Match(box) made in heaven

Founded shortly after the Second World War by a pair of Naval comrades in arms ( Leslie and Rodney Smith – no relation) as Lesney Products the pair were soon joined by a third partner (John ‘Jack’ Odell), who happened to be renting space in their premises. Asked to produce parts for model toys, they soon identified a gap in the playtime market for sturdy, roll-along, transport-themed toys, their first major success being a representation of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation Coach, which went on to sell in excess of a million models.

Their second breakthrough came as a result of Jack Odell’s daughter’s school policy where children were allowed to bring toys into school as long as they were small enough to fit into a matchbox. Jack re-modelled

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