PLEASE NOTE: I will no longer be altering the variation codes. All new discoveries will be inserted in to their correct place in the timeline and given a suffix.
So a new variation that would be nearest to variation 4 would become the new 4a, etc.

Matchbox Superfast MB11-d Mercedes
Scaffolding Truck



The #11 Mercedes 408 Scaffolding truck was one of the final wave of regular wheels releases in 1969 and converted to SuperFast in 1970.
It was only packaged in G boxes and USA or Canada blisterpacks with copyright dates between 1969 and 1971.
The SuperFast issue retained the same colours and stickers as the regular wheels issue, although the larger SuperFast baseplate with a detatchable plastic axle clip of either length only on the front makes this one of the later conversions once Lesney had realised that allowing children to remove wheels and axles and then refit them could cause injuries so their use was minimised and then eliminated altogether.
It was always fitted with 11x2mm thin 5 slot usually hollow but occasionally solid SF wheels and it had the same green tinted windows, red plastic base and red & white "Builders Supply Company" labels as the regular wheel issue but one hard to find run of the SuperFast Mercedes was issued without labels.
Its play value was greatly enhanced by the 7 pieces of yellow or light yellow plastic scaffolding which could be fitted together to make a tower.
There were no obvious casting variations and this casting had only 3 years of use with no further use abroad making it a short career compared to most of its contemporaries.
However these were the boom years of Lesney production so large numbers still exist today with both wheel varieties.


Above: The Mercedes with it's yellow plastic scaffolding load which was secured by a blue elastic band.

Above: Packaged in a 1970 USA blister pack.


Above: The Mercedes was also packaged as part of the 1970 G-4 Truck Superset.

matab1matab2
Above: The following 3 pictures are from a well known code-2, found often in the Netherlands. Matab is a Dutch scaffolding (Steigerbouw) company which gave those models away to their customers. I could never get confirmation of the Dutch company whether Matchbox made the model, as (according to the company) the person responsible for it, died several years ago. The fact that I consider it as a code 2 model is that the Scafs are not the usual yellow but in gray. Size and shape of the gray parts is exactly the same as one of the two yellow versions. I think they could have relabeled the models themselves but producing the gray scafs in exactly the same dimensions is very doubtful. This could only be done by Matchbox themselves.
Text + photo courtesy John Nijhuis.

code number
colour
wheels
front axle clips
scaffold colour
label
code 3
silver-grey
11x2mm 5 slot
long black
yellow
builder's supply
code 4
silver-grey
11x2mm 5 slot
short black
yellow
builder's supply
code 5
silver-grey
11x2mm 5 slot
short black
light yellow
builder's supply
code 6
silver-grey
11x2mm 5 slot
long black
yellow
none

Values based on Vectis actual selling prices.
all versions - 25-35