Miniatures news, January 1963

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Lesney’s new year offering is a tiny replica of the Mercedes-Benz 220SE coupe with doors that open to reveal armrests, etc., this being the first saloon-car replica with this feature And certainly the smallest model with doors that open, although a French toy-maker pioneered them on a Ferrari 2+2 and Dinky have an MG.-B so equipped. The Lesney Mercedes-Benz has seats, steering wheel, true-to-prototype curved windows (open!) and is finished in a special new double-baked enamel paint. All this in OO-scale, 2-5/8 in. in length! The price in Britain is 1s. 9d., which includes purchase tax. It is No. 53 in the “Matchbox” series.

Keeping it company is a same-size Ford Fairlane police car (No. 55), with correct State Police transfers and warning roof beacon, also priced at Is. 9d.

These miniatures will be shown at the British Toy Fairs at Harrogate and Brighton and at International Fairs in Nuremberg, New York, Lyons, Milan and Leipzig. Lesney are making well over a million “Matchbox” models a week and selling 60% of them to over 130 countries abroad. They are about to build a new three-storey, 200,000 sq. ft. factory beside their existing 110,000 sq. ft. factory at Hackney in East London.

The latest Meccano Dinky car miniature is a Singer Vogue (No. 145) with rubber tyres, dual headlamps, windows, seats and “Prestomatic” steering. It is 3-11/16 in. long and sells for 3s. 11d.— W. B.

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