Sunday is here again, time for another Lesney Matchbox model. Today we examine Matchbox 12b, the Land Rover Series II. This casting entered the range in 1959, remaining until 1965, when it was replaced with another Land Rover. This model may seem familiar to the observant, but it is different:
One may recall I reviewed a 12b last year:
This is a different variant.
By 1959, Lesney had made great strides in casting quality and realism, and it shows in this model. This casting is a leap forward from the cute but primitive 12a Land Rover, and has a significant amount of fine casting line detail, along with realistic proportions and interior detail. There’s no glazing, which was just coming into being in 1959, but this model doesn’t need it anyway. I estimate scale to be in the 1:60 range, a little chunky, but not huge. From all angles, there’s no mistaking the identity of this vehicle:
Front and rear have similar detail, with the rear door hinge detail being especially fine, along with the mask painted front grille. The painted front grille is a key identifier of this particular variety:
The base is basic, with complete identifying data:
I am pleased to have this example in my collection - I have a few 12b, some boxed, but this one is loose, and has just a little patina, with high surface edge wear, and some touch ups, which I think make it look more realistic - like a Land Rover used out in the bush. This variant is from the beginning of production, likely made around 1959. The painted grille was a short run feature, and the knobby wheels also point to this. This variety uncommon, but not to the point of extreme value. Just a nice period piece to sit in my service station display:
And some 1:1s from classiccardb.com, automotoclassicsale.com, and carandclassic.co.uk: