vintage, nostalgia and memories


August 13, 2017

Making Matchbox Cars in London, ca. 1960s

In the 1960s, Matchbox toy cars were made on a series of assembly lines in a Hackney factory in London. Filmed 15 years after the company was founded under the name Lesney Products, this 1962 British Pathé video features the work that went into making these die-cast vehicles.



Their first major sales success was the popular model of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation coach, which sold more than a million models. Shortly thereafter, Lesney co-owner Jack Odell created a toy that effectively paved the way for the company’s future success. It was designed for his daughter: her school only allowed children to bring toys that could fit inside a matchbox, so Odell crafted a scaled-down version of the Lesney green and red road roller. This toy ultimately became the first of the 1-75 miniature range. A dump truck and a cement mixer completed the original three-model release that marked the starting point for the mass-market success of the Matchbox series. As a result of the inspiration for the toys’ size, the idea was born to sell the models in replica matchboxes — thus yielding the name of the series.

(via The Kid Should See This)

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