Matchbox is commemorating its 60th anniversary, starting with a three-month campaign around the Matchbox Heroes Wanted Sweepstakes. The grand prize is a $60,000 college scholarship, and the company is also giving away 60 unnamed prizes every week. There are only seven days left in this promotion, which can be entered into now on Facebook.
The current 60-year Anniversary contest asks parents to celebrate their own children’s heroism, by submitting a picture and caption of the little hero dressed as their favorite real-life hero. Submissions will post on the Matchbox Heroes Wanted Facebook gallery, which also enters that child in the sweepstakes to win the scholarship. The Matchbox Heroes website also includes stories about real-life heroes, like SWAT team members, mountain climber rescuers, and heroic tow truck drivers, each with their own little story and associated toy car. It’s a fun site to read through, even if you’re not going to submit a picture of your own kid, like Vartan above.
Matchbox was the original die-cast car toy, introduced by Lesney Products in 1953. The brand is currently owned by Mattel, which started its own line of die-cast cars in 1968, with Hot Wheels. The two brands competed until 1996, when Matchbox, then owned by Tyco, was purchased by Mattel. Matchbox cars were originally sold in boxes that resembled actual match boxes, until the company switched to the now-familiar cardboard-backed plastic blister packs that most die-cast cars come in today. The size of the cars was determined by co-founder Jack Odell’s daughter, who was only able to bring toys to school that fit into a matchbox. Odell created a smaller version of his company’s green and red car, which was scaled down to 1:75 size.