Matchbox toy collection sells for £281,000

Matchbox giants! The model car collection sparks a global bidding war…and the first lot sold for a whopping £281,000

  • Graham Hamilton, 54, started collecting Matchbox cars seriously in his twenties
  • He spent over £100,000 buying Matchbox toy cars between 1962 and 1982
  • It included a world record price of £15,600, for a Superfast Lincoln Continental










A toy collector celebrates after the first batch of his huge collection of 1,800 Matchbox cars sold for £281,000.

Graham Hamilton, 54, fell in love with miniature toys as a child and began collecting seriously in his early twenties.

He spent over £100,000 acquiring almost every toy car made between 1962 and 1982 at Lesney’s former Matchbox factory in London and in 2004 set up a toy dealership, Rockertron Toys.

The first half of his collection – around 900 designs – sparked a global bidding war at Vectis Auctions, of Stockton-on-Tees, Teesside.

Graham Hamilton, 54, from Guildford, Surrey, has sold part of his Matchbox car collection for over £280,000

The top seller, at a world record price of £15,600, was a Superfast Lincoln Continental pre-production test model, which sold for nearly eight times its pre-sale estimate of £2,000.

The top seller, at a world record price of £15,600, was a Superfast Lincoln Continental pre-production test model, which sold for nearly eight times its pre-sale estimate of £2,000.

Refrigerated truck that was factory pre-production color trial fetched £9,600 despite scratched windscreen

Refrigerated truck that was factory pre-production color trial fetched £9,600 despite scratched windscreen

The top seller, at a world record price of £15,600, was a Superfast Lincoln Continental pre-production test model, which sold for nearly eight times its pre-sale estimate of £2,000.

A refrigerated truck that was a factory pre-production color trial fetched £9,600 despite having a scratched windscreen. The auctioneers had predicted the entire collection would sell for £250,000. The second half is expected to net £100,000.

Mr Hamilton, grandfather-of-three from Guildford, Surrey, said of his love for toys: ‘It all comes from childhood. I came from humble beginnings so I didn’t have a lot of toys, but the ones I had I really treasured.

He added: “I don’t sell because of the money. It’s just the right time.

Other big sellers included a regular-wheeled Dodge Wreck Truck 13d which fetched £12,000, while a Volkswagen Beetle Rally Car fetched £6,000 and a rare Plymouth Gran Fury police car fetched £3,600 – £3,000 more than his estimate.

Julian Royse, Toy Specialist at Vectis, said: “The only word to describe this sale is ‘wow’.

“It’s a cracking collection but I could never have predicted they would go for these prices.”

Mr Hamilton decided to sell the cars as he did not have the space to display them and feared a burglar could break in and steal them.

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