[REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Caterpillar Bulldozer

18

Lesney Matchbox time is here again, today's installment features a piece of heavy equipment. This is Matchbox 18b (I can't find a boxed 18a in my hoard and might not have one), the Caterpillar bulldozer. This casting entered the range in 1958, replacing a similar bulldozer, and was replaced in 1961 by a slightly larger bulldozer. This piece features substantial detail for the era, price point, and scale:

Lesney loved to include drivers in open vehicles during this era, as seen on this casting. Scale is hard to estimate, but likely fairly small, as it was made to fit in a box. Impressive detail includes the engine, “Cat” nameplate, exhaust stack, and this model sits on original rubber treads which have survived in excellent condition. A tow hook adds play value, along with the dozer blade. From all angles, one can see how and why the Matchbox line was starting to dominate the small scale diecast world:

Front and rear have similar quality detail, the fine cast grille being a nice detail. Unlike many others, this model has no variants with silver or gold trim:

The base includes identifying data. Notice this is marked as #8 - the early number 8s are the basis models for these bulldozers, being Caterpillar crawler/tractors. I guess the bulldozer didn't warrant updating the casting:

This example is lucky enough to live in its original pristine smaller type B box (showing 18a). With this box type, it was likely made in 1958:

No surprise, I am glad to have this in my collection. It is in time-warp new condition, and is a representation of the breadth of the Matchbox line - it wasn’t just 4 wheeled road vehicles, but vehicles of all types. Pictured with an old dime for scale:

And a similar 1:1 from bconsultinc.com:

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