Lesney Matchbox Bedford “Evening News” Van and Morris J2 “Builders Supply” Pickup

When I bought the cab for my Matchbox Major Pack 7 recently on eBay, it came in a lot of 3 cars which included these two well-worn Lesney-era models.

Bedford was a brand of commercial vehicles produced by Vauxhall in the UK starting in 1930. The popular light commercial CA van was introduced in 1952 and made up until 1969. The Matchbox Bedford Van from 1957 would have originally had a sign board mounted diagonally across the top that proclaimed “First With The NEWS” and evening news decals on the sides and doors.

img_8236 img_82371957 | 42 | Bedford “Evening News” Van | yellow-orange | black plastic wheels

Morris Commercial was formed in the UK in 1924 and the J2 was produced from 1956 until 1967. The J2 was available as a van, minibus, or pickup. The Matchbox Morris J2 Pickup originally had “Builders Supply Company” decoration on the sides. This variation of the casting has an open rear window.

img_8238img_81281958 | 60 | Morris J2 “Builders Supply” Pickup | light blue | open rear window | gray plastic wheels

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Road Champs

According to globaldiecastdirect.com, the U.S.-based Road Champs began in the early 1980s making 1:64 scale models. However, they became known for their 1:43 scale vehicles which are popular for use with O guage train dioramas.

These nice 1:64 Road Champs from the RR collection – 3 of them still in their original if well-weathered packages – were made in the 1980s while the company was still owned by JRI, Inc. of Philadelphia. (The company was bought by Jakks Pacific in 1995.) All of these realistically detailed models have metal bases and opening doors. With the exception of barcodes, the backs of these blister cards are blank.

IMG_7952IMG_79601983 Special Editions | ’32 Ford Model 18 Roadster | yellow and black | metal base | blister card

IMG_7954IMG_79611983 Special Editions | ’32 Ford Model 18 Roadster | red and black | metal base | blister card

IMG_7951IMG_79591986 Heritage Series | 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air | turquoise | metal base | blister card

IMG_8245 IMG_8246 IMG_82471985 | Buick Roadmaster | black with flames | metal base

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Flea Market Matchbox Finds

These nice late 1970s Matchbox models were part of my recent banner day at the Village Flea Market. At 25 cents apiece, I was happy to take each of these home with me – especially with all of the plastic parts intact and functioning properly.

IMG_8109IMG_8110IMG_81111976 | 29 | Tractor Shovel | dark yellow with red plastic shovel, chrome hubs, black motor, no markings | made in England

This Snorkel Fire Engine seems familiar to me. I think one of my childhood buddies might have had one of these.

IMG_8234IMG_8101IMG_81031977 | 13 | Snorkel Fire Engine (closed cab) | red with blue windows, yellow plastic boom & bucket, unpainted base | made in England

This Sambron Jacklift reminds me of the Fork Lift from my childhood.

IMG_8105IMG_8106IMG_81081977 | 48 | Sambron Jacklift | yellow no markings, black base, silver hubs | made in England

I already had the yellow Diesel Shunter, but this one is in much better shape. The Shunter was originally released in 1978 with metallic green paint.

IMG_8112IMG_81131979 | 24 | Diesel Shunter Locomotive | yellow w/red metal undercarriage, red base | made in England

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Ertl Diecast

When I think of Ertl Diecast, I think of farm equipment, which is what the company was making way back when I first became aware of them. During the 2000s, I picked up several of their nicely detailed Novas and Impalas for my collection. The company was owned by RC2 for awhile, and now are a part of TOMY. They seem to have gone back to their farm equipment focus, as their current website proclaims “The Definitive Leader in American Farm Replicas since 1945” and has menus for John Deere, Case/IH and New Holland toys.

There were no farm tractors among the few 1:64(ish) Ertl toys in the box I got from RR. In fact, I was a little surprised to find a nice Rolls Royce model included with the expected American cars.

IMG_8169 IMG_8170Replica Series | Pontiac Firebird | black | plastic base | made in Hong Kong

IMG_8166 IMG_8167 IMG_8168Replica Series | ’50 Ford | red with tan top | plastic base | made in Hong Kong

IMG_8171 IMG_8172Turbo Firebird | black | plastic base | made in China

IMG_8163IMG_8164IMG_8165European Classics | Rolls Royce Silver Shadow | blue | metal base | made in Hong Kong

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1980 Peterbilt Cement Mixer and 1977 Paramedic

Here are the two blackwall-era Hot Wheels that I found in my recent score at the Village Flea Market. They were sitting on a table with a bunch of old, loose Matchbox cars for 25 cents apiece.

