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Matchbox Cars

Matchbox cars are a popular toy brand established in 1947 by Lesney and Rodney Smith along with their partner Jack Odell. Created at an English pub, the trio formed a partnership that forever changed toy manufacturing. Odell is credited with establishing Matchbox when he produced his iconic miniature cars for children during the holiday season.

Jack Odell helped produce the large-scale die-cast miniatures that were Matchbox’s first models. Later, he produced a model for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953. Odell sold the detailed models to tourists who attended the royal event. Later, he took that same model and shrunk it down to 4 inches long, creating an instant success and a pathway to commercial production for Matchbox toys. The company sold one million coronation coaches in its first year of manufacturing.

The small-scale miniatures were dubbed Matchbox due to the size of the boxes they were sold in, essentially mimicking a box of matches in size. The company started commercial production in 1953 via Lesney Products, eliminating their earlier distributor Moko of England. Today, the company is owned by Mattel Inc. and produces commemorative lines mimicking original models with newer elements. Mattel is also known for manufacturing a competitive line in 1968 called Hot Wheels.


Quick Facts

  • Matchbox collectors seek early production models as well as color variations of specific vehicles. Boxed and mint condition examples are highly regarded by today’s buyers
  • A rare unreleased large-scale Matchbox Liang dump truck sold at auction on March 2010 at the Matchbox Club’s 25th Convention for £10,200, a record price for a Matchbox sold at auction
  • In the original larger-scale coronation coach, Jack Odell paid homage to the death of King George VI in 1952, shrinking the size of the coach and adding the legs of the king inside the detailed miniature

Recommended Items at Auction

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LOT OF 4 MATCHBOX AND 2 SPEED REBELS
Dec 04, 6:00 PM CST
LOT OF 4 MATCHBOX AND 2 SPEED REBELS
by Auctions By Moldenhauer
Est: $25- $500
$51 Bid
Assorted Matchbox Cars - Tractors - Trucks
Dec 05, 2:00 PM EST
Assorted Matchbox Cars - Tractors - Trucks
by Pace & Hong Auctions, LLC
Est: $0- $0
$81 Bid
Matchbox Collectors Limited Edition 1938 Hispano-Suiza Coupe with COA, MIB
Dec 04, 1:00 PM EST
Matchbox Collectors Limited Edition 1938 Hispano-Suiza Coupe with COA, MIB
by Homestead Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
Collection of Matchbox & Hot Wheel Cars
Nov 30, 12:00 PM EST
Collection of Matchbox & Hot Wheel Cars
by Old Kinderhook Auction Company
Est: $20- $30
$100 Bids
Matchbox caravan in pink w/ rare yellow caravan
Nov 29, 11:30 PM EST
Matchbox caravan in pink w/ rare yellow caravan
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $300- $400
$2000 Bids
Group of four vintage Matchbox vehicles
Nov 29, 11:30 PM EST
Group of four vintage Matchbox vehicles
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $250- $300
$2000 Bids
Group of four Vintage Matchbox vehicles
Nov 29, 11:30 PM EST
Group of four Vintage Matchbox vehicles
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $250- $300
$2000 Bids
Group of four vintage Matchbox vehicles
Nov 29, 11:30 PM EST
Group of four vintage Matchbox vehicles
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $250- $300
$2000 Bids
Group of 13 org. Matchbox models of yesteryear
Nov 29, 11:30 PM EST
Group of 13 org. Matchbox models of yesteryear
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $700- $800
$6000 Bids
Collection of die cast vehicles including Matchbox
Nov 29, 11:30 PM EST
Collection of die cast vehicles including Matchbox
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $300- $350
$2000 Bids
Group of four early Matchbox vehicles
Nov 29, 11:30 PM EST
Group of four early Matchbox vehicles
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $300- $400
$2000 Bids
Group of three early Matchbox vehicles
Nov 29, 11:30 PM EST
Group of three early Matchbox vehicles
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $200- $300
$1500 Bids
Group of three early Matchbox vehicles
Nov 29, 11:30 PM EST
Group of three early Matchbox vehicles
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $200- $300
$1500 Bids
Group of five vintage Matchbox vehicles
Nov 29, 11:30 PM EST
Group of five vintage Matchbox vehicles
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $250- $300
$1500 Bids
Group of five vintage Matchbox vehicles
Nov 29, 11:30 PM EST
Group of five vintage Matchbox vehicles
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $250- $300
$1500 Bids
Group of five vintage Matchbox vehicles
Nov 29, 11:30 PM EST
Group of five vintage Matchbox vehicles
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $250- $300
$1500 Bids
Group of five vintage Matchbox vehicles
Nov 29, 11:30 PM EST
Group of five vintage Matchbox vehicles
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $250- $300
$1500 Bids
Group of five vintage Matchbox vehicles
Nov 29, 11:30 PM EST
Group of five vintage Matchbox vehicles
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $250- $300
$1500 Bids
Group of five vintage Matchbox vehicles
Nov 29, 11:30 PM EST
Group of five vintage Matchbox vehicles
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $250- $300
$1500 Bids
(36) VINTAGE DIE-CAST TOY VEHICLES
Dec 01, 10:00 AM EST
(36) VINTAGE DIE-CAST TOY VEHICLES
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
MATCHBOX 1948 GMC BUDWEISER TRUCK
Dec 03, 6:00 PM EST
MATCHBOX 1948 GMC BUDWEISER TRUCK
by Auctions by Daum
Est: $25- $30
$200 Bids
Matchbox Cars, etc.
Dec 03, 5:00 PM EST
Matchbox Cars, etc.
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$50 Bids
BUILD A ROAD IN BOX FOR MATCHBOX
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
BUILD A ROAD IN BOX FOR MATCHBOX
by Converse Auctions
Est: $20- $40
$100 Bids
Modellauto
Dec 04, 11:00 AM CET
Modellauto
by Auktionshaus Schwerin
Est: €0- €0
€150 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Matchbox Cars


Auktionshaus Schwerin

Auktionshaus Schwerin

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries

Homestead Auctions

Homestead Auctions