MATCHBOX® and HOT WHEELS® HISTORY
Once rivals, now one…
Elliott Handler, his wife Ruth and Harold ‘Matt’ Matson from Mattel Creations.
Leslie Smith and Rodney Smith” LESNEY” start Lesney Product & Co. as a diecasting company.
Jack O’Dell joins Leslie Smith and Rodney Smith forming Lesney in England using the matchbox,
first successfully selling the miniature green and red MB1 Diesel Road Roller,
MB2 Dumper and MB3 Cement Mixer, each sold in small matchboxes.
Lesney buys out MOCO’s share, an early marketer and distributor.
Matchbox, Corgi and Dinky were the dominate diecast brands.
Hot Wheels were orig. made by Elliott Hander co-founder of Mattel, to compete with Matchbox.
With designer Jack Ryan, Hot Wheels production began.
Lesney sells Matchbox to Universal Toys and David Yeh, becoming Matchbox International.
Universal Toys is sold to Tyco Toys.
Tyco is purchased by Mattel.
Mattel has owned both Matchbox and Hot Wheels since 1997.
DINKY® and CORGI® HISTORY
1932 – 1979
England Dinky Toys owned by Frank Hornby, Meccano Ltd.
1955 – 1983
Corgi Toys founded by Philip Ullmann, Mettoy Company
Corgi is sold to Mattel.
Matchbox buys rights to Dinky. For a time, Mattel owns all 4 top diecast toy brands.
Corgi Classics Limited parts from Mattel- reforms in England.
Corgi is taken over by Zindart Intl. Ltd. as Corgi Intl. Ltd
Corgi is acquired by Hornby Hobbies Ltd.
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