Category Archives: Matchbox

Lesney pre Matchbox era Bait Press

Pictured is a very rare Lesney Bait Press made c.1954.

This novelty item was tooled by the late Jack Odell who was a keen angler on the canals and rivers of North London area and made this for his friends with a few making their way for sale into local fishing tackle shops.

Most versions are marked Lesney Bait Press on the side, however rarer version are marked MILBRO Bait Press, made for a local fishing tackle wholesaler.

They were made in 3 different colours; red, red/green or orange, with the orange variation being the rarest.

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Matchbox Lesney Pub & Inn signs

Pictured left is a Lesney Pub Sign – Rose & Crown

In 1975 Lesney released a range of plated metal Pub Signs, these hard to find emblems are clearly marked Lesney 1975 on the base though sadly collector interest in them at the time was minimal so the range was very short lived making them quite scarce. Measuring 55mm in height and weighing 150 grams there are 14 to collect as follows:

The Britannia   –   The Bull   –   The Cock   –   The Dick Turpin   –   The George & Dragon

The Lion   –   The Mermaid   –   The Pig & Whistle   –   The Rose & Crown

The Royal Standard   –   The Sherlock Holmes   –   The Swan   –   The Unicorn

The Volunteer

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Matchbox 52a Maserati 4CLT Racing Car

In 1958 Matchbox issued the 52a Maserati  4CLT racing car, firstly in red without race numbers which was followed later in the year by a lemon yellow version. The red version was the first of the 1-75 Series to be issued with solid black plastic wheels, which were short lived as they were quickly replaced by spoked wire wheels to give a more realistic appearance. As a result these early solid black plastic wheel versions without race numbers are harder to find.

For more information see our Matchbox Toys price guide.