When you think about the words of “famous miniature cars”, it usually comes to mind matchbox cars. The tiny vehicles are know the world over, and later Mattel would make the line of tiny cars and truck famous. Finding out what the history of the play toy is, is a must for collectors. Being informed, will certainly help to decide if it is an original, their true value, and if it is a good deal or not, to buy one.
It might surprise you to find out that the original matchbox design came from an English product company, and by a co-owner, named Jack Odell. He redesigned the first car for his daughter, from a toy that was sold at the company, except it was a much smaller version. The need for the small car was that apparently, she could not take any toys to school that would not fit inside a matchbox, so this is how the idea of die-cast small cars was dreamed up.
Lesney company, as it was known, marketed and distributed through the Moko Lesney company, and after the Lesney legacy went out of business, all of the rights to the name and design went to Moko. If you want to collect the line of vehicles, then be aware that the original distributing company name will be on the toys.
One of the most brilliant plans for the Lesney line was when they developed a retirement plan for their line for the die-cast model of cars. Vehicles would taken off the market after a season of production for the buying public. That is why collectors look for them so vigorously, and will pay high prices for originals. Also, production would be limited, which today draws the value of them to high prices on the open market.
If you are looking for the cars, then known that all originals will come in their unique bright yellow little box, in the shape of a box of matches. If a car is trying to be sold without the box, then look for other defining marks on the car, such as the Moko imprint on the vehicles. Popularity and rarity of certain models, like the die-cast caravan, is just one example of what to look for in the little vehicles.
The condition of cars, trucks, and jeeps, and the packaging it came in is very important, when trying to decide if the selling price is worth the cost. As with other vintage or antiques, all of these factors play into the real worth of it. Only you can decide if it is worth that much to own.
Many new collectors of die-casts do not realize that catalogs of the toys in the Lesney/Moko line, are just as valuable. Any price guides that can be found are a collectible too. As with the vehicles condition on both publications does mean a lot, in value and collectability. Do not be surprised to find more vehicles that are in better shape than the books and magazines. Rough handling by kids does not bode well for paper products.
Knowing all of these facts of history about collecting these rare toy cars and trucks, might just keep you out of being taken advantage of by a sly seller. Read more about the fascinating history of collectible cars and trucks from decades past, and fall in love with them all over again, or for the very first time.