The Antique Automobile Club of America Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, hosts its fourth annual Matchbox Collectors show on September 21, featuring the tiny die-cast cars, trucks, motorcycles, tractors and other fun vehicles produced in England long before there were Hot Wheels.
Matchbox toys by Lesney started the trend of miniature toy cars in 1953 with the production of inexpensive but high-quality vehicles small enough to fit into a matchbox. They were even packaged in little cardboard boxes and were cheap enough so that kids could buy and collect them. Matchbox vehicles today are grown-up collector items.
The show at the museum is presented by the Diecast Toy Exchange and features some rare and valuable pieces, such as a 1960s-era mint-green Pontiac and matching camper trailer. It’s a one-of-a-kind set valued at $10,000 because it was a color-trial sample and never produced for sale.
Vendors at the show will sell a wide variety of more-affordable Matchbox toys from the 1950s through the present day. A pair of limited-edition toys produced specially for the show will be for sale while supplies last: A 60-piece series of 1992 Dodge Vipers that celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Dodge brand (priced at $12 each) and 40 models of Convoy Trucks (at $30 apiece).
The AACA will offer reduced-price tickets to the museum during the show. Visitors also can take a look at the museum’s full-size collection of vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles going back to the 1890s. Two special exhibits are taking place: Indian Nation: Indian Motorcycles in America and the Mark Watts Reflections art exhibit.
There also is the opportunity for a sneak peak at the upcoming 100 Years of Dodge exhibit, which opens September 26.
For more information about events at the AACA Museum, see www.AACAMuseum.org.