These three vans or small trucks are three of my best Matchboxs, I bought them last Christmas boxed, and are in a relative good condition, they have a couple of chips, but since they are very old models and hard to find, I guess they’re ok like that. These vans were released in the early 60s: the Milk Delivery Truck was released in 1961, while the other two were released in 1963. They were discontinued in 1968.
Milk Delivery Truck or Commer Bottle Float:
The first model, the Milk Delivery Truck (number 21, or sometimes referred as well as 21c) was available with the old grey metal wheels, and with black plastic wheels. Mine is the later version. There are many different variations of this model, including different colours for the bottles’ load, windshield and the decals (at least two types of decals). The colour of this van has slight variations in a pale shade of green, and the decals on the doors show a cow (like mine) or a bottle of milk.
Lyons Maid Ice-Cream Mobile Shop or Commer Ice Cream Canteen
The second model, the Lyons Maid Ice-Cream Mobile Shop, or as labelled in the base: “Commer Ice Cream Canteen” is another great model from 1963. It has again a few colour variations: at least two shades of blue and light brown, and again, several different decals (at least this one –Lyons Maid- and Lord Neilson). This one seems to be the most common. It is a very nice van for children, since kids love ice-creams and the seller inside of the cabin is a very nice detail. I guess it was massively sold. Curiously, some other brands like Majorette have also produced die-cast ice-cream vans…
TV Service Van:
The last model presented in this entry is the TV Service Van, available in light brown only but with two different decals: “Rentaset” or “Radio Rentals”. My model is the first of these two, and is complete, something very rare in this model. It came with a few accessories attached to a plastic “tree”. I also have the tree with three televisions, butthe ladder and the antenna have been removed from it. If the model is complete, it is quite expensive to buy it. It was also available with grey wheels.
As you can see in the pictures, the antenna and the ladder are placed at the top of the van, while the televisions can be kept inside of the van. It has a practicable door that opens up andcloses down.
I have to mention, that matchbox models made in these years have a problem with the paint and the lacquer, and if they have been played, or uncorrectly stored, they present great paint loss, as well as rust. It is also important to mention that they can also suffer from sun damage. Some variations in the plastic part or in the body colour can be produced by a long sun exposure in the past, so be careful before you acquire some “ultra-rare variation”. Decals are also rarely complete, always partly missing.
FACTS AND FIGURES:
- Name: MILK DELIVERY TRUCK, LYONS MAID ICE-CREAM MOBILE SHOP and TV SERVICE VAN (Nrs. 21c, 47b and 62b)
- Alternate Names: COMMER BOTTLE FLOAT, COMMER ICE CREAM CANTEEN.
- Scale: 1:64 (approx.)
- Year: 1961, 1963 and 1963 (all discontinued in 1968)
- Company: Matchbox Lesney (G. Britain)
- Size: approx. 6 cm