Lesney Matchbox time is here again on this Christmas Eve eve. Today we look at a vehicle with some Christmas color: red. This is Lesney Matchbox 50a, the Commer Pick-Up MK VIII. This casting entered the range in 1958, remaining until 1964, and is a real charmer:

I reviewed another 50a in my earlier days here:

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This is a much different variant. There are around three dozen variants of this casting, and these two tone models are sought-after, from that golden age of the late 50s and early 60s containing many scarce varieties. 50a is an interesting model in that it entered the range during the mellow hollow casting era, and remained into the era of sharp fine line casting detail and advanced features. This model also experienced every major wheel type in its variants - grey metal, grey plastic, silver plastic, black plastic. Although there are no fancy features, this model has some realism, and the bed must add play value. There is some fine line casting detail as well. I estimate scale to be in the 1:65 range. From all angles, it is a pleaser:

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Front and rear have similar detail, the mask-painted silver paint adds interest, and one can’t help but notice that the paint on one headlight appears to be missing, perhaps worn from shifting around in a box. This vehicle has a face:

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The base is basic, as was the style of the time, and contains identifying data:

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This example is lucky enough to live in its nice original Type D box, with an illustration that matches the model perfectly. With this box type, knobby black plastic wheels, and grey (not white as it appears in this pic) over red paint, it is a late run model from 1962-64:

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Fun artifact on an end flap, the original price stamp:

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I am definitely happy to have this casting in my collection. I really like 50a for some reason, it is a cute little truck/ute, and the variants can make it interesting, I have a few others. A nice model:

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A couple 1:1s from www.sa.hillman.org.au - these are technically a ute, I think, as they appear to be based on an early 50s Hillman Minx:

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