Here is delightful factory footage from 1965 of Matchbox car manufacturing in the London Borough of Hackney. From Wikipedia:
The Matchbox name originated in 1953 as a brand name of the British die-casting company, Lesney Products, whose reputation would be moulded by John W. "Jack" Odell (1920–2007), Leslie Charles Smith (1918–2005), and Rodney Smith (hence the name Lesney, a portmanteau of Leslie and Rodney Smith's first names). Their first major sales success was the popular model of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation coach, which sold more than a million models. Shortly thereafter, Lesney co-owner Jack Odell created a toy that effectively paved the way for the company's future success. It was designed for his daughter: her school only allowed children to bring toys that could fit inside a matchbox, so Odell crafted a scaled-down version of the Lesney green and red road roller. This toy ultimately became the first of the 1-75 miniature range. A dump truck and a cement mixer completed the original three-model release that marked the starting point for the mass-market success of the Matchbox series. As a result of the inspiration for the toys' size, the idea was born to sell the models in replica matchboxes — thus yielding the name of the series. It also resulted in the description of the models' scales being "1:box" (as opposed to more mathematical scales such as 1:87, 1:64, or 1:43).
Spotted at the New York Fair – a new Etch A Sketch, called The Revolution, that lets you draw curves and circles. From Gizmodo: The Etch a Sketch Revolution is a tad smaller than your typical Etch a Sketch, but it does feature the two signature knobs at the bottom. The main difference is it […]
Japan is increasingly obsessed with capybaras, the best rodent and very likely the best animal of all time. Accordingly, there’s a plush toy craze to go with it: behold Kapibara-san. No animal is complete without its own cute character in Japan—and capybaras have Kapibara-san (link in Japanese). By one estimate, over 5,000 items (link in […]
My young son has an inordinate fondness of trucks, and while acquiring trucks yesterday I noticed that this Mercedes-Benz 1/20-scale Dump Truck includes the text “Shipped from Amazon Warehouse in US, Free from Virus.” This fascinating statement suggests a consumer fear that seems absurd — that one can contract coronavirus from toy trucks shipped directly […]
Whether you’re managing a political campaign or building a client base, there comes a time when you stop seeing people and start seeing numbers. This doesn’t happen suddenly. You shake hands, make calls, and build relationships. And then those relationships disappear into a database of donors or customers as your organization grows. People get brought […]
Learning to ride a bike is one of those quintessential childhood experiences that’s as rewarding as it is scary. Prep your precious babe for success by starting them early with the world’s lightest balance bike, the Brilrider FLIGHT. For the uninitiated, balance bikes are no-pedal bicycles that propel forward by pushing off the ground with […]
With so many advancements in modern society, you’d think we’d have moved beyond the butane lighter by now. A pressurized, flammable gas, butane fumes can irritate your eyes and skin, can elevate your heart rate, and even lead to cardiac arrest. And we did mention that whole highly pressurized and flammable part, right? While certainly […]