Big things with little cars

Lesney Matchbox time is here again, and time again to start a new round of boxed models. Today we examine Lesney Matchbox 69a, the Commer 30 cwt van, also known simply as the “Nestle’s Van”. This casting entered the range in 1959, remaining until 1965, and is as much a treat as the products that would have been delivered by such a van:

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1959 was a time of change for Lesney products. The charming simple mellow castings of the early years were becoming or being replaced by castings with more detail, with features like moving parts, glazing, or interiors. This model has excellent fine line casting detail, along with an amenity we will examine later. I estimate scale to maybe be in the upper 1:60s or around 1:70 - hard to estimate as I am not familiar with this vehicle in the real world. The tampo on this model has withstood the past 60 years in fine style, and represents a brand that has survived just as well. From all angles, one can imagine this sweet piece full of actual sweets:

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Front and rear have similar quality detail, with the front grille and rear doors being cast with realism:

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The base contains identifying data, and the dark colors accentuate the grey plastic wheels:

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This casting is lucky enough to live in its original Type B box. With this box and wheel type, this is from earlier in the production run, 1959-60:

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Now on to the amenity I mentioned earlier - this has a sliding driver’s side door. Something so precise on a casting this small must have wowed enthusiasts back in the day, and the door still moves as smoothly as new:

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I am definitely happy to have this in my collection. Most of the earlier advertising themed models like this have become somewhat iconic, and this one is popular with collectors as well. It is a neat period piece with a lot of aesthetic appeal:

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A similar 1:1 from picssr.com:

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