had silver grey painted bases but most were left unpainted.
The metallic red colour scheme soon gave way to pink and subsequently to orange yellow versions.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


This delightful series continues with the 1911 Maxwell Roadster, beautifully decorated and finished in red with gold trim. The result is a very attractive model. Buy it now

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


This is from The Dinky Collection, being the Cadillac Coupe de Ville, in pink rear light clusters picked out in silver, with the lights in red, and improvment to the rear bumper. The colour scheme looks quite stunning, the model being set off by fine paintwork detailing, of both interior and exterior. See more

Sunday, July 26, 2009


The DUKW (55a) was base upon a military vehicle which had been built in the USA, but which was used extensively by the British army in World War Two. The real vehicle was a 2.5 ton GMC Amphibian Truck which had been a secret weapon until June 1943. Its purpose was to transport supplies and soldiers from ships to the coast. It proved to be of great benefit during the Normandy landings and featured prominently in D-Day Commemorative television programmes. After the war it was put to good use in a variety of circumstances, not least for rescues in times of flood.

The phototype actual vehicle took just 38 days to complete and 'DUKW' were its code letters. It was known as a 'DUCK' works in the USA and by the soliders who used it in action during the invasion of Sicily. The Matchbox model had a smaller scale body when compared with the rest of the army vehicles in the '1-75' range and perhaps because of this it did not sell as well as the larger scale military vehicles.

Metal wheels were fitted to the first released to the first releases but subsequently either grey or black plastic wheels were used. It was the last Matchbox military model to be fitted with metal wheels. There are no casting variations with the DUKW and the only three recorded variations centre upon the three types of wheels. Only the black plastic wheels were fitted with rounded axles. The matal and grey plastic wheels always featured crimped axles. --Model Collector


The Saracen Personnel Carrier (54a) was a model of the standard armoured carrier used by the Royal Armoured Corps and the infantry. To enhance play value, the model featured a revolving turret. The only body variation involved the antenna base on the upper left side of the body, which looks like astep. Because of a damaged die it is missing on later models.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Each year the members of the Corgi Collector Club are entitled to purchase a special model: the year of 1997, it is the Thames Trader box van in the 'house' colours of pale blue and yellow. The model is suitably inscribled with the Corgi logo, and 'Collector 1997'


The Ford GT90 Concept Car has not been otherwise modelled, so it is good to see this version from Maisto in 1/18th scale. The unusual shape has been perfectly captured--note particularly the doors, which are a good fit, and indeed need to be given the overall look of the car.

The model displays a number of other workable features, such as steering, suspension, opening bonnet (to review a fully detailed engine), adjustable wind deflectors and adjustable seats. As one would expect, the lamps are made of plastic, the wheels are authentic, and the Ford badge appears appropriately positioned.

Whether the car will go beyond the 'concept' stage only time will tell, but as a piece of future motoring history, this model should be in every enthusiast's collection. See more.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


The wreck truck is based on the Model “A” Ford. Often a small garage requiring a breakdown vehicle would use the chassis of an old large car, fitting it out with a simple angle iron hoist and hand operated winch. Many of these vehicles lasted many years in service. This wreck truck was powered by a 4 cyl. 2 lt. engine wheel base 8’8” (2.64m) See more.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


The Volkswagen split rear screen Beetle takes on a new guise, in a fire livery, the red and white being set off by the blue roof lamp, and the message Feuerwehr on the sides. An unusual addition to the range.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


The ‘Beatles Yellow Submarine’, being based on the feature length Yellow Submarine cartoon, featured comic caricature figures of John, Paul, George and Ringo beneath opening front and rear hatches, and a group of four large pericopes that turned as the vessel rolled on its hidden wheels. Early versions were authentic in having one yellow and one white hatch with trime picked out in red and the trim omitted, but overall this 128mm model was a faithful replica.

The last of the Yellow Submarine reproductions, BT78211, is still on sale today. See more The Beatles Collection.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


This is a series of model in celebration of The Beatles. The Bedford VAL Coach will represent a vehicle used by The Beatles during tours, whereupon they would often become covered with graffiti - messages from fans. With two white metal figures of fans. See more The Beatles Collection.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


The memory can play strange tricks. The third of the Beatles models is the AEC Routemaster bus in Liverpool Corporation livery. Enthusiasts know that back in the 60s and 70s the Routemaster was a strictly London-only bus, but don't blame Corgi. There was an insistence from certain people that Routemasters ran in Liverpool, so Corgi had to produced its Routemaster in Liverpool's colours. Of course, the Leyland Atlantean would have been far more authentic.

