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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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Vintage Matchbox Carry Case with 24x Die Cast Cars
Dec 07, 5:30 PM CST
Vintage Matchbox Carry Case with 24x Die Cast Cars
by Hampton's Auction, Collectibles, & Retail, LLC
Est: $25- $50
$217 Bids
Matchbox.
Dec 07, 2:00 PM CET
Matchbox.
by Galerie Moderne
Est: €250- €350
€2807 Bids
Lesney Matchbox Cars Vans and Trucks
Dec 09, 8:00 AM EST
Lesney Matchbox Cars Vans and Trucks
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $50- $150
$403 Bids
Lesney Matchbook Cars
Dec 09, 8:00 AM EST
Lesney Matchbook Cars
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $50- $200
$602 Bids
Lot de voitures et camions miniatures.
Dec 07, 2:00 PM CET
Lot de voitures et camions miniatures.
by Galerie Moderne
Est: €40- €60
€201 Bid
LOT OF 5 VARIOUS ADVERTISING TRUCK AND TRAILER/TANKERS INC. MATCHBOX AND ERTL
Dec 05, 4:00 PM EST
LOT OF 5 VARIOUS ADVERTISING TRUCK AND TRAILER/TANKERS INC. MATCHBOX AND ERTL
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
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Matchbox Toy Car Set Car Wash
Dec 07, 5:30 PM CST
Matchbox Toy Car Set Car Wash
by Hampton's Auction, Collectibles, & Retail, LLC
Est: $5- $10
$21 Bid
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Collectible Matchbox Die Cast Toy Car Coca Cola 1969 Camaro Convertible
Dec 07, 5:30 PM CST
Collectible Matchbox Die Cast Toy Car Coca Cola 1969 Camaro Convertible
by Hampton's Auction, Collectibles, & Retail, LLC
Est: $5- $10
$31 Bid
Group of 6 Assorted Disney Matchbox Vehicles
Dec 10, 9:00 AM CST
Group of 6 Assorted Disney Matchbox Vehicles
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$151 Bid
LOT OF 5 VARIOUS ADVERTISING TRUCK AND TRAILER/TANKER REPLICAS
Dec 05, 4:00 PM EST
LOT OF 5 VARIOUS ADVERTISING TRUCK AND TRAILER/TANKER REPLICAS
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
Two Vintage A Moko Lesney Matchbox Series, MIB
Dec 07, 6:00 PM EST
Two Vintage A Moko Lesney Matchbox Series, MIB
by Homestead Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$31 Bid
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Box of Assorted Hot Wheels and Matchbox Die Cast Toy Cars
Dec 07, 5:30 PM CST
Box of Assorted Hot Wheels and Matchbox Die Cast Toy Cars
by Hampton's Auction, Collectibles, & Retail, LLC
Est: $75- $150
$251 Bid
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Matchbox Convoys Tesla Toy Car and Semi Truck
Dec 07, 5:30 PM CST
Matchbox Convoys Tesla Toy Car and Semi Truck
by Hampton's Auction, Collectibles, & Retail, LLC
Est: $10- $20
$51 Bid
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Vintage Matchbox Superkings Peterbilt Fire Spotter Plane Transporter Die Cast Toy Truck
Dec 07, 5:30 PM CST
Vintage Matchbox Superkings Peterbilt Fire Spotter Plane Transporter Die Cast Toy Truck
by Hampton's Auction, Collectibles, & Retail, LLC
Est: $5- $10
$21 Bid
Lesney Matchbox Yesteryear Cars
Dec 09, 8:00 AM EST
Lesney Matchbox Yesteryear Cars
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $50- $150
$251 Bid
LOT OF 2 GASOLINE TANKER TRUCK REPLICAS INC. CLARK AND SHELL
Dec 05, 4:00 PM EST
LOT OF 2 GASOLINE TANKER TRUCK REPLICAS INC. CLARK AND SHELL
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
Lesney Matchbox Cars
Dec 09, 8:00 AM EST
Lesney Matchbox Cars
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $50- $200
$251 Bid
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Box of Assorted Hot Wheels and Matchbox Die Cast Toy Cars
Dec 07, 5:30 PM CST
Box of Assorted Hot Wheels and Matchbox Die Cast Toy Cars
by Hampton's Auction, Collectibles, & Retail, LLC
Est: $75- $150
$251 Bid
Lesney Matchbox Cars Volkswagen & Motorcycles
Dec 09, 8:00 AM EST
Lesney Matchbox Cars Volkswagen & Motorcycles
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $150- $250
$251 Bid
Vintage Matchbox Carry Case with 48 Cars
Dec 14, 10:00 AM EST
Vintage Matchbox Carry Case with 48 Cars
by Weiss Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
Vintage Matchbox Carry Case with 48 Cars
Dec 14, 10:00 AM EST
Vintage Matchbox Carry Case with 48 Cars
by Weiss Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
Vintage Toy Cars, Mystery Machine, Matchbox, Hot
Dec 10, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Toy Cars, Mystery Machine, Matchbox, Hot
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Lesney Matchbox Cars
Dec 09, 8:00 AM EST
Lesney Matchbox Cars
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $50- $150
$251 Bid
Vintage 1960's Matchbox Lesney No. 24 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow 1/64 Die-Cast
Dec 12, 6:00 PM EST
Vintage 1960's Matchbox Lesney No. 24 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow 1/64 Die-Cast
by One Source Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Matchbox Cars


Keystone Auctions LLC

Keystone Auctions LLC

Hampton's Auction, Collectibles, & Retail, LLC

Hampton's Auction, Collectibles, & Retail, LLC

Matthew Bullock Auctioneers

Matthew Bullock Auctioneers