Toys, MatchBox Trucks and Purple Things
A problem at trade shows is getting people to take catalogs. Yet, people love taking free gifts - particularly ones with intrinsic value. So Continental-Aero began giving out toy trucks.
Matchbox has long made branded cars and trucks for companies. These promo designs are never sold retail, but rather given away as a promotion with a proof-of-purchase.
We were able to convince Matchbox to produce short runs for us. The initial four trucks are limited to 5000 pieces. Truck #5 was 10,000 pieces and truck #6 is the same. Little did we know that the Continental-Aero purple trucks would become a collectible!
Almost all of the trucks are given to current and prospective customers at trade shows and on sales calls. Hence, there are very few in circulation. Scarcity drives up the prices for the trucks. In addition, there are collectors who collect every truck of a certain model such as the 'Model T' and 'Model A'.
The Nuts and Bolts About the Nuts & Bolts Truck:
First Edition - Volvo 1981 Container Truck-Made in China - 1:90 scale
Issued in 1994 or thereabouts. If you know Marty, he is vague about almost everything, so it stands to reason that he is not sure when this came out. A limited-edition of 5000 pieces is unique in that it is the only truck that is modern, not a vintage, classic one. It also has paper panels with graphics. All the other truck graphics are directly on the bodies. The Volvo, being a first edition, is currently worth around $75.00
Second Edition - Model T Truck 1921 - Copyright: 1989
5000 piece run. The Model T is the oldest truck that Matchbox produces so it was a natural first choice for the "retro" series. Collectors also adore this truck so it is worth $60.00 today.
Third Edition - Model A Truck - Made in China - Copyright: 1979
5000 piece run. Continuing in the 'retro' vein, the Model A is the successor to the Model T. Also, highly prized among the collectors, the Model A is worth approximately $50.00.
Fourth Edition - 1939 Chevy Sedan Delivery Truck - Copyright: 1992 - Made in Thailand - 1:63 scale
The shortest in height but the most stylish and sleek. This was and is still very popular with Continental-Aero's customers. Very few reached the collector's market. Value is assessed at $40.00.
Fifth Edition - 1938 Dodge Airflow - 1:80 Scale - Copyright: 1997
10,000 piece run. A glorious failure in actual truck production, but a major styling success. This was the first truck made by Matchbox for Continental-Aero after it was bought by Mattel. The minimum production run was doubled and the cost of the truck went up 50%. Not readily available in the toy stores. This piece is highly valued by collectors and worth approximately $40.00.
Sixth Edition - 1937 Mack Junior - 1:66 Scale - Copyright: 1997
10,000 Piece Run. Worth $35.00. This truck was given out since around 2000. Marty couldn't find anyone at Matchbox to make another edition, so this one lasted four years.
Seventh Edition - 1956 Ford Pickup - Made in China
Each of these trucks cost approximately three times the cost of the first edition. Hence, only 5,000 were made. Worth $25.00 - $30.00. Approximately 500 were made in a wrong shade of purple. These are not for distribution (against our ISO policy). The very few available have gone for $100.00 in the collectors market.
So, there you have it. At the various fastener shows, 2500 - 3000 trucks are given out. Another 500 go out in Holiday Gift Baskets and an additional 2000 or so are handed out during sales presentations by our sales reps.
If you would like the latest edition of the Continental-Aero Matchbox Truck please contact our “outside” Sales Rep in your territory.