However, since this series is to celebrate The Beatles, few will probably worry much about the actual bus chosen. The destination is, of course, Penny Lane, and the registration number is 'BEAT 1'. On the side are advertisements which we believe are shots from A Hard Day's Night.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Each year the Corgi Collector Club provides its members with a special model. For 1996 the chosen model is a Land Rover, using a casing that has not been employed by Corgi for some time. Indeed the opportunity has been taken to improve the mould. Finished in green, the model carries the Corgi logo and year ‘1996’ on the bonnet, number plates of CCC96, and plastic headlights. Perhaps the chance should have been taken of tempo printing (or adding by transfer) the familiar Land Rover badge. Shop here

Monday, July 13, 2009


The Volkswagen Concept Car of 1994 is certainly an unusual looking vehicle, the shape of which may not appeal to all. However, the Minichamps model perfectly captures the shape of this car, fully portraying the fairly basic interior and the very curved exterior lines.

Two versions have been produced, one a saloon, the other a cabriolet. Both reveal the usual Minichamps attention to detail, including the seperate door handles and windscreen wipers, and the authentic looking head and rear lights. See more.


The BMC 1800 Berlina Aerodinamica, to give it the correct title, was an extremely handsome concept car from 1967. As the name indicates, it was designed by Pininfarina, and was actually a serious contender to replace the Austin 1800 as BMC’s flagship four-door family saloon. The model of the 1800 Pininfarina is not exactly common; in fact, this Matchbox miniature appears to be the only one.

The model featured opening front doors. Initially, it was painted a lovely metallic gold colour, with white interior, clear windows and an unpainted base and headlights. Examples produced after 1972 were painted orange, and could vary from a light peach colour through to a very vivid orange. Early models had narrow wheels, while later ones had thick wheels and larger wheel arch cutouts to accommodate them.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Smallest vehicle in The Showman's Range is the Morris 1000 van, which comes along as publicity for Carter's Steam Fair. The pleasingly decorated van includes posters for future venues at Hammersmith and Bracjnell. A separate carousel horse is supplied to be fitted in the roof of the van. As with the other models in the range, this is supplied with a card kit to help build up a fun fair. This time the kit builds into a seafood stall.


The revolutionary Morris Minor (the prototype was called Mosquito) was launched at the Earls Court Motor Show on 20 September, 1948.It was the work of a team led by Alec Issigonis, who later designed the Mini. Sir Alec was really proud of his participation in designing the Morris Minor. He considered it as being a vehicle which managed to combine many of the luxuries and conveniences of a good motor car with a price suitable for the working classes. The Morris Minor, when compared with competitor products in the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s, excelled as a roomy vehicle with superior cornering / handling characteristics. See more

Friday, July 10, 2009


It was and still is a familiar sight. A sleepy village in Yorkshire, no more than a hamlet with a string of homes, a post office, general store, a church and a pub called “The Lady and the Swan.” For as long as anyone can remember, a horse-drawn cart would come periodically into town, drive up to the beautifully carved sign advertising the pub, and deliver its casks of wine and kegs of porter. Yet this day is different, for suddenly there are no horses pulling the car-although a gaggle of excited children and dogs is following the chugging and hissing wagon. And, instead of transporting wines, it’s filled with supplies for making repairs to the railroad. It is, of course, a steam-powered wagon, which thrived during an era when, steam-powered engines were everywhere, infusing the world with a sense of excitement and optimism for the future. Now, a 1917 steam-powered wagon, built by the Yorkshire Patent Steam Wagon Co. and marked with the emblem of the Great Western Railroad, is precisely re-created in a replica crafted by Matchbox Collectibles exclusively for the Age of Steam II Collection. Shop here


