Lesney of England had its beginnings in 1947 by two Navy friends, Rodney Smith and Leslie Smith (no relation).
When they started the company, it was agreed that it should be named using a portion of each of their first names. Therefore, in 1948, the Lesney Products Company became a business.
The first toy that was produced was an Aveling Barford Road Roller. They produced three more toys in 1948 after which they made a business decision to box their toys, i.e., one toy per box naming this process ‘Matchbox’.
The first time Matchbox was produced for USA consumption was in 1958. It it quickly became a household name for the US toy market and was extremely popular.
The first real production change for Matchbox was introduced in 1969, which was called the Superfast Series. From this point on Matchbox maintained its share of the diecast market in the world producing larger toys – boats, buses, fire engines, airplanes, etc. – larger in size than their Matchbox series.
The bulldozer pictured above was produced in 1969 and was . . .
- Made of diecast metal
- Had plastic green rubber treads
- Came with yellow plastic roof
The dozer blade on this toy has a fixed position. The name Case is embossed on both sides of the engine cover.
For more information about Matchbox cars, there are some very good price guide available.I favor the Encyclopedia of Matchbox Toys (Schiffer Book for Collectors) – by Charlie Mack. It has the best information on Lesney toys you can find in today’s market.