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Essex Models and Miniatures archive
Category: Military vehicles
Crescent Toys was a British toy manufacturing company in operation from 1922 to 1980. It manufactured lead figures and animals, die cast metal vehicles, toy guns, and later plastic figures.
Crescent toys mobile rocket launcher number 126, this was produced in army green and also civilian colours red and green with a yellow rocket.
The rocket on this example should be white, so not sure whether this has been issued this way or added to the vehicle at a later date.
The yellow rocket would of been part of the civilian truck.
The green is a darker army green although have seen these in a brighter army green. possibly Brunswick green with the American white star on the cab doors, therefore assuming this was issued in two types of army green, on close inspection this doesn’t look like it’s been re-painted.
The rocket is plastic with a diecast warhead and possibly designed for loading caps, firing this rocket is certianly dangerous indoors with the heavy metal nose, you couldn’t design toys like that now-a-days.
The real truck
The Diamond T Motor Car Company was founded in Chicago in 1905 by C. A. Tilt. Reportedly, the company name was created when Tilt’s shoe-making father fashioned a logo featuring a big “T” (for Tilt, of course) framed by a diamond, which signified high quality.
Real truck text and picture from Wikipedia
MARX number 3374 Long Range Atomic Cannon Truck.
This was an interesting find, not absolutely sure what is missing but also seems to of been battery operated.
Over 23 inches long, the main missing parts are the tracks, radar and missiles.
Although way down the restoration list I will be making tracks for it and will do an article on this when I do it.
The cab is identicle to the Marx Lumar crane truck
How it should look.
For more pressed steel vehicle articles Click Here
Today’s gem I know very little about as it has absolutely no markings in the castings.
Very likely based on the MAZ 535/537 heavy tractor with a low loader trailer for tank transport.
Believed to of been made in Russia, the casting is basic but good and the trailer is fixed to the tractor unit.
I do know a second model was produced with a different trailer and a rocket load, also I believe there was another ten military models by the same maker. (see link Here for more) if you can read Russian the boxes on the link has everything written in what looks like Russian.
Some time ago I made a custom MAZ 537 from scrap Matchbox parts, to see what I made it of Click Here
The real MAZ
The Maz 357 is a Russian military heavy hauler/tractor unit mainly using as a tank transporter.
For more on the MAZ 357 Click Here
If you want to see and hear one of these monsters in action Click Here and watch the video at the bottom of the webpage.
During the 1970′s many of the Matchbox range went hotrod, the trucks on the other hand remained faithful to British and US truck makers with a few exceptions.
The Matchbox cement truck from 1976 doesn’t resemble a known maker, although some will say it may be based on an International truck design.
This truck was produced from 1976 until 1981, always painted in red, although different drum colours were issued including black, the glass was green and again purple has been seen, the drum rotates and tips.
But wait a minute, haven’t we seen this casting before?
In 1973 Matchbox registered a design for the following years production run, called the Badger and was released in 1974, numbered 16 and was part of the Rolamatics range.
The Badger is a three-axled radar or communications truck, sporting a radar/communications dish on its roof, as it moved the radar would turn.
Two colours were produced, Olive green in 1974 and metallic copper in 1976 and was removed from the range in 1978.
It is obvious Matchbox re-used the idea of the Badger casting for the cement mixer changing the back part of the casting and removing the winch from the front bumper.
As for a real vehicle, many years later in 2002 the military produced a vehicle called the Badger Cougar, but at the time, in the mid 70′s, not much like the Matchbox Badger existed, Matchbox forsight or designer imagination? there is a resemblance.
For more on the real Badger Cougar, Click Here