One of the huge appeals to me to the Matchbox brand since the 70s has been the artwork that has accompanied the models.
The most prominent period is the 70s and 80s. The 1-75 range in their boxes where the mainstream, but somewhat overlooked, and to a degree forgotten are the playsets and the SuperKings, which I think where the cream fo the crop. A small token throwback was dreamt up by Mattel over the last few years with such tarted up 1-75 series such as the Lesney Editions, SuperFast, and the Best of British (which I think was a massive Edsel – a premium product that never really caught on in the UK, and was there due the pressure of the MCCH….)
Below are a few example of the hundreds of the Matchbox art. At a time when photo re-production was not really the done, these colourful drawings were the next best thing. Now I reckon that most kids at the time would not have paid attention tp the rear of the model inside was of main interest. But if you look carefully, the guys at Lesney put a tremendous amount of effort into these drawings and artwork in trying to give a dymanic, and edgy feel to the model – with most of the pictures representing speed.
Some of the art gives a static scenario, and this is more applicable to those workhorse models of the Superkings range, and the playsets as well of the time.
Of course, the other main brands at the time – Corgi, Dinky – did the same as well, but I was always a Matchbox man, and as per my previous blog ont he 2011 range, I am glad to see the custom artwork return to each 1-75 model.