Since the advent of organized Matchbox collectors' clubs (see below, "Matchbox collectors"), models and their variations have been coded and catalogued, and values have been roughly established. The major collectors' organizations (NAMC, AIM, Matchbox USA, MICA, MBXForum etc.) as well as individual authors have published numerous works describing the various Matchbox ranges including the models and their variations. Whereas the best of these were formerly available mainly through the clubs themselves, it is now possible to buy books on Matchbox from various publishing houses. These are available not only in English, but in several other languages (particularly German) as well.
Numerous additional product lines have been produced and/or sold by Matchbox over the years, particularly in the Lesney era. Collectors catalogues were published in various languages by the company each year starting in 1957, continuing well into the 1980s. Collectors cases were designed for children to carry/store their 1-75 vehicles. From 1957 until the 1970s, a range of garages/service stations was offered in either Esso or BP logos (under the series no. MG-1).
1982 is an interesting year for the model listings. There were quite a few new models released, but yet the 1982 catalogue shows the current line-up, as well as the new models and their designated MB numbers.
It all began in 1953, with a miniature diecast model of the Coronation Coach with its team of eight horses. In Coronation year, over a million were sold and this tremendous success was followed by the introduction of the first miniature vehicle models packed in matchboxes. And so the famous Matchbox Series was born.
I do not have anything too old but I do have a Lesney from England from the year 1971 I believe. I can not believe it but even though it is bumped as hell and partially broken the suspension still works and it can bounce around. Now days I practically switched solely to matchbox and hot wheels for my 4 year old cause he can not dismantle them whereas he can break apart most of other brands of die cast toy cars. Wrote an article about our experience called Matchbox vs Hot Wheels vs Majorette. He is I believe still way too young for me to buy him SIKU toy cars. 2b1af7f3a8