Toy car brand Matchbox has recreated the King’s Gold State Coach in miniature to celebrate the coronation.
The tiny diecast model is a 1:64 replica of the 261-year-old carriage which will carry the newly-crowned Charles and Queen Consort in a grand procession back to Buckingham Palace on May 6.
It measures 23cm and features small metal figures of the King and Camilla inside, as well as eight horses – the number needed to pull the four-tonne carriage.
Seventy years ago, London-based diecasting business Lesney sold more than one million of its 11.8cm coronation coaches produced in 1952 ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953.
Its sales success enabled Lesney to go on to fund the launch of the Matchbox brand – which has produced more than three billion toy cars to date.
The design process took four months, blending old design practices and new ones including 3D scanners to capture the form of the horses and riders from the original Lesney model and prototype parts made using 3D printing.
It is the fourth version of the carriage to be made, and has rolling wheels with a front turning axle and, for the first time, windows.
Giles Chapman, author of Britain’s Toy Car Wars, said of the original coach: “It was the forerunner to the phenomenally successful Matchbox 1-75 series launched in 1953 that put toy cars and trucks into the eager hands of all children, not just those lucky enough to have wealthy parents.
“The little coach was the blockbuster product that started it all.”
The 2023 Matchbox Gold State Coach is available made to order via mattelcreations.com until May 18, priced at £60.