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Books on Matchbox and other Vintage Toys.

Matchbox Toys

Without doubt the best book for the 1-75 regular wheel collector is the long out of print 1982 Stannard guide that lists all known colour, wheel and casting variations, It was reprinted in 2002 but the website which was marketing them appears to have gone so at the moment I can only assume it is unavailable but a google search may turn up something, The 1-75 guide on this site is based on Stannards original variation tables but with the addition of Christan Falkensteiners update plus many more unlisted vaiations from my own collection and those many variations sent to me by readers of this site to whom we owe a very big THANK YOU!.

Probably the most useful book for any Collector of all ranges of Matchbox toys is the Encyclopedia of Matchbox toys by Charlie Mack. 3rd Edition 2002. It has hundreds of excellent colour photographs and a full price guide for all of the products made from 1947 to the present. There is a brief history of the Lesney Company and a description of the range at the start of each category. He lists the colour and wheel variations for each model, the years they were produced and gives a value in US $ for them. Although this book has much less info than can be found on this site it is still a book no serious Matchbox Collector should be without. Highly recommended.

For the 1-75 miniatures collector Charlie Mack also has Collecting Matchbox Regular Wheels, 1953-1969 for the pre 1970 regular wheeled models which is a very useful guide on the model range with good photographs and a values section in US $. For British made superfast models there is Charlie Macks Lesney's Matchbox Toys: The Superfast Years 1969-1982 and for the later Universal era there is Charlies Lesney's Matchbox Toys: The Universal Years 1982-92 Finally for the tyco era is the Lesney's Matchbox Toys: The Tyco Years 1993-94 or if you prefer a book with all superfast issues there's Charlies The Big Book of Superfast Matchbox Toys: 1969-2004

Another "must have" for your collection is Collecting Matchbox Diecast Toys: First Forty Years by Kevin McGimpsey & Stewart Orr which is a highly detailed history of the Lesney Company and their products 1947-1987 and also the history of the Moko Company from 1875. There are many colour & black and white photographs of the people the factory and the products they made. There is no price guide but everything Lesney ever made is photographed and described in detail. Certainly one not to be missed but it is getting very hard to find now, This one comes highly recommended so grab a copy, Although it is expensive you certainly wont be disappointed, It is simply packed full of Lesney info and photographs

The late Harold Colpitts book "Matchbox 1-75 series Regular Wheel 1953-69" published by the American International Matchbox (collectors club) is a good reference guide for casting variations that are missed by other reference guides, the booklet was last updated in 1983, It can be ordered from Harolds family at haroldsaim@aol.com

Another very interesting book is Matchbox Toys [2002 edition] by Bruce and Diane Stoneback. It has a well written history of the Company and has a chapter on Jack Odell's Lledo Company and the "Days Gone" and "Promotional" toys that they made. The photo's are of very good quality showing many of the lesser known products. There is no price guide but the book describes all the rare models in detail. Currently out of print, even so it's a good book to have in any collection .

I tried to obtain a copy of the Concise Catalogue of 1-75 series Matchbox toys by Lesney by Geoffery Leake but have been unable to track down a copy but I am reliably informed it is another "must have" for the Lesney colector.

One book that is highly prized by many collectors is "Mike and the Modelmakers " by M.Sasek. It was published by Lesney in 1970 not for Collectors but as a Childrens story book. The illustrations are accurate drawn representations of the factory and their products which gives us a real glimpse into the past which few books listed here do quite as well. Although long out of print his one can often be found on .

For probably the best reference book and price guide that covers almost all makes of British die cast toys try the book Ramsay's British Diecast Model Toys Price Guide / Catalogue 12th Edition - 2007. The book is considered the to be the book to have by British Collectors and Dealers alike. It lists all the big named Manufacturers as well as the smaller ones like "Morestone", "Charbens", "Benbros" and "Budgie" also the modern collectibles like "Corgi Classics", "EFE" and "Lledo". The book contains lots of very useful information and compared to most of the other books on this page it is very easy to find a copy, Sadly it has very few photographs which could be very useful in helping to identify old toys, especially to the novice collector it is still, nevertheless a book not to be missed.

I have just ordered a copy of Warman's Matchbox Field Guide: Values and Identification By Tom Larson 2nd edition 2008 so look for a write up soon.

Other Makes

Andrew Ralston has a very interesting booklet on Lone Star toys, it has a history of the company and an overview of their products including cap guns and cowboy outfits, die cast cars and trains among others, a good read and all for only 4.50 ($9.99) a copy including p&p, You can order your copy direct from Andrew at ralstona55@yahoo.co.uk

For those interested in Corgi toys you may want to try the books Corgi Juniors and Husky Models and the Unauthorized Encyclopedia of Corgi Toys which are both by the very knowledgeable Bill Manzke. I think the first one may be the only book written on the subject of Husky range so its certainly the one to have if you like Husky toys.

For Dinky toys the The Great Book of Dinky Toys by Mike & Sue Richardson is superb, With loads of photographs and lots to read it's the best Dinky toys book published to date.

For "Budgie" toys Robert Newsons book "Budgie models, including Morris & Stone, Morestone and Modern products" is the one to have, it has a section on the "Esso pump" series, at the moment I am unable to find a supplier. the ISBN number is 0 948793 02 3

Robert Newson has reprinted his booklet Benbros T.V.Series & Mighty Midgets, It covers the "T.V." series, later known as the "Mighty Midgets". You can obtain a copy direct from Robert at robert.newson@btinternet.com