The Regular Wheel models are basically miniatures that cannot run very fast on the tracks. These models did not have suspension in the wheels and were attached with a thick axle rod. Although some of the models were released with different color wheels, majority of them had gray or black plastic wheels.
The Aveling Bardford Road Roller (# 1), the Muir Hill Site Dumper (# 2), the Cement Mixer (# 3), and the Messey Harris Tractor (# 4), were the first four miniatures, released in 1953, in the Regular wheels categories that became the famous 1-75 series later on. It was not until 1954 when the London Bus (# 5) was included into the range that caught attention of the children as the first four models were not easily recognizable to children, while the bus was a reasonably familiar model. After that every year a few new models were introduced into the range with some color variations to the old models.
Between 1953 and 1959 the range was marketed mainly to the wholesale trade but some other chain stores were also placing orders for their outlets. By 1960, one million models were produced each week.
The competition to the matchbox series was never very great until the formidable Hot Wheels range distributed in the U.S.A. commenced in 1968. The Hot Wheels range was Mattel's answer to Matchbox. They had a distinctive feature that Matchbox did not have -- a thin axle wheel that could make the model run faster on the track with low friction. Due to this new thing in the market and Lesney sales dropping down Odell, reluctantly order his Research and Development to find a system to compete with the Matell's Hot Wheels system. The result was the birth of Superfast Wheels.
For more information on "Regular Wheel" models please visit My Matchbox Link Section. There are other site that are dedicated to "Regular Wheel" issues with plenty of information and pictures.
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