Lesney Matchbox time again, this time we examine a piece of heavy equipment. This is Matchbox 18b, the Caterpillar bulldozer. This casting entered the range in 1958, replacing a smaller similar bulldozer, and was replaced in 1961 by a slightly larger bulldozer. This is a charming period piece with a good amount of detail:
Lesney loved to include drivers in open vehicles during this era, and this casting has one too. Scale is hard to estimate, but likely fairly small, as it was made to fit in a box. There’s a decent amount of detail, including the engine, “Cat” nameplate, exhaust stack, and this model sits on original rubber treads which have survived in excellent condition. A tow hook adds play value. From all angles, one can see how castings like this started to overtake the small scale market at the time:
Front and rear have similar quality detail. This model never had silver trim:
The base is basic, and has identifying data:
This example is lucky enough to live in its original pristine smaller type B box (showing 18a). With this box and from the other models I found in the same lot, it was likely made in 1958:
I’m definitely glad to have this in my collection. It is in time-warp new condition, and is a representation of the breadth of the Matchbox line - it wasn’t just cars, but vehicles of all types.
Here’s a similar 1:1 from bconsultinc.com: