(Some parts of the coding system are reproduced with permission from
Charlie Mack's book Universal's Matchbox Toys -- The Universal years,
1982 - 1992)
In the 1970's, a code system was developed by Ray Bush of U.K.
Matchbox. This code has been adopted and is in wide use today to
denote models manufactured, approved or not produced by Matchbox
Toys. The code system is as follows:
Any model wholly produced by Matchbox Toys. The model can be partially
manufactured in one factory and altered later in a Matchbox owned or
Any model altered in part or in whole by re-labeling, repainting or both
by a second party not associated with Matchbox but with Matchbox's
full approval. This includes models manufactured as blanks in a Matchbox
owned or leased facility and then tampoed or repainted by a second party
with either specific or blanket approval.
Any model repainted, re-labeled or altered in any manner without
Any model that has labels, tide to an event, applied
by a company and the models are then given to their employees and customers
for promotional purposes.
Any model that has Matchbox supplied labels applied
to a model. The labels are almost like a water slide tide. There are not
very many examples around but they are very attractive.
Any model with personal type home made labels applied to a model.
These are models with promotional/personal labels but no one knows how and how did
it. These are called "Private Issues."
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