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.

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Moko Lesney Matchbox 56a London trolley bus



The Lesney model of the 56a London trolley bus joined the Matchbox 1-75 series in 1958.
Like all London buses it was painted red and it could have either a flat or gloss black baseplate and is usually found with decals for "Peardrax" (pear drink) on the sides and decals for "Oxo" (stock cubes) on the front.
The very first issue had six grey metal wheels on domed head type crimped axles and black painted trolley poles on the roof,
The black painted poles were soon changed to red poles so the black poled variation is quite rare.
After approximately one year the wheels were changed to grey plastic, this variation can also be found with black poles,
The poles were then changed permanantly to red and then shortly after axles with rounded ends replaced the earlier axles with crimped ends, Finally the silver and black plastic wheeled variants made an appearance.
The last issue was fitted with black plastic wheels and "visco-static" (engine oil) decals that are usually found on the 5b / 5c london bus.
I recently heard of a very unusual trolleybus being found with 'players please' (cigarettes) decals which are also from the 5b / 5c bus but have never seen one so at the moment it has not been added to the listing as it is unlikely to be a pre production model and is most likely to be an error piece.

Although there are no casting variations as such there were two molds making this model, One mold had a smooth surface to the inside of the roof and one had cross hatching,
All variations of the trolleybus can be found with either type of roof so either eight or sixteen variations exist depending on if you take into account the roof type.
The trolley bus is a fairly common model except for the quite hard to find black poled variations the silver wheeled version and the one fitted with the visco-static decals.
It was available in box types 'B' 'C' and 'D' and was deleted in 1965 to make way for the Fiat 1500.

above: smooth and crosshatched roof interiors

code number body colour & decal poles colour baseplate colour wheel type axle type inner roof casting
code 1 red body, peardrax decals black flat black metal 7.5x18 domed head crimped smooth
code 2 red body, peardrax decals black flat black metal 7.5x18 "56" domed head crimped smooth
code 3 red body, peardrax decals red flat black metal 7.5x18 "56" domed head crimped smooth
code 4 light red body, peardrax decals red flat black metal 7.5x18 "56" domed head crimped smooth
code 5 red body, peardrax decals red satin black metal 7.5x18 "56" domed head crimped smooth
code 6 red body, peardrax decals red flat black metal 7.5x18 domed head crimped smooth
code 7 red body, peardrax decals red satin black metal 7.5x18 domed head crimped smooth
code 8 red body, peardrax decals red flat black grey plastic7.5x18 domed head crimped smooth
code 9 red body, peardrax decals black satin black grey plastic 7.5x18 domed head crimped smooth
code 10 red body, peardrax decals red gloss black grey plastic 7.5x18 domed head crimped smooth
code 11 red body, peardrax decals red satin black grey plastic 7.5x18 domed head rounded smooth
code 12 red body, peardrax decals red gloss black grey plastic 7.5x18 domed head rounded smooth
code 13 red body, peardrax decals red satin black grey plastic 7.5x18 domed head rounded light cross hatched
code 14 red body, peardrax decals red gloss black grey plastic 7.5x18 domed head rounded light cross hatched
code 15 red body, peardrax decals red gloss black silver plastic 7.5x18 domed head rounded smooth
code 16 red body, peardrax decals red gloss black silver plastic 7.5x18 domed head rounded light cross hatched
code 17 red body, peardrax decals red gloss black black plastic 7.5x18 domed head rounded smooth
code 18 red body, peardrax decals red gloss black black plastic 7.5x18 domed head rounded light cross hatched
code 19 red body, peardrax decals red gloss black black plastic 7.5x18 domed head rounded heavy cross hatched
code 20 dark red body, peardrax decals red gloss black black plastic 7.5x18 domed head rounded light cross hatched
code 21 red body, visco-static decals red gloss black black plastic 7.5x18 domed head rounded light cross hatched
code 22 red body, visco-static decals red gloss black black plastic 7.5x18 domed head rounded heavy cross hatched

box types notes
B3 bus facing left
B3 bus facing right
B4 none
B5 side view
B5 elevated view
C side view
C elevated view
D1 one black side one blue
D2 one black side one blue

values

grey metal wheel or grey plastic wheel with red trolley poles 40

grey metal wheels or grey plastic wheels with black poles 150

black plastic wheels 70

black plastic wheels with 'visco static' decals 450

silver plastic wheels 180

values are for mint models in mint boxes

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