Lesney Products was a British toy company that was founded in 1947 by Leslie Smith and Rodney Smith. The company's name is a combination of the first and last syllables of Leslie and Rodney's first names.
Initially, Lesney produced various small toys and games, but in the early 1950s, they began producing die-cast metal toy cars. These were initially marketed under the name "Matchbox" due to their small size, which made them perfect for fitting into a matchbox.
The first Matchbox car was the #1 Road Roller, which was released in 1953. This was followed by several other vehicles, including a dump truck, a cement mixer, and a fire engine. The company's attention to detail and use of realistic colours and designs made the Matchbox cars popular with children and collectors alike. In the early years the range of Matchbox was limited to 75 models, with more...
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