This Hong Kong made Peterbilt Cement Mixer is from the model’s first release in 1980 as part of the Workhorses series. The 1985 release is identical, except that it was made in Malaysia. To date, these are the only two appearances of the Cement Mixer, though the Peterbilt cab and base was also used for the Tank Truck (1981) and Dump Truck (1983). Then, of course, there is the hard-to-find Great American Truck Race set (1980) that included the Peterbilt cab and a Kenworth (Hiway Hauler) cab.

IMG_8232IMG_8231IMG_82331980 | 1169 | Peterbilt Cement Mixer | red with white & gray plastic mixer, non-recessed exhaust stacks | Hong Kong | blackwalls

The Hot Wheels Paramedic is the 1975 Super Van casting with ambulance decoration. The ’75 Paramedic had white paint and redlines. I already have one of these yellow blackwall variations from 1977 (that year it could also be found with redlines), but this one is in better condition.

IMG_8098IMG_80991977 | 7661 | Paramedic | yellow with red & white trim, metal base |Hong Kong | blackwalls

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Zee Toys

According to globaldiecastdirect.com, Zee Toys (also called Zylmex) was based in Long Beach, California, during the 1970s and 1980s. Apparently, they produced toys under various brand names such as Dynawheels, Victory Circle, Rough Riders, Windracers, Mini Macks and others. Most of the cars you’ll see below are made in Hong Kong. Some have the Z logo stamped on the bottom, some include “Zylmex”, and all seem to have a two- or three- digit item number preceded by a “P” or “D”.

Most of the cars I got from RR are loose, but a few are still in their original packages. And though the blister cards are in pretty poor shape, it’s great to think the cars inside are in true mint condition. This nice Porsche 959 is from 1985.

IMG_7950IMG_7958IMG_7953 Zee Toys Pacesetters | Porsche 959 | silver | 1985 | blister card | made in Macau

This nifty Datsun pickup is missing the plastic camper shell – and part of its hood decal.

IMG_8203IMG_8204P319 Datsun Pickup | green | metal base | made in Hong Kong

Two variations of the ’63 Corvette with opening hood. Notice the different wheels.

IMG_8218IMG_8244IMG_8220P364 ’63 Corvette | dark pink | metal base | made in Hong Kong

IMG_8215IMG_8216IMG_8217P364 ’63 Corvette | burgandy | metal base | made in Hong Kong

This fun bulldozer is missing a wheel.

IMG_8201IMG_8241P378 Tractor | orange | plastic base and blade

Glad to see the 427 Cobra still has its plastic windshield.

IMG_8205IMG_8206P389 Cobra 427 | blue | metal base

This GTO has a custom, hand-done paint job.

IMG_8209IMG_8243P391 ’69 Pontiac GTO | blue | metal base | made in Hong Kong

I like the dual carbs poking out of the hood on this Mustang.

IMG_8211IMG_8212P392 Mustang Pro/Street | orange | metal base | made in Hong Kong

Slug bug!

IMG_8207IMG_8208D20 Volkswagen | yellow | metal base | made in Hong Kong

And finally, a little red CRX.

IMG_8213IMG_8214D79 Honda CR-X | red and gray | plastic base

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Maisto Design Elite Transport Silverado and Nova

I’ve been a fan of Elite Transport from Maisto and I was glad to see they are carrying this category into their Maisto Design line. I always buy one if I find it with a Nova or Impala, so I snatched up this red 2004 Chevy Silverado and 1970 Chevy Nova combo when I found it at a Target. Although I generally prefer an older-model tow vehicle (like the 1957 Chevy Flatbed that Maisto has used in the past) I don’t have the Silverado yet, so I guess it’s nice to have some variety.

