Lesney Matchbox time is here again. Today we examine Lesney Matchbox 5c, the AEC Routemaster Bus. This casting entered the range in 1961, remaining until 1966, and is perhaps the most traditional Lesney Matchbox product:

That’s right, another red London style bus. The Matchbox line contained a number of buses over the years. This one, 5c, replaced 5b - another London bus, which replaced 5a, another London bus. There were other buses and bus style trams as well, I have reviewed a few of these. This 5c version is upsized from 5a and 5b, but still must be a fairly small scale, perhaps around 1:75 or so - it was made to fit in a normal size Matchbox box after all. Even at this size, it contains remarkably accurate proportion and fine line casting deal, a hallmark of Lesney products of this age. Although this model was introduced when moving parts, interiors, and glazing were being introduced to the range, it has none, the appeal likely being the bus form and the bright crisp tampo which has survived the past 55+ years in style. From all angles, it will not be mistaken for anything else:

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Front and rear contain similar quality detail, the grille and surrounding area being especially well done:

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The base contains identifying data and shows off the pleasing hue of the grey plastic wheels, which likely date this to the middle of the production run, say 1963-64:

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The hue of these wheels please me, so I am glad to have this unboxed model in my collection. I think I impulse bought this several years ago in Canada, attracted by the wheels. It isn’t perfectly mint, but it is presentable on a shelf (zoomed in pics always make chips seem worse than seen by the eye) with maybe some patina to give it character, and I am sure the price was right. For those into this kind of thing, they should be able to find even a mint in box version for not insane money, this is not a rare casting. It definitely represents the era:

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A 1:1 from londonbusmuseum.com: