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 MB29-c Fire Pumper



This generic American Fire pumper joined the Superfast range for barely 6 months in 1970, perhaps it was an odd choice by Lesney given that it was a 5 year old casting and their newly introduced #35 Merryweather Fire Engine combined both pumper tank body with a roof ladder.
The #29 was packaged in “F“ boxes and “G“ boxes as well as USA and Canada blisterpacks with copyright 1969 dates and these are amongst the more difficult to obtain and pricey transitional items mint in package.
The Denver decals fitted to the regular wheels issues were not fitted to the standard SuperFast issues although pre production examples are known to have been fitted with them and collector reassignments are a simple matter.
Lesney fitted 10.5x2mm thin hollow wheels retained with black or dark red axle clips to all SF #29 although wheel swaps are simple.
There were no tooling changes during 1970 however a quantity of early regular wheels bodies with the original recessed front door panels had survived in storage for some years and these were made up with SuperFast baseplates and are very difficult to find.
A new design American pumper was planned, with the pre-pro being illustrated in 1981 Lesney catalog. However, the resulting toy for the “Code Red“ series turned out to be a #29c body casting modified with the addition of roof horns, a water cannon, cast in side control panels and P1 tampo.
The baseplate appears to be a new 1981 design to the same outer dimensions as a #29c baseplate.
The blue glazing unit appears identical to 1970 production, roof tampos and 10x4mm dot-dash wheels completed the very smart revival.


Above: The Fire Pumper in it's very desirable F type box. Note the raised decal panel on the door.

Above: A later example in a G type box

Above: A rare crossover piece with an earlier regular wheel type body with recessed door panels fitted to a Superfast baseplate.
photo courtesy Hardy Ristau.


Above: The 1981 blister 'Code Red' which has 'P1' and 'Los Angeles City Fire Dept' tampo and a white plastic water cannon fitted while the control panel details were removed from the baseplate and cast in as part the bodywork.

Above: An unusual pre production model fitted with wide 5 slot wheels.

code
number
colour
baseplate
inscription
door
panels
wheels
labels
/ tampo
water
cannon
code 1
red
fire pumper
recessed
10.5x2mm 5 slot
none
no
code 2
red
fire pumper
raised
10.5x2mm 5 slot
none
no
code 3
red
pumper / 1981
raised
9.5x4mm dot-dash
P1,LAFD
yes
code 4
red
pumper / 1981
raised
9.5x4mm dot-dash
P1, (roof only)
yes
code 5
red
pumper / 1981
raised
9.5x4mm dot-dash
none
yes
code 6
red
pumper / 1981
raised
10x5.5mm 5 squares
P1,LAFD
yes

Values based on Vectis actual selling prices.
with recessed door panels - £200-£300 (estimate)
raised door panels, F box - £50-£60
raised door panels, G box - £30-£40
code red, with plastic water cannon - £20-£30