We all started somewhere. That is fairly obvious, but where a lot of us started is with little cars. Very little cars – as in Matchbox and Hot Wheels toy cars. And quite frankly, I, like many of you, still have a nice collection of these wonderful miniatures.
In honor of the toys of our youth – no matter the age – our Video of the Week this week is a 1965 piece on Matchbox cars.
In the world of little cars, Matchbox were always the more authentic and real-to-life cars, while Hot Wheels were the concept, far out, and fantasy cars. What’s more, at least when I was young, Matchbox more often featured British motors while Hot Wheels had a distinctly American slant.
Matchbox was introduced by Lesney Products in 1953 and is now owned by Mattel, Inc. The brand was so named as the original die-cast Matchbox toys were sold in boxes similar in style and size to those in which matches were sold. Subsequently the brand would encompass a broad range of toys including larger scale die-cast models and various non die-cast lines such as plastic model kits and action figures.
During the 1980s, Matchbox started to switch to the more conventional plastic and cardboard “blister packs” that were used by other die cast toy brands such as Hot Wheels. The box style packaging was re-introduced for the collectors’ market in recent years, particularly with the release of the “35th Anniversary of Superfast” series in 2004.