IMG_8248IMG_8249IMG_82502016 Elite Transport | 2004 Chevrolet Silverado SS and 1970 Chevrolet Nova | red with black trim | 1:64

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1975 Matchbox Speed Kings Javelin AMX

When I went to the Village Flea Market a few weeks back, my plan was to pick up the Zamac Chevrolet SS that I had scouted out on a previous visit. So I was pretty happy when, in addition to the Chevrolet SS, I walked out with a handful of loose blackwall Hot Wheels and late 70s/early 80s Matchbox cars, a late-90s carded Matchbox Jeep for my friend Brad, and this – the 1975 Matchbox Speed Kings Javelin AMX.

I don’t see these larger-scale (1:43ish) Matchbox models very often, but I do have the Bertone Runabout that I found at a garage sale. I also have the smaller scale Matchbox AMX. I love the paint and the groovy ’70s decoration. And at $.75, I consider this to be a really nice find.

IMG_8114IMG_8235IMG_81161975 | Speed Kings K-54 | Javelin AMX | burgundy | Superfast wheels

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2016 Greenlight Hot Pursuit 1967 Chevrolet Police

Remember the days when to look intimidating, a police car only needed a single cherry on top and a badge on the door? Yeah, and it helped if the car happened to be a metallic green ’67 Biscayne. The two other variations of the Greenlight 1967 Chevrolet Police Pursuit already in my collection are the 2013 Louisiana State Police version and the 2014 Wisconsin State Patrol car.
IMG_8224IMG_82252016 | Greenlight Hot Pursuit Series 18 | 1967 Chevrolet (Biscayne) Police Pursuit | metallic green with Glendale, Wisconsin Police trim

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An Interesting Assortment

In the box of cars I got from RR, there was a large assortment of different brands. Some of these I was familiar with, and others I had never heard of.

I had a few Playart cars when I was a kid. Playart diecast cars were made in Hong Kong from 1965 until 1983 and were distributed through different retailers as Road Mates, Freewheelers and FASTWHEEL. At Woolworth stores – which is probably where I got my childhood Batmobile, Fire Truck, Toyota 2000 GT and ’65 Mustang Convertible  – they were sold as Peelers.

IMG_8176IMG_8177Playart | Lamborghini Marzal | orange | flower wheels | made in Hong Kong | 1:64

This is another brand that I’m familiar with, having picked up a few Yatming models somewhere along the way. Also based in Hong Kong, the company was founded in 1970. These days, Yatming larger scale (1:43, 1:24, 1:18) models are distributed in the U.S. by the New Jersey-based company Toy Wonders.

IMG_8184IMG_8185Yatming | Bulldozer | yellow | made in Hong Kong | 1:64

IMG_8186IMG_8187Yatming | Chevy Stepside Pickup | black | made in Hong Kong | 1:64

IMG_8188IMG_8189Yatming | Ford Station Wagon | blue | made in Hong Kong | 1:64

IMG_8190IMG_8191Yatming | Jaguar | blue | made in Hong Kong | 1:64

IMG_8192IMG_8193Yatming | Lamborghini Miura | yellow | made in Hong Kong | 1:64

IMG_8194IMG_8195Yatming | Mercedes Benz 350 SL | silver | made in Hong Kong | 1:64

The Rolls Royce Phantom VI is almost identical to the Tomica version from my childhood.

IMG_8196IMG_8197IMG_8198Yatming | Rolls Royce Phantom VI | silver | made in Hong Kong | 1:64

IMG_8199IMG_8200Yatming | Saab Sonnet | lime green | made in Hong Kong | 1:64

I haven’t been able to find much information about Kidco. The brand page on globaldiecastdirect.com mentions that the Illinois-based company was sold to Universal Toys in the mid 1980s. This ’57 Vette is made in Macao.

IMG_8173IMG_8174IMG_8175’57 Corvette | red | 1979 | made in Macao | 1:64

Summer is a Hong Kong-based company with a reputation for low price and low quality. I’ve noticed they decorate their cars with unusual and sometimes obnoxious graphics. Despite this, there is a certain fun-factor here.

IMG_8182IMG_8183#S676 Ferrari P4 | silver with red trim | made in Hong Kong | 1:64

IMG_8180 IMG_8181#S691 Volvo 164E | off white with blue trim | made in Hong Kong | 1:64

Another Hong Kong-based company, Tintoys was started in 1965. Although they seem to have evolved away from 1:64 scale, the company claims more than 500 licensed products from international automotive brands.

IMG_8073 IMG_8074W.T. 202 Chevrolet Racer | gold | made in Hong Kong | 1:64

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