It’s been nearly a year, but I previously wrote a bit about a non die-cast segment of my collection- the trading cards that some companies have included with their castings from time to time. In that post, I teased a part two. I know it’s almost been a year since that post, but hey, I said it might be a while!
Part two is, of course, boxes. Many decades ago, it was normal for Matchbox cars to come in cardboard boxes that resembled, well, boxes for matches. That is indeed where the brand gets its name. These boxes usually had an illustration of the car on them and could be quite attractive in and of themselves. Collectors now highly value some of these boxes and for good reason. Their popularity has inspired other die-cast companies to use similar packaging and, more commonly in recent years, even sell cars packaged with Matchbox style boxes that serve no purpose- they’re just thrown in the blister with the model on the outside! While this is pretty bizarre if you think about it, I’m certainly not complaining. I, along with others, am happy to collect these boxes alongside the castings themselves.
So here’s my entire collection of boxes that are not currently being used to actually store a model.
The usage for these boxes varies, with some just being thrown in a blister as I mentioned previously while others serve as both packaging and display cases.
I’ll start with Matchbox. Perhaps some of the most pointless boxes in my collection, these Premiere boxes were always packaged with the cars they came with. They were not actually used as packaging. While today such a box will have something interesting on it, these...didn’t.
These days, Matchbox has gotten their act together. Here are my boxes from later years, with a few original Lesney boxes that actually would have been used for packaging thrown in (at the top right- the Escort, BMW 3.0 CSL, and Dodge BP tow truck). I should also note Power Grabs, of which a couple are shown here (the black Alfa Romeo and Jaguar)- this is a return to form for Matchbox, where the box serves as the primary packaging. They are done for all the mainline releases, but it’s generally still easier to find the cars on cards.
Continuing with American companies, Auto World gives you a nice box with their models. But again, they’re pretty much useless.
Finally, Tomica. Asian companies have actually stuck to using boxes as packaging, and thus pretty much every die-cast sold by Tomica in the Asian market comes in some kind of box. Same with Kyosho and Aoshima, although they sell many of their models in blind boxes, which is whole other topic that involves the entire toy industry, not just die-cast.
Anyway, if you’re still reading, I hope you found this interesting! I personally wish all die-cast came with a box. I don’t mind if it’s in a blister pack and serves no useful purpose, they are just fun to have.