Prototype Matchbox toy sold for £10,200 at auction

A MATCHBOX toy dumper truck fetched a record £10,200 at auction in Yorkshire.

The Lesney quarry dumper truck was produced in 1955 by Matchbox as a prototype for the range of larger toys.

However, the toys never went into production, as the company opted for the smaller version now known across the world.

Of around six to 12 prototypes made, it is believed that the dumper truck is the only one that survived. It fetched just over 10,000 at a sale in Harrogate, attended by around 400 Matchbox enthusiasts from across the world, including New Zealand, the United

States, Australia, Japan and Europe.

The buyer, a private collector who lives overseas, has asked to remain anonymous.

The previous highest price for a Matchbox toy was 7,500 for a small green bus.

The Lesney truck was among the lots at the Matchbox Club's 25th annual convention,was held at the Holiday Inn in Harrogate over three days.

The truck was sold by Matchbox collector Takuo Yoshise, who flew in from Japan to attend the event. At 75, Mr Yoshise, who is a long-standing collector of Matchbox, felt that it was the turn of another enthusiast to enjoy the rare toy.

The editor of the Matchbox Club's magazine and convention organiser, Kevin McGimpsey, said: "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 of the only surviving example of these trucks since the early 1950s so we were all very excited when he told us he wanted to sell it here.

"He referred to the truck as a 'treasure' and has been its owner for 25 years. He wanted someone else to own it."

McGimpsey added: "This year marks our final convention and the Holiday Inn has helped us put on a fantastic event which is topped off by such an exciting auction lot."

The Matchbox Club, which has 750 members worldwide, hold auctions every eight to 12 weeks.

The Matchbox brand was introduced by Lesney Products in 1953 and is currently owned by Mattel.