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What’s in a name? For this company it’s quite obvious. When Lesney created their die-cast vehicles as miniature models it was decided to sell them in match box sized boxes, hence the name Matchbox. The name may still exist, but the method of marketing has been modernised, no longer in boxes, but blister packs.

They were founded by Leslie and Rodney Smith (hence the name Lesney and assisted greatly by co-founder Jack Odell (of Lledo). After 15 years of business, they were the biggest selling brand of die-cast miniature cars (1968) and things were going well. Unfortunately, by 1969 trouble was looming with the arrival of die-cast racing cars by Johnny Lightning. They were known to be the fastest cars on the market. Matchbox responded with low friction wheels. Things were doing well by the mid 70’s and they were back on top. By the end of the 70’s the business was facing financially difficulties and in 1982 they were bankrupt. The name and some equipment was sold to Universal Toys, with some Matchbox assets going to Jack Odell, who continued to market Matchbox as Yesteryear at Lledo. Matchbox now became Matchbox International Ltd. In the mid 80’s the new company obtained Dinky, uniting two of the most successful die-cast miniature car brands. Manufacture was pulled from Britain and began in Hong Kong then China.

It was time for another sale in 1992, with Mattel buying out Universal. A few releases were made up until 2005, then stopped. Both Dinky and Matchbox have been left alone with no new releases since then.

Matchbox Die-Cast Toys

Matchbox’s range of die-cast toys is as diverse as it is iconic, offering an array of miniature vehicles that cater to various interests and preferences. Their “1-75” series remains a classic favorite, featuring an extensive selection of realistic cars, trucks, emergency vehicles, and construction machinery. From vintage classics to modern designs, these miniature replicas capture the spirit of automotive history, delighting both children and collectors alike.

In addition to their automotive-themed toys, Matchbox has expanded its range to include die-cast models of iconic planes, helicopters, boats, and even space vehicles. These captivating additions open up a world of exploration and adventure, sparking the imaginations of young aviation and maritime enthusiasts.

To cater to pop culture fans, Matchbox has ventured into producing die-cast replicas of famous film and TV vehicles, as well as beloved characters from popular franchises. From Batmobiles to iconic vehicles from blockbuster movies, these special editions bring beloved fictional worlds to life and add a touch of excitement to any collection.

Furthermore, Matchbox offers playsets and themed sets that encourage interactive play and storytelling. These playsets transport children to different settings, such as construction sites, fire stations, and rescue missions, fostering creativity and imaginative play.

Beyond their die-cast toy vehicles, Matchbox also produces licensed merchandise, such as apparel and accessories, allowing fans to showcase their passion for these iconic toys.

Matchbox’s range of die-cast toys continues to evolve, embracing new trends and innovations while maintaining their commitment to authenticity and quality. Whether it’s exploring the wonders of automotive history, embarking on thrilling adventures in the skies and seas, or reliving favorite moments from films and TV shows, Matchbox’s diverse collection of die-cast toys brings joy and excitement to enthusiasts of all ages. With each model capturing the essence of its real-life counterpart, Matchbox remains a beloved name in the world of die-cast toys, inspiring the imagination and sparking lasting memories for generations to come.

Shop with confidence

Being established since 1999 in Somersets Cheddar Gorge and County Town of Taunton. The Gorge Bear Co and World of Bears are renowned for being the worlds best and biggest teddy bear shop most people will have ever visited.

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Steiff boxes and drawstring bags

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Bricks n’ mortar high street stores

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UK real-time delivery updates

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No quibble 30 day returns

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