Lesney Matchbox time is here again. The last installment, just before Labor Day, featured a vehicle made for hard work. Today’s review is also a vehicle built for a lifetime of heavy lifting. This is Lesney Matchbox 17b, the Bedford Removals Van. This casting entered the range in 1958, replacing a nearly identical 17a, and remained until 1960. One can see this is a vehicle designed for day in day out work:
Observant viewers may notice this appears to be the same vehicle as in a review several months ago: (not sure if link works, thanks kinja)
But as one will soon learn, it is not.
This is another mellow charming casting, from the days when the Matchbox line seemed to be all about mild colors and soft shapes. As this is a 1958 model, there is no interior nor glazing - this vehicle was phased out just as those luxuries became reality. Even without these niceties, casting line detail and proportion are laudable. This is a somewhat small casting, made to fit in a box - I estimate scale to be 1:75-1:80 or so. I suspect the key play value here is that small items can be placed in the van/box interior. From all angles, it shows what Lesney Matchbox was about, at this point in time:
Front and rear have similar detail, just like the 17b in the prior review:
The base is basic, as was the style of the time, and is the same as the prior 17b, with model number data under the cab:
This is a loose model, with light wear, suggesting a cherished toy, or something that was stored and knocked around just a bit. And for the differences compared to the prior model: This variant is a darker green, with plastic wheels, mask sprayed silver trim rather than painted by hand, and “Removals” outlined in black. This makes it from the end of production for 17b, likely made in 1960. This variant is scarce and somewhat expensive when mint in box, but not an extreme rarity. No less, I am glad to have it in my collection, as I think these details make it a nice looking model:
And a 1:1 from myntransportblog.com, as close as I could find to a real world version of this truck - survival rates are always low for vehicles like this: