Reunited 1966 Matchbox Boat and Trailer

After I found this Lesney Matchbox boat trailer recently at the Wichita Community Market, I went on a search for a boat to make it complete.

I did a similar thing a few years ago when I found a loose Lesney Matchbox Jennings cattle trailer, reuniting it with a Thames Trader cab to make the Major Pack 7.

I did a search on eBay and, sure enough, there were a couple of loose boats. I landed this model, in good shape but with just the right amount of residual grime to match the trailer.

I believe the dull blue boat paired with the black plastic wheels on the trailer makes this the earliest variation of the #9 Boat and Trailer, which was first released in 1966. In 1969, the trailer was given Superfast wheels, and there are about 13 versions of the Boat and Trailer, with differences in boat color and decoration, as well as trailer paint color and wheel type.

Matchbox | 1966 | 9 | Boat and Trailer | white hull, dull blue deck, blue trailer | black plastic wheels

The next part of the project was to find a nice tow vehicle. My first thought was to find an old Lesney station wagon, but when I realized that my Lesney Matchbox Land Rover Safari had a tow hook, I decided I already had just what I needed.


1985 Hot Wheels Super Cannon and Flea Market Finds

While making a run through the Wichita Community Market last month, I came across a shelf full of cars. Normally I would have passed on some of these, but the man at the booth was determined to make me a deal on the entire lot. We settled on $12 and he was even nice enough to find me some newspaper to wrap them in.

The cleanest of the bunch, with all of its plastic parts intact, is this Hot Wheels Super Cannon. The casting first appeared in 1982 as Megadestroyer 1 and Megadestroyer 2 – merchandising for the movie Megaforce. This model is the first variation of Super Cannon from 1985, with 5 variations to follow. In 1996 it became Enforcer, which is still going strong and can be found in about two dozen more variations.

With its black blackwalls, it makes a nice companion for my 1985 Hot Wheels Tank Gunner.

Hot Wheels | 1985 | 9373 | Super Cannon | olive with light green, brown and tan camouflage | MY | black bs

Earlier this year, I landed a Hot Wheels Malibu Gran Prix on eBay. This one is the identical version from 1982, except that it is even more playworn and was cast in Malaysia rather than Hong Kong.

Hot Wheels | 1982 | 9037 | Malibu Gran Prix | black with red, yellow and blue trim | MY | BW

Someday I’d like to have a nice example of an early blackwall Hot Wheels CAT Forklift in my collection, but this is not it. Although it is the 1981 variation with Cv80 cast into the sides, it is missing both its yellow plastic forks as well as the black plastic roll cage.

The only other Hot Wheels forklift I have in my collection is the Marcus Construction version from 2000 – though I do have a nice Matchbox forklift from my childhood collection.

Hot Wheels | 1981 Hot Wheels Workhorses | 1168 | CAT Forklift | yellow, no tampo, Cv80 in casting, missing plastic cage and forks | MY | bs

Another Hot Wheels casting I’m familiar with is the Rig Wrecker. I have a fun but playworn blackwall version from 1983 as well as the airship tug from my excellent 1994 Blimp & Support Team 5-Pack.

This particular 7-spoke Rig Wrecker is from the 1997 Hot Wheels Auto City 5-Pack, which would have included a Fire Eater, Sheriff Patrol, Mazda MX-5 Miata, and a Peterbilt Dump Truck.

Hot Wheels | 1997 Auto City 5-Pack | 3917 | Rig Wrecker | white with blue, red and yellow tampo, gray plastic tow hook | MY | 7sp

This next item is from the 1966 Matchbox #9 Boat and Trailer – minus the boat, obviously. As soon as I figured out what it was, I was determined to find it a mate. Stay tuned for an update on this soon.

Matchbox | 1966 | 9 | Boat Trailer | blue | black plastic wheels

I still have some Playart models from my childhood collection, but I rarely find them around these days. So I was a little surprised with the next three of the lot, which are all Playart. In fact, I have a version of this same fire engine, but on my childhood car, only the cab and base of the model are metal, with the back being red plastic with a chrome plastic insert and a white plastic ladder.

On this flea market version, both of the back parts are diecast, making the whole thing quite a bit heavier than my childhood car. It makes me wonder if the missing ladder would have been diecast as well. Also notice all three of these Playart models have the flower wheels, while some of my childhood Playarts had black wheels with a chrome plastic hub.

Playart | Fire Engine | red with broken windshield and missing ladder | flower wheels

This Playart Cement Mixer is missing the plastic mixer as well as the entire windshield.

Playart | Cement Mixer | orange and green with missing windshield and mixer | flower wheels

This Playart AEC Routemaster Double-Decker Bus is missing the upper level. This model could be found in a variety of liveries, including a Kentucky Fried Chicken version.

Playart | AEC Routemaster Double Decker Bus | red with missing top level | flower wheels

Another Playart model from my childhood is the Playart Kubelwagen. The only other Playart model I have is an orange Lamborghini Marzal.

This next item is the Zylmex Wheaties Van, which was a mail-in promotional. This custom Dodge van is missing a lot of its paint, its plastic grille, and most of the decorative decals.

Zylmex / Zee Toys | P342 | Wheaties Van (mail-in promo) | brown with missing plastic grille

I also have some Zylmex models from my childhood – a bunch of the M*A*S*H series. You can read more about Zylmex and see some of my other Zee Toys here.

And finally, this last item is a Summer Marauder Can AM Racer, also well-worn and missing its windshield and driver.

Summer | #S8008 | Marauder Can AM Racer | silver with blue, black and red trim, missing windshield and driver

You can see a few of my other Summer models here.

