70 Years of Authenticity

For seven decades, Matchbox has inspired kids to explore the world and play out their adventures with realistic die-cast vehicles, while also becoming a top brand for collectors thanks to unmatched quality and authenticity. Now, as we celebrate our past, we’re looking toward a brighter future with unique castings and designs, as well as sustainability efforts to inspire generations to come.

A Drive Down Memory Lane

In 1953, English engineer Jack Odell’s daughter could only bring a toy to school if it was small enough to fit inside a match box. Jack created a scaled-down die-cast steam roller she could take to school—and when all the kids clamored for one of their own, Matchbox was born. Guided by Jack’s vision, Matchbox reinvented the die-cast vehicle industry and has become one of the most popular toy brands in history.

1956 – Expansion into Playsets

Matchbox introduced accessory packs, the first of which was a fuel station with pumps, station sign and an attendant—thus beginning a long line of Matchbox playsets.

1973 – Soaring with Sky Busters

Taking to the skies, Matchbox launched die-cast aircraft including WWII fighters, cargo aircraft, and modern passenger planes—a product line still soaring today.

1997 – Joining the Mattel Family

After years of previous ownership, Matchbox was acquired by toymaker Mattel, which finally brought Matchbox and Hot Wheels together under one roof.

70 years after its inception, Matchbox is leading the way in supporting a more Earth-friendly future. Our vision is to make all our toys and packaging from 100% recycled, recycle-ready or bio-based plastic materials by 2030.

In 2022 we unveiled the Matchbox Tesla Roadster, our first die-cast made from 99% recycled materials and certified as a CarbonNeutral® product. We’re also increasing representation of electric and hybrid vehicles, while integrating eco-conscious behaviors and themes such as EV charging stations into our playsets.

Explore Matchbox Sustainability