Lesney Matchbox time is here once again. Last week we saw a Tomica van, here is a Matchbox van. Today we examine Lesney Matchbox 46b, the Pickford Removal Van. This casting entered the range in 1960, and was popular, remaining until 1968. As one can see, this model has all of the niceness we expect from a Lesney product of this era:

Pickfords is something of an iconic British firm, in business for eons, and a common sight on British roads. Although a firm not known in NA, the universality of a boxy moving van probably made this an easy model to export. Scale is hard to estimate as I am unfamiliar with the real world vehicle, but it is definitely smaller than a 1:64 car, maybe 1:75-1:80. This dates from an era when high feature content was just coming online - no glazing, but there is a moving part, and there is the fine line casting detail Lesney perfected on Matchbox vehicles before this. From all angles, this is a quality item:

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Front and rear have similar high quality detail, with the mask painted silver trim at front adding realism. At rear we can see the moving part, the articulated door, which smoothly slides up and down after more than half a century, revealing access to the truck box which must have added much play value

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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 B box. With this box type, the color of the model (later examples are green) and these nice grey wheels, this is an early release likely made in 1960:

A fun artifact, the original price tag:

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I am grateful to have this model in my collection. It is somewhat striking in person, with the crisp blue paint contrasting with the grey wheels. The box is also quite nice. Green versions of this van are not rare, if one wants an example, it won’t break the bank. A blue one will be more difficult:

A couple of 1:1s of similar vans from tractors.wikia.com and flickr:

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