The Ford name is as venerable as any in the history of automobiles. And, almost from the start, Henry Ford’s Model A and Model T vehicles were adapted for a wide variety of commercial used. As the century moved on and technology and engineering advanced. Ford continued to develop fine, rugged trucks along with its impressive array of automobiles. He Ford trucks of the ‘40s are considered by many to be most beautiful Fords ever. The company had retained the same size it offered in 1939—the half-ton, three-quarter-ton and one-ton trucks, but Ford greatly changed the styling. In 1940, the design was based on Ford’s automobiles and resulted in a handsome line of trucks. The hood was restyled, the grille echoed that of the ’39 Ford Deluxe automobile and the cab was given a major makeover. A one-piece, stamped-steel front panel combined the cowl, firewall, windshield frame and top. Aside from its visual appeal, this design simplified the assembly process. Other changes included a cowl-mounted windshield wiper (in previous years the wiper was mounted above the windshield), a redesigned instrument cluster, a two-spoke steering wheel and more comfortable seats. Under the hood, Food continued with its V8-60 and V8-85 engines. In addition, a 239-cubic-inch V8 engine that could produce 95 horsepower was also used in some pickups. A classic from the time it rolled off the assembly line and even more so today, the 1940 Ford Pickup Truck is now recreated in an authentic detail, your 1940 Ford Pickup is produced by—and available only from Matchbox Collectibles.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Imagine a Fiat 600 with the bonnet cut off and an extra passenger section mounted amidships and you have, in essence, the Fiat Multipla. Introduced in 1955 it was produced until 1964. With a total length of 139ins (354cm) it had three rows of seats to accommodate six people. Powerd by the Fiat 600 saloon engine of 633cc, the little bus would happily do 50 mph and give 45 mpg. The rear-mounted engine meant luggage space was limited but the seats did fold down. Used as taxis in their native Italy, the fully independently sprung minibus was the original people carrier back in the mid 1950s, an idea that has been taken up by the Japanese car manufactures of today.

Our 1:18 scale Fiat 600 Multipla Taxi is chocked full of great features. The driver's side front door opens showing taxi meter and luggage area. The rear passenger door also opens revealing soft-to-touch upholstery on the folding and bench seats. The engine is wired and plumb. There's even a luggage rack on top and a toolbox with tools. Model Feature Opening Trunk Soft-to-Touch Upholstery Opening Front Drivers Door Complete Toolbox is Included Opening Rear Passenger Door 4-Cylinder 32hp. Engine is Wired and Plumb Half the Front Seat was the Inside Luggage Compartment Precision Die-Cast Replica 7.5 Inches Long 1:18 scale. See more.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


This is the Mercedes Benz 540K, which looks particularly smart in white, with red trim and red interior and seats. In addition to the fact that this model is part of 'The Grand Marques' theme, it comes in a 'Models of Yeasteryear' box, and so is needed for those maintaining their MOY collections formed prior to the days of Matchbox Collectibles. See more.


The football connection is continued with the AEC Regal half-cab coach in the livery (orange and brown) of Finglands, carrying a victorious Manchester City team. The livery on the coach is pleasing in its own right, but the figures that Corgi has included to appear through the sun-roof are very appealing, and have been carefully painted.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


The Ford Corsair (45b), complete with green plastic roof rack and boat, was release in February 1965 to replace the rather outdated Vauxhall Victor saloon. The real Corsair had been released by Ford at the end of 1963 as a mid-range car slotting between the Cortina and Zephyr in the British Ford range. The model was advertised as being 1/71st scale and highlighted the fact that the plastic boat actually floated! The Corsair was simultaneously released with the no.23d Caravan, which was supposed to have been of a similar scale, although the caravan seems to dwarf the Corsair.


To accompany the Zephyr, a Vauxhall Victor Estate Car was released at the same time to replace the Refuse Truck. Though shown on the box, in the catalogue and in advance USA publicity material in blue, this Estate Car was only available in yellow, with initially a red and latterly a green interior. Silver trim was applied but it diminished with time. Both interior variations were fitted with the three wheel variations which had progressively more treads. The opening rear door was another new play feature.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Maximum Space, Minimum Power 1962 Volkswagen Microbus VW Begins the Mini-Van Craze In 1962, the Microbus was not a new idea, as Volkswagen had been importing them into the U.S. since 1950. But in the '60's, with car pooling becoming an everyday occurrence for the middle class that had moved to the suburbs, the Microbus hit its peak of popularity. With its three rows of seats holding 9, 15 windows and, with no wasted space for a front hood or rear deck, the Microbus had 50% more space than a station wagon yet was up to 4 feet shorter to make parking easier. Whether you were transporting a Cub Scout pack, a rock group, or a family on vacation, nothing held more people and more cargo. The only drawback was the underpowered engine that had less than 50 horsepower. Other drivers quickly learned it was no pleasure being behind a Microbus trying to climb a hill. Features Opening Doors Precision Die-Cast Replica 1:32 Scale Model 5" Long.