Lesney Products & Co. Ltd, a British industrial die-casting company founded in 1947, was responsible for the concept, manufacture, and distribution of miniature die-cast toys under the name of “Matchbox.” In 1952, engineer John Odell, a partner with Leslie Smith and Rodney Smith (not related, but lifelong friends), designed a small toy that fit in a match box for his daughter to take to school. The toy was so popular that the company decided to make these scaled-down toys to help bridge the gap for the die casting company when business was slow. By the mid-1960s, Matchbox was the largest brand of die-cast model vehicles in the world and had diversified the line into multiple series. Lesney filed for bankruptcy in 1982 and were purchased by Universal Holdings/Universal Toys. In subsequent years, the toys were no longer made in England; later toys are marked Thailand, Macau, China, and Malaysia. These later models are made out of plastic.
This Lesney Matchbox tractor trailer rig is from one of its early series. The trailer is advertising Wall’s ice cream and states “More than a treat – it’s food.” Both the blue truck and off-white trailer are made from metal with plastic tires. The metal plate on the underside of the trailer is stamped: No. 2 Matchbox Series, Major Pack, Made in England by Lesney, and on the end is stamped: Bedford Articulated. The rig is 4” long, and the trailer by itself measures 2 7/8”. There is some loss of paint on the trailer and a bit of the ice cream decals are missing. The cab is in perfect condition.
This would be a wonderful addition to your Matchbox or miniature vehicle collection. Please contact us if you have any questions.
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