Toy Collection

Matchbox Variation Guide 1953 - 1969

Updated January, 2023

Matchbox Regular Wheel 1-75 Series, Accessory, Major Pack, King Size, Presentation & Gift Sets - Variations 1953-1969

The aim of my guide was a personal one, in that I often had a number of reference books open to find year of construction, size, boxes & variations. My early references (from local library) were the Schiffer, Johnson & Ramsey's books. Frustrated with this I started my own guide, combining the information I wanted. The other aspect that the above had was the lack of current values, I continually update mine by referencing sales on eBay, TradeMe & Vectis auctions to get a median values.

A big leap forward was when I acquired a photocopy of the Stannard's Guide and realised there were many more variations. Later I also got John Houghton's "The Definitive Guide To Matchbox Toys 1-75 Series 1953 - 1969.. Rather than duplicate all that detail I wanted a quick guide to visible variations and didn't worry about the internal castings (pips, blocks, etc).

The next leap was Nick Jones British Diecast Site (like an on-line Stannards that keeps getting updated) I also became a member of that die-cast forum.

I was still however flicking between books, sites to get information on the other range of models (I specifically collect Moko/Lesney/Matchbox in the period 1953-1969) e.g. King Size, Major, etc so I set to to add these to what was now turning into a more polished guide that I could reference easily. For more detail I access Nick's website if required.

My current guide has fewer pages that Houton's (due to formatting) but has a greater range to include the above but does not have the detail. It is intended to be a quick reference and perhaps best suited to the enthusiast who is beyond the beginning stages. I have an Excel document for my personal collection for which I use Nick's site to catalogue due to the greater detail.

The reason I started printing off copies was when I shared what I was doing with NZ collectors a number were keen to have a copy and it grew from there (the early versions were fairly basic, just 1-75 series & photos from my collection but was well received). As I sold more copies so I widened my contacts and began to get collectors sending me photos of rare variations that I was able to include (more than Houton). It has been more a labour of love than for profit - hence the self publishing.

Matchbox Series Variation Guide

July 2020 Cover.jpg
Matchbox Series
1953 - 1969

Yumpu Flipbook

Matchbox Variations 1953 - 1969

May 2022 - 43A Hillman Minx variations updated, 61A Ferret photos added, 51A Albion Chieftain spelling corrected

May 2022 - Additional photographs added, additional variations added and updated

February 2022 - 16B Atlantic Trailer issue date corrected to 1960

November 2021 - Additional variations added and updated

March 2021 - Yumpu Flipbook added

July 2020 - Model values updated

June 2020 - New section on Presentation & Gift Sets added. Roadway Series and Painting Books updated

April 2020 - 1-75 section variations updated

January 2019 - 1-75 section reformatted and additional photos added

May 2018 - PDF copy added to website for downloading - PDF Version

October 2017 - New photos and variations added to 1-75 Guide

June 2016 - New photos and variations added to 1-75 Guide

August 2014 - Update: Responding to a number of requests I have updated my guide to include Accessory/Major Pack & King Size variations and some ephemera information.

Acknowledgements for updates are due to: Lorna, Vicky and Andrew at Vectis (V) for providing photographs of the variations and past auction prices. Also to Nick Jones for the valuable information on his website vintagebritishdiecasts.


I have been selling copies on TradeMe (NZ equivalent to eBay) and overseas. Buyer feedback......

Much thanks for the Guide!  I wish there was a way to give you Great Feedback so others could take advantage of your knowledge...I will most definitely do my utmost best to spread the Word of your most excellent Guide!!

Hello Rodger, I hope that all is well with you and your family. I received the Matchbox Variations Catalog 2 days ago.The catalog is fantastic-I absolutely love it! I would like to congratulate and compliment you on the catalog-it is incredible! I have collected Matchbox models for over 50 years.It is the most complete and relevant catalog that I have ever seen. Please keep me on your list and let me know if you have any future revisions.

Hello Rodger, I want to commend you on the fabulous results of the hours of work you have done to have the most informative book any collector or restorer could use. Thank you again, I will appreciate the book for years.

Excellent resource. A lot of information to work through but looks very thorough and detailed.

All here and simply superb as I've come to expect from you. A wonderful source of information and at a glance a couple of Kingsize I will have to look out for now - thought I had them all covered!! The thrill of collecting!

Rodger, The catalog arrived safe and sound. The packing job was positively bullet proof! Also, I didn't expect the disc as well. The catalog is phenomenal! I am still pouring through it and discovering things. I've already used it as a reference guide too. I absolutely love the layout and the coverage of Accessory Packs, Majors & Kings is great.I love the way you have the model photos right there in the variation table for the particular model. Your page layout is also a joy to look at. This is, very simply put, a wonderfully comprehensive and well laid out catalog. Thank you on so many levels: For taking the time to put this together. For blessing me with a copy and a disk. For sharing your knowledge and collection with everyone.

Hi Roger, I hope you are surviving the Covid crisis well and maybe discovering new things in your collection. You had sold me several Matchies last year and I had bought a copy of your catalogue. I just wanted to let you know that it is a fantastic piece of research and well set out. I have read every page and compared my own meagre collection to it. So thanks for your hard work putting it together.