1966 Matchbox Ford Galaxie Fire Chief and Police Car

I spotted this 1966 Matchbox Ford Galaxie Fire Chief at the Shopkeepers Antique Mall awhile back. I debated about it for a week or so, but eventually went back for it. Since the Ford Galaxie was the main competitor to my beloved Chevy Impala, I thought it should be represented in my collection.

This Matchbox model represents a 1965 Galaxie, the third generation of the full-size car. The variation of the Fire Chief car with a red roof light is worth quite a bit more than this more common blue roof light version. The casting was also released in 1970 with Superfast wheels.

Matchbox | 1966 | 55 | Ford Galaxie Police Car | white with red roof light | black plastic wheels

A short time after I acquired the Fire Chief car, I saw this Matchbox Ford Galaxie Police Car on eBay. I put in a bid and was somewhat surprised to come up the winner for a decent price.

The Galaxie Police car also has a more valuable variation – one with a blue roof light. Interestingly, the Police version of the Galaxie was never released with Superfast wheels.

Matchbox | 1966 | 59 | Ford Galaxie Fire Chief Car | red with blue roof light | black plastic wheels

1967 Matchbox Dodge Stake Truck

I was interested in this Matchbox Dodge Stake Truck because it’s the precursor to the Superfast version from my childhood. I found this one on eBay and it’s in such great shape that I had to ask the seller if it had been restored (the seller claimed it was all original).

This casting first appeared in 1966 as the #37 Dodge Cattle Truck, but it had a more enclosed plastic compartment with an opening tailgate ramp. It also came with two plastic cows. My eBay find is the #4 Dodge Stake Truck, which could be found from 1967-1969 with regular wheels, then from 1970-1971 with Superfast wheels. In 1976 it was reissued as #71 Cattle Truck with Superfast wheels and the two plastic cows (I still have the cows with mine). Since then, there are more than 40 variations continuing up until 2000.

Matchbox | 1967 | 4 | Dodge Stake Truck | yellow with green stake bed, no tow hook | black plastic wheels

1965 Matchbox Land Rover Safari

The Matchbox Land Rover Safari first appeared in 1965. The regular wheel versions can be found in green with brown luggage, blue with tan luggage, gold with tan luggage, and blue with brown luggage like this nice model I nabbed on eBay. In 1970 it was given the Superfast treatment and has been seen in metallic gold and the considerably more valuable bright blue.

The real life Land Rover was born out of conditions in England following the second World War. Rover had been manufacturing luxury cars since 1901, but their factory in Coventry had been destroyed by enemy bombing. In 1947, now in a former aircraft engine factory near Birmingham, the company needed to create cash flow so the company could re-start its car production. Inspired in part by the Willys Jeep commonly seen in England during the war, Rover came up with a plan to temporarily produce a light agricultural and utility vehicle. The flat, easy to produce body panels were made of aluminum because steel was still being rationed. Early colors were dictated by an abundant supply of surplus military cockpit green paint. The sturdy “box-section ladder chassis” required a simpler welding process. When car production started up again, the Land Rover proved to be a better-selling product and eventually became the landmark brand that continues today. This Matchbox model represents a Series IIA 4-door model with the signature Safari roof – actually a second skin fitted on top which kept the spartan interior cool in warm weather and reduced condensation when it was cold.

Matchbox | 1965 | 12 | Land Rover Safari | blue with brown plastic luggage | black plastic wheels | England


1969 Matchbox Kingsize Mercury Commuter Police Station Wagon

Sometimes it’s good to get off the beaten path. Or, at least, the path you’re used to following. A couple of weekends ago, inspired by a 50%-off sale that was advertised in the newspaper, we visited an Ace Hardware in a different neighborhood than our own. We filled a bag with lots of bargains, and, feeling good about that, we decided to visit the Super Del Centro for the first time, where my wife found a great deal on cilantro. Across the street from the grocery store, I noticed a place called Wichita Vintage which I had never seen before. Wandering in, we were greeted by the friendly owner, and we found a neat store filled mostly with beautiful antique furniture. I spotted this Matchbox Kingsize in a display case and asked the owner for a closer look. When I told him I would take it, he found another smaller model for me in a different case which I probably would have missed. Then he told me to send him a Facebook message and he would let me know if he comes across any other diecast cars in the future.

The Matchbox Kingsize Mercury Commuter Police Station Wagon came out in 1969 and was part of the short-lived Auto-Steer series, which included a Lamborghini Miura, a Ford Mustang Fastback and a Volkswagen 1500 Saloon, among others. The cars had a unique front suspension that caused the cars to steer to the left or right by pressing on that side of the car. The mechanism on this well-loved car seems to have a bit of a permanent right turn. The modal also has worn paint and stickers and is missing the two left-side tires, but is a fun find nonetheless.

Matchbox | 1969 Auto-Steer | Kingsize K-23 | Mercury Commuter Police Station Wagon | white with (two missing) black plastic tires

The photo below shows the unique, steerable suspension. This technology was done away with once Matchbox made the switch to Superfast wheels.

Click on these links to see some of my other Matchbox Kingsize models, including the Bertone Runabout, Javelin AMX, Range Rover and Ambulance.

1975 Matchbox Blaze Buster Fire Engine

This Matchbox Blaze Buster is the second of two models I found this summer at a neighborhood garage sale. First released in 1975, this fire truck with a raisable plastic ladder came out in about 5 variations, with differences in base, ladder, interior and window colors. This version with a yellow ladder and white interior was produced from 1978-81. It’s a little playworn and parts of the stickers are missing, but it makes a nice companion to the Matchbox Superfast Stretcha Fetcha Ambulance from my childhood.

Matchbox | 1975 | 22 | Blaze Buster Fire Engine | red with yellow ladder, white interior, charcoal base | Superfast wheels