1971 die-cast models and art from Matchbox

Curious. Does anyone else think the mountain race track peak looks like Batman?

Art vs Photography and the two combined

I’ve mentioned before that some of my favourite toy advertising images come from the 1960s and 1970s. This is because many products back then were advertised using original art – often drawn by in-house company artists, rather than the product photography style which became popular in the years that followed. That’s not to say photograph adverts were employed pre-1980s, they were, but perhaps it was cheaper to produce ad materials with drawings rather than photos back then?

The following images from the 1971 Matchbox Collectors Catalogue illustrate perfectly, and with some charm, how products might capture the imagination of the buyer when rendered as art. As well, some images feature both art and photography. The ideal mix, perhaps.

Cover. Matchbox Collectors Catalogue. 1971. France.

Matchbox Speed kings. 1971.

Matchbox Autopark. 1971.



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MATCHBOX

matchbox-logo

The Matchbox die cast range was introduced to the UK by Lesney Products in 1953. The product took the name ‘Matchbox’ because their original models were packed in boxes similar in size and style to boxes of matches sold at the time. In addition to their die-cast vehicle lines Matchbox produced a wide range of toys and established itself as a hugely popular brand around the world. 

Matchbox various die cast. 1970s. France.


Die Cast Vehicles

Matchbox Super 6. 1976. US.

Matchbox 1967/8. France. ‘Models of the Month’.

Denmark. 1967.

Denmark. 1976. Image by Jaltesorensen.

Denmark. Anders. 1976.

Battle Kings. 1970s. France.

Sea Kings. 1970s. France.

Sky- Busters. 1973. France.

UK. Victor. 1975.

UK. Hamleys Catalogue. 1983.

Matchbox Burnin' Key Cars special offer Collector's Showcase. UK. Eagle. 1983.

Matchbox Burnin’ Key Cars special offer Collector’s Showcase. UK. Eagle. 1983.

UK. Spider-Man and Hulk Match Up. 1981.

UK. Spider-Man and Hulk Match Up. 1981.

France. Pif Gadget. 1980.

France. Pif Gadget. 1980.


Model Kits

Denmark. 1980.

Denmark. Anders. 1981.

Denmark. Anders. 1981.

UK. Victor. 1973.


Track Racing

Matchbox Scorpions. 1970s. France.

France. 1970s.

France. Pif Gadget. 1979.

France. Pif Gadget. 1979.

Denmark. Anders. 1979.

Denmark. Anders. 1979.

France. Pif Gadget. 1978.

France. Pif Gadget. 1978.


Other Matchbox Toys

France. Pif Gadget. 1985.

Linkits. France. Pif Gadget. 1985.

France. Pif Gadget. 1983.

E.T. The Extra-terrestrial. France. Pif Gadget. 1983.

UK. Eagle. 1984.

Golden Quest. UK. Eagle. 1984.

ABBA dolls. Denmark. 1978.


Post updated May 2019 with new images.