Hi Rodger, I just wanted to say a big thank you for the catalogue, and the extra pages. updates etc. I have already used it as a reference many times, and found it very useful.

Hi Rodger, that's an amazing job you've done. A huge thanks to you from a minor collector who is only doing this to keep my youth.

"Absolutely brilliant work Rodger! Photos ... text .... variations ..... what more could one hope for!? Thanks to you and other credited contributors for a job so well done!"

"Hi Rodger I would like to give you feedback on your, what I feel, very comprehensive guide to a novice collector like myself. I never knew there were so many variations of these fine die-cast. You explain everything in a wonderful layout, in an easy to understand format. Mate, thank you it is a pleasure to know you .... and hopefully trade again."

"Rodger, what a fantastic effort you have achieved, congratulations. I have been so busy I have not had time to analyse the many variations you have listed, but on the surface there are more than I ever thought there were."

"This publication is well worth the $ and you should be very proud of your efforts Rodger".......cheers

"Thanks for a superb reference document, promptly delivered via an excellent trade. The catalogue is a real credit to you Rodger!"

"Great effort Rodger, every big kid should have one!!!! cheers"

"Great trade wow what a great book thanks very much AAAA++++"

"This is a fantastic work, and I can thoroughly recommend it to any Regular Wheel collector. A good job well done Rodger!"

"Thanks to your book its easier and quicker to look up models I'm interested in, look up the value and decide to bid for it."

"The catalogue arrived today.What a wonderful achievement on your part! So many things I did not know.I am so pleased that someone like you has spent the time putting it all together, well done."

"Arrived safely today, enjoyed doing pass the parcel with my self through the layers of packaging. Well packed indeed. Great reference book and well put together. Thank you very much."

"Extremely well packaged and useful catalogue, Rodger - arrived this morning. Thank you. I didn't order through ebay so feedback is not an option - unless are aware of alternative feedback options."

"Thank you very much for the Catalogue Rodger - I've now got the 'Book of Secrets' to help me with collecting."

"Rodger, many many thanks for the file! It's an impressive and very useful work what you have done! It denotes so much work and dedication! Congratulations."


A Collector's Guide to Matchbox Regular Wheel 1-75 Series, Accessory/Major Pack & King Size - Variations 1953-1970

           A4 format
           Plastic comb bound
           Clear laminate cover
           160 pages (120gm paper)
           Space for recording collection
           Listing of all 1-75 Regular Wheel models
           Listing of all Accessory Pack, Major Pack & King Size models, Presentation & Gift Sets
           Model size - date of issue & box types
           Latest auction values & highlights of HTF and rare variations
           1,800+ variations listed
           1,200+ photographs

           + additional pages of 1-75, accessory, major & kingsize box variations

This catalogue aims to detail the major visible variations plus some notable casting differences.

The inspiration & foundation of information was Michael J. Stannard's excellent catalogue, unfortunately out of print and very hard to get hold of.

Originally created as a text catalogue of the variations I decided to add some photos for a more visual feel. Sample pictures show end result.

The catalogue is comb bound so that pages can be replaced if required.

Those who have dealt with me know that I strive to fair & honest so will offer refund (upon return), less postage if not satisfied. Will leave it to buyer to judge if price reflects information, presentation & time put in, thanks everyone

Have a look at the sample photos below - pricing, postage and payment details below.

Contact me if you would like to purchase the catalogue e-mail me
I will then invoice you via PayPal to enable payment to be made.

Full listing of 1-75 Series
Variation 1
Variation 10
Variation 22
Variation 25
Variation 34
Variation 41
Variation 68
Variation 75
Box Variation Page
B Box Variation Page
E Box Variation Page
Accessory Pack
Major Pack
King Size
Box Styles

Pricing, shipping and payment

All NON-New Zealand buyers must pay by Paypal. No foreign payments or money orders accepted.


Rodger Darkens



Postage: New Zealand - NZ Post Courier Tracked

Postage: ROW - International Air Parcel            US$27   GBP20   Euro23   AU$16         

Postage: ROW - NZ Post Courier Tracked             US$30   GBP23   Euro26   AU$20         


Catalogue (inc P & P)

Price: Not tracked:  NZ$45             US$51.00             GPB37.00             Euro42             AUS$50.00

Price: Tracked:  NZ$45             US$53.00             GPB41.00             Euro46             AUS$52.00



In light of the current Covid situation please expect delays in delivery.

I try to give an honest description of items but please do refer to photos and e-mail if you have any questions.
I am laser printing and binding this myself in short runs so would ask for patience if large orders are received :-)

Contact me if you would like to purchase the catalogue e-mail me
I will then invoice you via PayPal to enable payment to be made.


Catalogue will be protected by card and well wrapped. Handling and shipping costs (up to 0.5Kg) are included in the above prices

Payment options for NZ buyers are Direct credit, Cheques and cash (at senders risk).


Overseas shipping will be by New Zealand Post International Air airmail, unless requested otherwise by purchaser.

Overseas buyers must pay by Paypal. No foreign payments or money orders accepted.

PLEASE NOTE Lost or damaged items are covered by NZ Post to a limited degree (happy to assist in any claim) - please contact if any further questions.

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