Matchbox Car FAQs

Frequently asked questions about Matchbox Cars

How many different vehicles are there in the Matchbox basic line each year?

Since the beginning, Matchbox has offered 75 and only 75 vehicles in the basic line. The core line, correctly referred to as the Matchbox "75", changes from year to year, offering new models and colors to keep the line fresh and exciting for both kids and collectors.

Where did the name "Matchbox" come from?

In 1952, Jack Odell, one of the founders of Lesney Products, created a brass prototype of a small Road Roller and placed it in a matchbox-sized container so that his daughter could take it with her to school. The name "Matchbox" was coined because of the size of the vehicles that children could "buy as a complete toy" in a neat little box. Matchbox vehicles can still be found being sold in boxes all around the world.

What's the most valuable Matchbox vehicle?

The Vauxhall Victor in red (45a) is known to be the most sought after and most valuable model in the collectors' market. It can fetch as much as $1,500, depending on condition.

What is the best selling Matchbox vehicle of all time?

MB 38, Model 'A' Ford Van tops the list. In 1979 Lesney released the MB73E Model 'A' Ford Saloon. The model proved to be popular so the MB38 G Model 'A' Ford Van was released in 1982. During 1987, 1988, and 1996, its use in a number of on-pack offers has made the acquisition of every issue a demanding task for collectors.

What is "Superfast" and how did it start?

In response to the high demand for speed and performance of diecast vehicles in 1969, Matchbox designed the Superfast cars. Superfast cars have thinner axles and wheels which allow the car to run smoother and faster than the "Regular Wheel" Matchbox cars.

Who has the largest public collection of Matchbox toys?

There are two collectors who have the largest public Matchbox collections:

Everett Marshall's collection, which includes over 15,000 vehicles, is available for viewing at the Matchbox Road Museum, located in Newfield, New Jersey.

Charlie Mack has nearly 18,000 Matchbox vehicles in his collection that can be seen in his Matchbox and Lesney Toy Museum in Durham, Connecticut

How do collectors categorize Matchbox vehicles?

Most collectors categorize their vehicles by series; beginning with the first - Regular Wheels, then breaking them down into proceeding series that include: Yesteryears, King Size, Superfast, Convoy, Twin Packs, Sky Busters, Sea Kings, World Class, Premiere Collection, Originals, Promotional Vehicles, Play Sets, and Track Sets.

What's the very first Matchbox vehicle ever made?

The very first Matchbox was the Aveling Barford Road Roller #1 in 1953. A driver was cast as part of the body. Variations to the center section and ends of the roof were made. This toy owed its origin to the best selling Dinky Model.

When did "Models of Yesteryear" begin?

1956 was the first year a model of Yesteryear was released. The Y!/! 7 N.H.P. Allchin Traction Engine in 1:80 scale was the first ever Model of Yesteryear, as well as the first ever diecast miniature of a steam driven road-going vehicle.

What vehicle has been in the Matchbox 1-75 the longest?

The Shovel Nose Tractor has appeared in our 1-75 line consistantly since 1976! It has always been very popular and we expect it to stay that way for many years to come.


What is your favorite Matchbox series?

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