In 1953 Lesney Products company started producing a new toy line known as MATCHBOX Cars. This England based company was created by the co-founders LESlie Smith and RodNEY Smith.
Shortly after Lesney Products began producing toys, the co-owner of Lesney Products, Jack Odell designed a toy with his daughter in mind.
Mr. Odell's daughter attended a school that only allowed the children to bring in toys that could fit inside a matchbox. Mr. Odell took this as a challenge and created his daughter a scaled down version of one of the Lesney toy products, the green and red road roller.
This was just the start of what has become the famous matchbox cars. Keeping in mind that the toy must fit into a matchbox became to dertermining factor for the new model replica creations. Naming the toy series, "MATCHBOX" seemed only fitting.
The original Lesney MATCHBOX cars were packaged in bright yellow boxes that actually resemebled traditional matchboxes.
Dodge Challenger, orange
1957 Ford Thunderbird, yellow
Pontiac GTO 'Judge', black
Ford Mustang Cobra Jet, white
1956 Ford Pickup, red
1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS396, green
Chevrolet Camaro Z28, State Police Kansas
Chevrolet Camaro Z28, State Police Nevada
Chevrolet Camaro Z28, State Police Utah
Ford Crown Victoria, State Police South Dakota
Ford Crown Victoria, State Police Montana
Ford Crown Victoria, State Police Minnesota
Lamborghini Diablo, gold
Porsche 944 Turbo, white
BMW 5 series, black
Jaguar XJ220, green
Ferrari Testarossa, red
Ferrari F40, silver
1956 Ford Pickup, Turquoise
1957 Ford Thunderbird, silver
Chevrolet Corvette Gran Sport, yellow
Ford Mustang Cobra Jet, red
Chevrolet Camaro SS396, orange
Pontiac GTO 'Judge', navy
Dennis Fire Engine, Seaside
Fire Tender, Laurel Springs
Fire Tender, Park Ridge
Fire Tender, Eagle Point
There were special series that were done specially for CostCo and Walmart etc.
Also, there are many Toy Fair and special occasion cars produced which are very similar to these World Class and Premiere models.
Corvette Series 1
1987 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster, black
1962 Chevrolet Corvette, blue
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Targa, yellow
Chevrolet Corvette Gran Sport, black
1997 Chevrolet Corvette, red
1997 Chevrolet Corvette, white
Corvette Series 2
1987 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster, yellow
1962 Chevrolet Corvette, silver
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Targa, red
Chevrolet Corvette Gran Sport, blue
Hot Wheels are die-cast model vehicles manufactured by Mattel and were introduced on September 7, 1968. Originally the cars and trucks were manufactured to approximately 1:64 scale and designed to be used on associated Hot Wheels track sets. By 1970, however, a series of 1:43 scale "Gran Toros" made by Mebetoys in Milan, Italy, were introduced. More recently, a range of highly detailed adult collector vehicles, including replicas of NASCAR and Formula One cars, have found success. Despite the forays into larger scales, the brand remains most famous for the small scale free-rolling models of custom hot rods and muscle cars it has produced since the range first appeared. Roughly 10,000 different models of Hot Wheel Cars have been produced over the years.
Hot Wheel Vehicles are authorized by the car makers General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Chrysler Motors. Other car makers like Ferrari, Mazda, and Toyota have licensed Hot Wheels to make a scale model of their cars.
To make a Hot Wheel version of a current-model car, Mattel looks at design blueprints of the full-sized car. An example of this is the Chrysler 300 Hot Wheel car. First, the Hot Wheel Team and Mattel went to Chrysler to look at the design of the 300 and an actual car. Chrysler licensed the blueprints to Mattel and the Hot Wheel Team for the purpose of producing the model car. Chrysler then required Mattel to return the blueprints after the Hot Wheel team was finished studying them.
At Mattel's Hot Wheel design center, the blueprint's design measurements and dimensions were scaled down to conform to a model car that is 1/64 the size of a real car. Then a mock-up of the car was produced in plastic and evaluated. After this process, the mock-up became a die cast metal mock up, which was evaluated again. After these processes were complete, the final version of the car was then manufactured.
For older scale models, the 1968 Chevy Nova for example, the model maker uses blueprints from General Motors and also studies car brochures of that model year.
Larry Wood, the head of the Hot Wheels division(now retired), has been with the Mattel/Hot Wheels team since 1967. He originally worked for General Motors as a designer.
The Hot Wheels product line has also included various tracks, accessories, and other kinds of vehicles such as "Sizzlers" rechargeable electric cars, "Hot Line" trains, "R-R-Rumblers" motorcycles, "Hot Birds" airplanes and the comical half-human/half-machine "Farbs".
Before Hot Wheels, the huge market for small car models was dominated at that time by the British company Lesney with their Matchbox cars. Elliot Handler, co-founder of Mattel, decided to produce a line of die-cast toy cars for boys. Although his executives thought it was a bad idea, he was able to capture much of this market by introducing a number of revolutionary features, including low-friction wheels suitable for racing on a track, and styling in tune with the times of customized, racing and show cars coming out of places like California.
There were sixteen castings released in 1968, eleven of them designed by Harry Bentley Bradley, with the first one produced being a dark blue Custom Camaro. Although Bradley was from the car industry, he had not designed the full-functioning versions of the real cars, except the Dodge Deora concept car, which had been built by Mike and Larry Alexander. Another of his notable designs was the Custom Fleetside, which was based on his own heavily-customized '64 El Camino.