Lesney Matchbox time is here again. Today is Easter, and the bright color of this model might be suited for an Easter egg. Today we examine Lesney Matchbox 38b, the Vauxhall Victor (FB) Estate. This casting entered the range in 1963, remaining until 1967, and shows the evolution of the Matchbox line at the time of introduction:

This is the type of model I think helped to make Lesney Matchbox products popular, and had appeal to collectors both young and old - it is an ordinary car. Not a fantasy model or a racing car, but the kind of thing you or your neighbors might actually own. Models like this definitely have appeal to those who want to collect, and those who want to play. This casting shows the advances made over a few year period by Lesney. The model features glazing, an interior and a moving part - all three of which would have been fantasy just 5 years prior. As full scale car designs were evolving from 50s fins and chrome or pontoon shapes into a new modernism, Lesney products were also progressing into a new age. Along with this, there is no lack of fine casting detail, something Lesney really perfected as the 60s moved along. I estimate scale to be in the 1:65 range. From all angles, it is a nice little wagon/estate/longroof/kombi/break etc:

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Front and rear have similar detail - the mask-painted silver trim on the grille accentuates this, and the tow hook adds play value:

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The base is typical of the era, with identifying detail - technical detail wouldn’t be deemed important for some time:

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This model is lucky enough to live in its nice original Type D box (noteworthy as the casting was never offered in blue). With this box and silver wheels, I suspect it was made in 1963-64:

The key feature of this casting is the opening rear hatch - no doubt this added immense play value and realism - you could put small items in the back. The hatch is not the easiest to find a detent point where it stays open:

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I am pleased to have this in my collection. It is a charming casting, bridging the gap between the soft mellow 50s era, and the sharp accurate later 60s era models:

And some 1:1s from car-from-uk.com, pinterest, and productioncars.com:

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