New Book Review: Matchbox Toys, by Nick Jones

By Marcel Colijn

booklg_review_matchbox

I now have this great new little book about my beloved Matchbox toys in hand, and I really like it!

The book features Gary Galvin’s early, large scale Lesney toy collection which is one of the two finest collections in existence. With so many early Lesney Toys shown, this certainly gives one of the most complete overviews ever published. Where ever could we see 7 variations of the early Road Roller pictured?  The box pictured with the great Massey Harris Tractor is different then the one in Collecting Matchbox Diecast Toys – The First Forty Years (1989), so even if you have this book (published almost 30 years ago!), there is much new for you to see in this new book by Nick.

Both Nick, Gary, and myself were among the fortunate collectors who visited the opening of the Matchbox exhibition in the London Hackney museum on the evening of March 18th, 2004, and as we now know, this was the last occasion that collectors could meet both founders of Lesney Products (Matchbox); Leslie Smith and Jack Odell.  Nick Jones had his great, all-original UK 1966 Matchbox dealer display on show there,. A photo of that display in full swing with all the correct models is one of the many fine pictures in this book.

The new book also features Matchbox Regular wheels 1-75, Superfast, Matchbox Accessory packs, Major packs, and Kingsize. Don’t expect endless variation lists. The mixture of photos is fine, showing both the more easier to find models but also some of the more elusive variations. There is also a small section about Matchbox Models of Yesteryear models, and some of the fine Matchbox giftsets are pictured. With almost 80 color photos, there is something for everyone.

The book also contains original black and white photos of Leslie Smith and Jack Odell and the factory; that section makes the book especially fine for me.  Although I have many books and paperwork on Matchbox,  and when I was helping with Alex Picha’s book about Matchbox some years ago,  I have never seen the black and white photos in Nick Jones’ book published before. These black and white photos make the book an indispensable reference to have for the genuine Matchbox collector.

It has been quite some years ago that a book about Matchbox Toys was published, and I always welcome this. I personally want to thank Nick for all his efforts in promoting our beloved hobby. Online forums including Nick Jones’ own Vintage British Diecast Forum are nice, but a book is for ever!

Nick will travel south to the Sandown Park swapmeet on Saturday, November 12th, and will have the books with him. So why not come along and say hello and buy the book there? It will save you postage, and you will get a personal chat and a superb swapmeet as a bonus:  see www.bpfairs.com  Or use amazon.co.uk.  If you are not in England, then amazon.com and others still have it on pre-order (as of this writing), or use paypal directly to the author:  see link.


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