Matchbox Club

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About the Matchbox Club


A question I am often asked is “How did you become so involved with The Matchbox Club?” After all, it doesn’t exactly sit within my usual world, which has been focused for the past twenty five years on building a global beauty business (I’m clearly the ‘before’ picture for all of our advertising campaigns!)

However, the truth is that Matchbox models have been an integral part of most young boys (and girls) for the past six decades.. And I was no exception. From the age of four years old, I enjoyed a weekly trip to Woolworths with my mum whilst she collected the family shopping, and if I behaved I would be rewarded with a new matchbox car. I can vividly remember taking my time selecting the model, and in those days my mother would leave me by the display whilst she continued her own shopping.. (Sadly, I couldn’t imagine doing that with my four year old niece now..!!)

From those early days, like many of you, I became passionate about my collection.. Although that didn’t stop me racing them on the smooth Tarmac edges of the school playground.. Or hitting them with hammers to produce ‘crashed’ models, or painting them different colours with my air fix enamel.. I wonder if I ever repainted a ‘reverse colours’ dodge wreck truck..?? (Oops..!!)

Later on I enjoyed the launch of the ‘Superfast’ range, which rivalled ‘Hot Wheels’ a brilliant American brand which had very exciting cars and frictionless axels.. Although we didn’t really like them as much because they felt very light, and a bit cheap? And so we expanded our collection of Superfast Track and racing took on a whole new meaning.

Naturally, somewhere along the way, we left our Matchbox cars behind as they were replaced by rock bands, real cars.. And even girls..!! (Yuk)

Some time later, my own (significant) collection was donated, somewhat ironically, by my mother, to one of my younger cousins.. An action which still feels a bit like betrayal even today? Fortunately she missed a few which became the foundation for my ‘new’ collection some forty years later.

It was when I started collecting again that I realised that what we all need is one place where we can go to find out everything about Matchbox, the brand history, the models and their variations, as well as all of the supporting literature such as catalogues, adverts, and even shop displays.

This club exists to fulfil that ambition, by utilising all of the current social media sites, as well as the power of the ever-present internet.. Our aim is to allow the original Matchbox Club to evolve and continue to grow by connecting members from all over the world and providing products and services which can help them grow their collection, increase their knowledge and share their experiences.

And lastly but by no means least.. We also decided that it would a fitting memorial to Leslie, Rodney and Jack.. Who started this brand by producing small toys for young children to enjoy.. If we were to donate all of our profits to children’s cancer charities.. In this way, you the collector are contributing to a really worthwhile cause, whilst enjoying your hobby and securing the Matchbox brand name for generations to come.

To this end, we are passionate about our club but none of us work here full time, and everyone is a volunteer. We are dedicated to supporting children who will not be able to enjoy any of the childhood experiences we all took for granted. Please be patient whilst we continue to grow and develop the club, so that we can help more members, and support more charities.

Now.. Where I’d I put my lipstick…??

Kind regards as always.

Graham Atherton


The Matchbox Club

Ps. Our Beauty Business is based in the old Woolworths Head Quarters on Marylebone Road in London.. How ironic is that..??

With special thanks to: Joe Wilkinson, Gareth Lloyd, Nick Sample, Henry O’Brien & Charlie Mack.

About Matchbox

The History of Matchbox

Rodney Smith – The Telegraph Obituary Section