A brief Matchbox history

Filed under: Toys

My brother had them, I played with them, all of our friends had them. My oldest son played with them, then his sister loved them and now the older two are more than happy to sit down with the toddler and play with them. They are, of course, Matchbox cars.

The cars were first conceived by an English couple, Rodney and Leslie Smith, in 1953. Made of die cast metal and named for their small size, which allowed them to fit snuggly inside a matchbox, the cars quickly gained a reputation for their high quality. Within the first several years of production over 75 models were added to the line. After several ownership exchanges, Tyco bought the company in 1991 and continues to produce the mini cars to this day.

In 1968 the Hot Wheels line entered the market, giving the Matchboxes a run for their money. Matchboxes lost some of their popularity due to the Hot Wheel flash and the eventual introduction of the electric race car track. Today both companies are alive and kicking. There are a gazillion toys on the market, but the nostalgia that a small metal car brings to us, young and old, is a pretty great feeling.
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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.
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