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Matchbox Toy Truck Sells for Over £10,000

24/04/2010 The remarkable prices that vintage traditional toys can fetch was made clear at the end of last month when a model car collector snapped up a Matchbox truck for the bargain price of more than £10,000.

The unknown traditional toys enthusiast phoned in the winning bid at an auction on 26th March taking place at the Holiday Inn in the picturesque town of Harrogate, North Yorkshire. The auction itself had been held to celebrate the 25th - and last - annual gathering of the Matchbox Club.

At the top of the list of auction items was the 1955 prototype Lesney dumper truck which Matchbox produced as a tester for a possible run of larger toy vehicles, similar to the Tonka range. It is thought to be one of only six ever produced - and the only surviving model of the six.

The full range of big Matchbox vehicles was never produced however, as the company decided to focus on miniatures. Looking back, Matchbox can be said to have made the right decision - its toy vehicles are famous throughout the world, with a small army of enthusiasts.

One of the most dedicated among their number, 75-year-old collector Takuo Yoshise, had flown into the UK from his native Japan to attend the unique auction and sell his equally unique toy truck. He told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that he had made the decision to sell the truck on because he felt it was time for a younger enthusiast to enjoy the prized possession.

Eventually, the toy was sold for a record £10,200, easily beating the previous record for the most valuable Matchbox vehicle, which sold for £7,200 some years previously.

Matchbox Clubs magazine editor Kevin McGimpsey, who organised the convention, told the newspaper: "This truck is the Holy Grail for Matchbox enthusiasts and we are delighted that its sale has caused such a stir."

"Mr Yoshise has been the lucky owner the only surviving example of these trucks since the early 1980s, so we were all very excited when he told us he wanted to sell it here."

Mr McGimpsey added that the "exciting" sale had added spice to the Matchbox Club's final convention.

Toy auctions are an established part of Britain's economic landscape, with dozens taking place every year across the country. The latest such event took place on Friday in Stockton-on-Tees. The auction saw the sale of the Shaun Magee Collection of traditional toys - Mr Magee was dubbed the "One Man Museum" for his massive collection of toys dated from the 1880s to the 1970s.

There were more than 800 lots up for auction, with several viewing rooms at toy auctioneers Vectis provided for the purpose of displaying the items, including a series of vintage pedal cars and a very large number of Triang toys.

But some of the most unusual sales consisted of model horses and carts dating from the 1900s. one wooden stagecoach sold for £1,700, while another went under the hammer for £1,000.


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